5 Oregon Scenic Places You Definitely Want to Visit this Spring

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Spring comes to Oregon earlier than some parts of the country, making it a fine time to visit some of the Oregon scenic places that are cluttering up your bucket list. If you’re looking for ways to enjoy Oregon in spring, we have 5 of the most scenic places that are sure to knock your socks off. So, pull out your travel planner and start filling it with these great Oregon spring break ideas or thoughts for summer travel.

Koosah and Sahalie Falls: An Oregon Scenic Place Bucket List Destination

The hike around Koosah and Sahalie falls is one of the Oregon destinations to day dream about, with twists, turns, dips, and inclines. Most surprisingly, it’s also a place where intense daredevils practice their craft.

slackliner resting on his line in front of Sahalie  Falls in Oregon
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On a warm and typical day at the falls, you can expect to find slackliners gathering near the top awaiting their turn to slide across or walk the thin ribbon cord. The view from the line is breathtaking, but not for the faint of heart as the adventurers certainly know their sport.

For the rest of us, the over two and a half mile hike begins near Sahalie Falls. The trail leads to the top for an up-close and personal view of the rushing water. It then meanders up the river  and around to the other side before leading you down the hill to the top of Koosah Falls.

The trail winds you through large fir trees with scents that should be bottled and inserted into a candle. Once you pass a slightly obstructed side view of Koosah falls, the trail continues to follow the decline until you reach the Carmen Reservoir.

Koosah Falls seen through the trees
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This stunning hike loops back across the river and to the bottom of both Koosah and Sahalie Falls before returning you to the parking lot. At the bottom of Koosah falls, you may even see some crazy cliff jumpers plummeting into the cold water at the base.

The Sahalie and Koosah falls trails provide an enjoyable way to take in views of one of the most scenic places in Oregon. The trail features moderate terrain and plenty of trees to provide shade during a warm Oregon spring day.

Road Tripping the Over the River and Through the Woods Scenic Byway

over river through woods
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If spring fever has you wanting to get out, but the chilly air is encouraging you to lounge in your pajamas all day, we have a solution. Take a road trip on the Over the River and Through the Woods Scenic Byway.

The byway begins in Brownsville but soon climbs into the Willamette National Forest. This is where the real fun begins as snow peaks and raging rivers draw you ever further into your journey.

You’ll travel through Old Growth Forest and witness tremendous views of Jumpoff Joe, Green Mountain and Iron Mountain. Your journey peaks at Tombstone Pass, after summiting to an elevation of 4,241 feet. From here, it’s downhill into the charming town of Sisters. It’s a great spot to grab a bite to eat before heading back home or adventuring onward.

Silver Creek Falls- The Oregon Spring Waterfall Destination

One of our best springtime Oregon destinations is Silver Falls trail. What better way is there to burn off all those snacks you’ve eaten over the cold winter months than to take the 7 mile ten waterfalls hike?.

Oregon spring rainfall cascadies in front of a large cavern at Silver Falls, one our favorite Oregon scenic places.
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Silver Falls State Park is home to 10 waterfalls, hiking, picnicking, camping, horseback riding areas, and youth camps. Aside from the 7 mile waterfall trails, shorter loops and out and back trails will take you directly to many of the falls. In addition, 35 additional miles of trails crisscross around the state park and can be accessed by hikers, horses, dogs, and bikes.

View of waterfall from behind at Silver Falls State Park, one of the most scenic places in Oregon
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If you’re looking for spring break ideas, there are few scenic places in Oregon that pack this kind of punch. The Silver Falls lodge even offers rooms and dining options, so hwy not make it a multi-day experience.

Where to Go for the Ultimate Scenic Drive this Oregon Spring

Zumwalt Prairie with blue sky and green grasses is one of the most beautiful Oregon scenic places.
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© Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

Did you know Oregon had a perfectly intact grassland near a vast canyon? Neither did we.

If you’re wondering where to go for a scenic drive, The Zumwalt prairie is one of the most scenic places in eastern Oregon just 24 miles from Joseph. During the late Oregon spring, the prairie features tall grasses which sway in the breeze among brightly colored wildflowers.

Zumwalt Prairie with Oregon spring wildflowers in front and range fenceland in the background
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© Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

The Buckhorn Lookout provides vast canyon views that will make you want to stop and sit for a while. Actually, bringing a picnic lunch is highly recommended for this trip.

A variety of wildlife can also be seen at this Oregon destination. On this trip keep your eyes peeled for elk, cougars, eagles, coyotes, bobcats and more.

The road through the prairie and up to the lookout can get a little rough, so it is best to drive slowly and take a vehicle with great tires and good ground clearance. The trip will take you far out away from civilization, so be sure to fill up your fuel tank, as well as your food and water rations before taking the trip.

S2G Oregon Merch 2 Photo Collage
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Thompson Mills- One of Oregon’s Historical Scenic Places

Thompson Mills is one of the most unique places to visit in Oregon. Built in 1858, this destination is located in Shedd Oregon, at the site of what used to be the town of Boston. In 1871, the Oregon California railroad laid its tracks just a mile from the mill. Soon after, the residents abandoned the town and relocated to the tracks, in what is now called Shedd, and the town of Boston disappeared overnight.

Thompson Mills with white silos and green grass is a historic Oregon destination
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Thompson Flouring Mills stood as a staple to the small Oregon community for many years, and saw several additions and expansions. By the mid 40’s the mill had stopped processing flour and instead switched to producing animal feed until the closure in 2002.The mill building now stands alone, with just the Mill Keepers house by its side.

Today, the Mill is an enjoyable and relaxing Oregon spring destination. With many outdoor experiences, it’s definitely best to visit during a sunny late spring day.

This underrated scenic place offers guided tours hosted by the rangers who are stationed there. The tours outline the history of the Thompson Mills, as well as how the mill works. For a couple short minutes, your tour guide will power up a small section of the mill to showcase its function as well as previous working conditions.The mill used to be water powered, but today, the demonstrations use electricity.

Interior of Thomsom Mills
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Outbuildings outside the Mill provide opportunities for additional exploration, as do the dam and mill pond. The nearby Mill Keeper’s house is not open for visitors, but we highly recommend taking a look at the architecture on the exterior.

Scattered about the lawns, you will find chickens and ducks begging for food. Small vending machines dispense poultry treats for just a quarter, so be sure to bring some change!

Thompson Mills provides a great opportunity to learn about local history in an immersive way. It’s also a great place to stop and enjoy a warm spring day with your family.

Get Dreaming Today

Now that we’ve provided you with travel inspiration for some of Oregon’s scenic destinations, be sure to bookmark this page for easy reference once it’s time to get out and explore again.

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Ali Patton

Ali is a travel blogger for Seconds to Go, where she shares her experiences traveling the U.S. with her co-blogger Mom, Kathleen. She is also an avid Disney travel enthusiast, and with multiple Disney World trips under her belt, is a knoweldgeable resource for all things related to Disney vacations. Ali can be found managing the Seconds to Go social media accounts as well as the famed Double Z Farm pages on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.

Thanks for Joining Our Adventure

Kathleen Hesketh and Ali Patton, mother daughter travel bloggers

We're Kat and Ali, a pair of mother-daughter travel bloggers exploring the U.S. We're sharing our experiences, tips and insights to help you more easily get out and explore the beautiful landscapes and places of this nation.


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