Oregon has a lot of natural beauty to explore, with an adventure waiting at every turn. However, with so many national and state parks to discover, it's hard to know which ones to visit first.
Thankfully, there are several that always get nothing but rave reviews when it comes to how awestruck the scenery and serenity leave visitors.
Here are the ones we just couldn't step away from:
Crater Lake National Park
Crater lake is striking in how magnificent it is. This crystal blue lake of water collected at the top of a volcano offers a rich green habitat for local wildlife, including a multitude of birds. But don't let the sereneness of the surface deceive you. At a depth of 1,943 feet, this is the deepest lake in the entire country, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Located at the west end of the park, Wizard Island may be one of the most stunning and iconic parts, so don't miss out while visiting. It is a volcanic cinder cone which has formed perfectly into an island.
Silver Falls State Park
This is Oregon's largest state park, with 9,000 acres and plenty of nature to explore for a real park adventure. Easily accessible for anyone staying in the state's capital, it is located just twenty miles east of the city of Salem.
The state park has 35 miles of marked trails within it, according to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department. If you have always wanted to adventure behind a waterfall, make sure to take the Trail of Ten Falls for the opportunity to see the famous South Falls from behind the massive curtain of water.
Angel's Rest Trailhead
Avid hikers will love trail #415, which terminates at Angel's Rest and promises to offer a workout. The trail incline is roughly 10-15%, according to the Forest Service. Even if hiking isn't your thing, the spectacular views at the top will make it worth the roughly 8-mile trek.
At Angel's Rest, there is the opportunity to see firsthand a stunning 270-degree view of the Gorge and other local landmarks.
John Day Fossil Beds National Monument
Every adventure should include a stop by this location, especially for anyone with a love of archeology. According to the National Park Service, over 40 million years of history and evolution are exposed in the layers of these breathtaking rock formations.
While visiting the John Day Fossil Hills, stop by the Painted Hills area for a stunning view with vibrant colors, as well as more trails and fossils to explore.
Minam State Recreation Area
The Minam State Recreation Area is the true description of calm and peaceful. The sounds of the river, chirping birds, and buzzing insects fill the air. The rolling hills and greenery bring it all together.
For the perfect moment of bliss in nature, spend some time along the Wallowa River within the recreation area. Your soul will thank you.