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Looking at Mt Hood from a campervan

The 7 Wonders of Oregon

In 2014, the state of Oregon launched a tourism campaign so successful that it withstood the test of time – much like the places it was promoting. The campaign, launched by Travel Oregon, defined the ‘7 Wonders of Oregon’ in an effort to get visitors and residents out and exploring the natural wonders of the state. We can’t help but agree; these places are totally wonderful. Just be sure to check of closures due to the wild fires and Covid-19. Read on to learn about how to enjoy them in your ROAMERICA campervan.

1. Columbia River Gorge

Overlooking the Columbia River Gorge

Photo by Nick King

The Columbia River Gorge is the largest National Scenic Area in the country and with good reason. Up to 4,000 feet deep, the gorge stretches for over 80 miles through the Cascade Range and forms the boundary between Washington to the north and Oregon to the south. Opportunities to recreate along its shores are abundant.

Where to stay in your ROAMERICA campervan rental: The National Scenic Area is the proud home of Eagle Creek, the first developed Forest Service campground in the United States, which turned 100 in 2016. The campground is part of the Eagle Creek Recreation Area which abounds with hiking and views.

2. Mount Hood

Looking at Mt Hood from a campervan

Photo by Ryan Flood Photography

What could be more exciting than visiting a “potentially active” volcano, especially one that boasts six ski areas and myriad hiking, climbing, and camping opportunities. Timberline, one of the volcano’s ski areas, is open 12 months of the year and thus hosts thousands of professional snowsports athletes who come to train on its slopes.

Where to stay in your ROAMERICA campervan rental: Mount Hood National Forest includes four ranger districts and over 30 campgrounds that allow vehicle camping.

3. Crater Lake

Speaking of volcanoes, Oregon’s next wonder also has to do with an opening in the earth’s crust. Crater Lake rests in the belly of a dormant volcano that once stood 12,000 feet tall. Now, it’s the main attraction at Crater Lake National Park, renowned for its clarity and color.

Where to stay in your ROAMERICA campervan rental: Crater Lake National Park was established as the nation’s fifth national park. The Mazama Campground accommodates both tent and vehicle camping.

4. Painted Hills

Perhaps the most colorful area in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, the Painted Hills are worth the trip to eastern Oregon. Well-marked trails offer a glimpse into how the hills got their color, and how the landscape continues to change. If you have more than a day, explore some of the other areas of the Monument to experience an even deeper dive into the area’s topography

Where to stay in your ROAMERICA campervan rental: Stay at the Fish House Inn and RV Park in cute and quirky Dayville, OR. Food and supplies available at the town’s cafe and mercantile.

5. The Wallowas

Traveling east toward the border with Idaho, you’re stopped in your tracks by the Wallowa mountain range. The range runs approximately 40 miles (64 km) northwest to southeast between the Blue Mountains to the west and the Snake River to the east. It’s a given that there’s plenty to explore by foot, but for a tour of the entire area, stay in your van and travel the 218 mile Hells Canyon Scenic Byway, which takes includes everything from breweries to ghost towns.

Where to stay in your ROAMERICA campervan rental: There are 52 developed campgrounds and 9 day-use picnic areas in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Most campgrounds are open from May to October.

6. Smith Rock

Rock climbers have always known that Smith Rock was a natural wonder; even if hanging off of cliff’s isn’t your cup of tea, you’re likely to agree. The central Oregon state park is an outdoor lover’s paradise replete with trails for hiking, biking, and observing wildlife. It’s also located just half an hour north of Bend, a happening place ideal for refueling with great food and drink.

Where to stay in your ROAMERICA campervan rental: No vehicle/RV camping is allowed in the state park, but there are plenty of campgrounds and RV parks within a 30 mile radius of the area.

7. Oregon Coast

There are almost as many reasons to love the Oregon Coast as there are miles of it: thanks to the Oregon Beach Bill, the public has access to all 363 miles of the state’s coastline. With a forgiving year round climate and a welcoming tourist and traveler infrastructure, we can’t think of many other places to take the campervan.

Where to stay in your ROAMERICA campervan rental: It would be nearly impossible to suggest just one or two places along the coast; check out our Oregon Coast road trip itinerary for some ideas!

There are few states where you can experience the ocean and the mountains and the desert and the plains all in one trip. In Oregon, this is par for the course; the state abounds with natural beauty that is easy to access and explore. We can’t think of a better way to explore the wonders of Oregon than in a ROAMERICA campervan, and we hope you travel with us soon!

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