Road Trip To Oregon: Major Roads Going Into Oregon

I -5  This is the big and most trafficked road going into Oregon coming in from California.  Along this route there is some good scenery, but the main advantage of going this way is that you’ll go straight into Portland.  One cool feature of this route as well is that coming up from California you’ll go by Mt Shasta.  Such an impressive mountain and very scenic, but from Mt Shasta to Portland there are a few wineries I believe and a nice outlet mall popular here in Oregon the Woodburn Outlet Mall.  

Highway 101 —  This is also an impressive drive if you like driving near the coast and the nice thing about this drive is that there are nice seaside towns along the coast such as Lincoln City, Astoria, or Seaside Oregon.  Interesting thing about Astoria is that the Goonies were filmed there!  

I-84  Many people would pick coming into Oregon through I-84 as the best route because of the scenic Columbia River known as The Gorge you get to see as you pass through this highway.  Going either East or West this scenic highway is sure to impress as you get scenic cliffs, mountains, rivers, and waterfalls along this route. Not to mention stopping into Hood River, OR with its impressive restaurants and scenic drives.  If you are in the mood to drive when you get to Hood River be sure to check out the Hood River Fruit Loop, the scenic drive along the way is absolutely impressive!  Heading west from Hood River towards Portland I recommend you stop into Cascade Locks where you can catch a shuttle to Multnomah Falls.  Multnomah Falls is a must see if you are coming through Oregon. If you are in Portland you can catch the CAT bus from what is known as the Trimet station in Portland to see Multnomah without the hassle of fighting traffic.  If you are coming from the east, stop into Thunder Island Brewery in Cascade Locks and have a beer while you wait for your shuttle to take you to Multnomah. 

So Why A Road Trip To Oregon? 

The short answer is that Oregon has some of the most natural and majestic beauty in the country from Mt Hood to Multnomah Falls, Oregon boasts impressive and unforgettable scenery that makes for the perfect road trip.  Thanks for reading and I hope this guide to a road trip to Oregon will prove to be beneficial and make for an unforgettable road trip. 

Before we get into the details lets have a little look about Oregon.  Oregon is situated on the Western Coast of the United States in between Washington and California.  It has plains and forests and coastline which makes deciding where to take a roadtrip in Oregon a bit hard to make.  Lets get into some of the big decisions you may have to make before making a road trip here. 

Lets start with some of the big things here and go from there. 

Mt Hood

First, and very high on most peoples list is the impressive Mt Hood.  Mt Hood is located about an hour south of a touristic and scenic town of Hood River, Oregon.  In Hood River you will find many many great places to eat, sleep or enjoy.  

My recommendation: You may want to take Highway 35 from Hood River to Mt Hood as through this way you will come across many fruit stands for visitors along the way and see the mountain with impressive sights along the way of Mt Hood.  

This Highway 35 is also part of the Hood River Fruit Loop.  A scenic loop of about 30 to 45 minutes from Hood River to Parkdale, OR. Driving on Highway 35 part of this route will be on this “Fruit Loop”, which I am sure you will enjoy.  

Hood River To Mt Hood

Before taking this route you may want to get a brochure from the visitors office or one of the hotels on the fruit loop to know what fruit stands are there.  Most of these places have homemade jams, jellies and homemade food that are sure to impress, made locally and right here in the Hood River Valley. 

If you make it to Mt Hood from this route I hope you enjoyed the recommendation to start in Hood River and go through Highway 35 to Mt Hood for a most impressive day of driving!!  

Mount Hood

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls
Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls is the most visited natural receation site in the PNW.  This is according to the Forest Service.  It is not wonder that it is either as this waterfall is truly impressive on many levels.  Before you go, know this…..the parking is actually difficult but there are several ways around this.  

My recommendation:  Go to a nearby town of Cascade Locks and head to a place called Thunder Island Brewing.  There, you can catch a Columbia Area Transit shuttle or CAT for short and for 1 dollars you would not have to deal with the insane parking you find there. Especially during the summer months the parking is bad.  I know because I worked with parking there for a few weeks during the summer of 2021. Some people had to wait like 3 or 4 hours to get a decent parking spot.  This may be easier to get to during the winter months but know that in Spring and Summer you may want to take mass transit there.  It makes for a much more enjoyable day.  

Of note:  Not sure how in 2022 or beyond this will be but I know in 2021 during the summer you had to purchase a reservation ticket online. They don’t/didn’t have internet service there and many people waited like 3 or 4 hours in the hot sun to park only to find they didn’t have a reservation so when they walked up to the falls they were even more stressed that they didn’t have any cell service there to purchase online reservations.  

Some good ways to get to Multnomah are Sasquatch Shuttle or CAT to get to Multnomah.  

Things to keep in mind: They have several observation areas for Multnomah, a trail that goes on for miles as well.  Usually there are plenty of tourists there so you have to keep in mind that it can get crowded especially during the summer months.  

Good things to know about Multnomah: 

If you want good pictures get there early or late.  If you get there anytime in the spring or summer you may want to avoid the crowds which are pretty bad at peak times like around noon to 4pm.  

A note on the weather. Be sure to check snow conditions whether you are going to Mt Hood or wherever in Oregon you go especially if you are coming in fall or winter months.  In particular I-84 going along the Columbia River can be icy and filled with snow in the winter months to make sure to check conditions before you come to Oregon.  Oregon is unique in that during winter you need to check for snow and during summer fires are a hazard with our forests so always be alert for weather conditions. As an added note on conditions, the I-84 along the Columbia River Gorge scenic drive it is very windy!!  There is a reason Hood River is known as the windsurfing capital of the world it is windy here.  Some gusts have been known to take drivers by surprise so always keep both hands on the steering wheel and be alert about the gusts of wind along I-84. 

I hope you have enjoyed this article on a road trip to Oregon!   Please check out some of my other articles for more information on other sites here!  


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