Oregon is a state that is rich in history and culture. From stunning natural wonders to cultural landmarks, there are countless hidden gems just waiting to be uncovered. Whether you’re a history buff or simply looking for a unique vacation destination, the following historical sites are must-sees on your next trip to Oregon.
1. The Oregon Trail
The Oregon Trail is one of the most famous landmarks in American history. The trail was a 2,000-mile route that pioneers traveled from Missouri to Oregon in the mid-1800s. Today, you can still see remnants of the trail, including wagon ruts, historic landmarks, and interpretive centers. The National Oregon/California Trail Center in Baker City is a great place to start your journey and learn about the pioneers who traveled the trail.
2. Timberline Lodge
Located on the slopes of Mount Hood, Timberline Lodge is a National Historic Landmark that was built in the 1930s. The lodge was constructed as part of a Works Progress Administration project during the Great Depression, and it is now a popular ski resort and wedding venue. The lodge features stunning architecture, including hand-carved furniture and intricate stonework. Visitors can take tours of the lodge and learn about its history, or enjoy skiing, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
3. Fort Stevens State Park
Fort Stevens State Park is located on the Oregon coast and was once a military installation during the Civil War and World War II. Today, the park is a popular destination for camping, hiking, and beach activities. Visitors can explore the fort’s underground tunnels, gun batteries, and historic buildings, or take a bike ride along the park’s scenic trails.
4. Crater Lake National Park
Crater Lake National Park is home to one of the most stunning natural wonders in the United States. The park features a deep blue lake that was formed by a volcanic eruption nearly 8,000 years ago. Visitors can explore the park’s hiking trails, take a boat tour of the lake, or simply soak in the breathtaking views from the park’s many overlooks. The park also features historic lodges and a visitor center where you can learn about the park’s geology and history.
5. Pendleton Underground Tours
Pendleton Underground Tours takes visitors on a journey through the city’s underground tunnels, which were once used for everything from opium dens to illegal gambling. The tours offer a glimpse into the city’s colorful past and provide a unique perspective on the history of the American West. Visitors can learn about the Chinese immigrants who worked in the city’s brothels, the bootleggers who smuggled alcohol during Prohibition, and other fascinating stories from Pendleton’s past.
6. The John Day Fossil Beds
The John Day Fossil Beds are a series of three fossil sites in eastern Oregon that feature some of the most significant fossil deposits in the world. The sites contain fossils that date back millions of years, including plants, animals, and even prehistoric horses. Visitors can take guided tours of the fossil sites, or explore on their own. The park also features hiking trails and interpretive centers where you can learn about the area’s geology and paleontology.
7. The Oregon Vortex
The Oregon Vortex is a mysterious natural phenomenon that has baffled scientists and visitors for decades. The area features a gravitational anomaly that causes objects to appear to roll uphill, and people to appear to grow or shrink in size. Visitors can take tours of the area and learn about the theories behind the phenomenon, or simply marvel at the strange and inexplicable events that occur there.
Oregon is a state that is full of hidden gems, and these historical sites are just a few of the many must-see destinations. Whether you’re interested in the history of the American West, natural wonders, or mysterious phenomena, Oregon has something for everyone. So pack your bags and set out on an adventure to uncover the state’s hidden treasures.