Oh hello blog, it’s been a while. I’m very late on this post but better later than never.
I’ve lived in California for almost my whole life and this was my first time in Oregon after hearing about it for years.
100% lives up to the hype.
Being this was my first time to Oregon and my birthday I spent a good 5 days driving around the whole state. I started in Portland, went to Bend, did sunrise at Crater Lake National Park then made my way up the coast back to Portland. And of course I did have VooDoo Donuts, also lives up to the hype!
What To See:
If you do the same route I did I’d say start in Portland. Just outside of Portland to the East is the Columbia River Gorge and along it is a ton of waterfalls. If you plan on photographing them go early. It’s a bit of a tourist trap and by 7:30-8’ish all the spots are packed, especially Multnomah Falls. If you go to the other side of the Columbia River Gorge (WA side) I’d recommend checking out Panther Creek Falls. I didn’t make it there but it’s one of the cooler spots in the area.
Due to the fires in 2017 Oneonta Gorge is closed unfortunately while the area rehabs. Depending when you go though it might be open. I was really looking forward to seeing it too. If you’re planning a trip keep checking the status because it might just be open when you’re there.
Right in between’ish Portland and Bend is Mt. Hood, on my birthday I did the Ramona Falls hike. Round trip it was 7 miles, which almost killed me because I don’t usually hike that long but sooo worth it in the end. Highly recommend, the hike is easy to get to and overall it’s not super strenuous, just really long. With spending 45-60mins at the waterfall the whole thing took me about 6 hours total. I probably could of shaved off an hour or so if I didn’t have all my camera gear on me. If you’re staying in Portland it’s worth checking out for sure.
A little bit out of the way was my favorite waterfall of the whole trip, Proxy Falls. It’s a short 20-30 minute walk with some minor log and water jumping at the end but an absolute must visit if you’re in the area.
Crater Lake National Park
So to my surprise this was one of the coolest spots I’ve ever seen. It’s a volcano within a volcano, apparently. It’s a lot bigger in diameter than what I expected and there’s also hikes and waterfalls and other things to do… besides look at an island in the middle of a crater. This is an absolute MUST for sunrise and a no go for sunset. I’m not sure if it’s normal but I got low hanging fog rolling in over the sides and it was nothing short of epic! If you get similar conditions you won’t be able to see it at all from the lodge because it was covered in fog. The spot I shot it from was the only spot not covered in fog. If Crater Lake is on your way or on your list you absolutely must visit! You don’t need a ton of time there if you just want to see the lake but if you want to do the extra activities then budget a couple extra hours.
(^ literally behind Crater Lake)
The Oregon Coast
Definitely the highlight of the trip, especially after seeing just waterfalls for a couple days. The most epic sunsets I’ve ever seen, the best beaches I’ve ever been on and the coolest beach/forest combo’s ever. I ventured from the very bottom at the California border all the way up to Cannon Beach and I can’t say enough good things about how scenic the whole drive was. I saw Thor’s well, Natural Bridges, the Oregon Dunes, Samuel H. Bordman State Park and some general spots along the coast. Excellent food all the way up the coast as well!
Overall Oregon surpassed my expectations in every way and I absolutely want to go back, maybe even to possibly move there one day. But until then I’ll just dream about going back.
In case you’re wondering, drones are ok to use everywhere except national parks and Multnomah Falls. I also have to mention along the Coast I almost lost my drone because the signal kept cutting out. That might of been because of the ocean and tree’s cliff side, not really sure but just something to be aware of. Other than that, definitely bring one.
And to finish off this post I shot a cinematic video while I was there, super stoked how it turned out.
If you have any questions or comments leave one below. Thanks for reading!
Photos from this post are available to print here.
- Sony A7RIII
- Sony 16-35mm f/2.8 GM
- Sony 24-70mm FE f/2.8 GM
- Sony 24mm FE f/1.4 GM
- DJI Mavic 2 Pro Drone
- MindShift Gear BackLight 26L Backpack
- Formatt Hitech 100mm Filter Holder
- Formatt Hitech 3 Stop ND Filter
- Formatt Hitech 6 Stop ND Filter
- Formatt Hitech 10 Stop ND Filter
- Formatt Hitech 105mm Polarizer Filter
- Really Right Stuff BH-40
- Really Right Stuff TFC-24L
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