Oregon may be a hipster heartland, but behind the quirky coffee shops and microbreweries this Pacific Northwest state takes a surprisingly stripped-back approach to extracurricular activities.  Perhaps it’s because the Oregon outdoors organically lend themselves to be enjoyed exactly as they are.The unique landscape is shared between relaxed rivers and freshwater lakes that flow inland, more than 50 mountain ranges dotted with lush national parks and a 583 kilometre long coast that runs north from the Columbia River to the border of California in the south.  So whether you’re a skier or surfer, thrill-seeker or less-venturesome traveller, here’s your ultimate guide to all of the adventures you can get up to in Oregon.

Canoeing and Kayaking

Willamette River

Google “Canoeing in Oregon” and an overwhelming 3,210,000 search results will be returned. However if you’re uncertain how to narrow it down, the Willamette River is a great place to start.
This 300 kilometre long water trail provides a particularly panoramic experience between Eugene and Portland, while the relaxing river makes it easy to enjoy a picturesque view alternating between rural and urban landscapes.

Surfing and Stand Up Paddleboarding

Newport

Options for water activities abound in Newport (on Oregon’s central coast), with a number of companies offering tours for exciting services such as dolphin and whale watching. However you don’t need a private guide to get the most out of this beachbreak. Surfers and SUP-ers of all levels can often be spotted catching waves on Agate Beach, where the shelter of a massive headland helps keep savage Northern winds under control.

Whitewater Rafting

Deschutes River

The Deschutes River carves itself through Eastern Oregon and continues to be a favourite among both tourists and locals. The Lower Deschutes, in particular, is renowned for exciting rapids, as it winds its way through a deep canyon in the eastern Oregon desert. For the easiest access to water sports, base yourself in Bend, a small city on the River which also serves as a gateway for other outdoor activities including mountain biking, rock climbing and paragliding.

Skiing

Cascade Ranges

Unsure where to take your skis next winter? Toss a coin to decide between Mount Bachelor or Mount Hood in Oregon’s Cascade Ranges. Mount Bachelor is located in central Oregon, approximately 35 kilometres west of Bend. It offers one of America’s longest ski seasons (mid-November to the end of May), while its namesake resort is the largest one in Oregon. Meanwhile Mount Hood, Oregon’s highest mountain, is equally enticing. The historic Timberline Lodge can be found just below Palmer Glacier, while six designated areas provide 19 km2 of skiable terrain across this spectacular summit in Mount Hood National Forest. Either way the penny drops, you’ll have made a winning choice.

Hiking

Fort Rock

The snow-capped peaks of the Cascade Mountain Ranges may welcome skiers in winter (see above!), however many other areas of Oregon provide the ideal terrain for hikers come warmer months.

One of the most popular is Fort Rock, an inactive volcano with an elevation of about 1432 metres.

Once home to a large population of native Americans, this formation in the Oregon Outback is now a relatively easy path for bushwalkers. Hikers can often spot deer, reptiles, coyotes and rare bird species on their treks, before being rewarded with stunning views of the valley when they reach the peak.

Fly Fishing

Rogue River

Anglers and fly-fishing enthusiasts are known to flock to this Southern Oregon site to try their luck. And they are usually rewarded with a bountiful capture. Fresh fish fill the river – primarily fed by a high Cascades spring – year-round. And while certain varieties of salmon are popular come Autumn and Spring, steelhead and trout are in abundance anytime.