There’s a reason why Oregonians want people to visit, but when vacation is over, for them to go back home. It doesn’t take much to understand why. Just take a trip on one of the state’s All-American Roads that covers some of the most beautiful sights in all the world, and then ask yourself one question, “Why wouldn’t Oregonians want this all to themselves?”
Simply put, Oregon is known as God’s Country for a reason. So, get your map out, hop in your car, and let’s find out why the locals want their state, all to themselves.
With being surrounded with so much natural beauty that takes people from the coast to the mountains to the vineyards and to the rivers all within just a few hours of each other, Oregon isn’t also known as God’s Country for nothing.
Experiencing Oregon From The Seat Of Your Car
Did you know that the State of Oregon has more byways and tour routes than any other state in America? That’s right, anyone can have a front row seat to what makes Oregon so extraordinarily beautiful by hopping in their cars, motorcycles, or even bicycles on any one of these unique byways and routes.
What Is A Byway?
A byway is a less-traveled side road.
What Makes An Official Scenic Byway?
The United States Department of Transportation has provided a list of intrinsic qualities that a byway must have to be considered a National Scenic Byway or as an All-American Road. Here is the list of intrinsic qualities:
- Scenic Quality
- Natural Quality
- Historic Quality
- Cultural Quality
- Archeological Quality
- Recreational Quality
In just reading through this list of intrinsic qualities, is it me, or does this list seem like it was created with Oregon in mind? But I digress.
To be eligible to attain the status of being a National Scenic Byway, the passage must first be designated as a state scenic byway as well as possess at least one of the above aforementioned intrinsic qualities. To be designated as an All-American Road, one must possess at least two of these six qualities.
How Many Nationally Recognized Byways Does Oregon Have?
The State of Oregon has four scenic byways that have been honored with the title of being an All-American Road and in addition, five more that are officially recognized as National Scenic Byways. Let’s take a quick tour on Oregon’s nationally recognized All-American Roads.
Here Are Oregon’s All-American Roads
Hells Canyon Scenic Byway
In this scenic byway, which is a 208-mile horseshoe route that is in the northeast corner of Oregon, visitors will have a front row seat to some pretty incredible scenery. As a matter of fact, did you know that Hells Canyon is America’s deepest river gorge? How’s that for starters on what makes the Hells Canyon Scenic Byway a must-see experience? Also starring on this route is one of Oregon’s 7 wonders, the Wallowa Mountains, also known as “Little Switzerland” to many for its resemblance to the famous Swiss Alps.
Historic Columbia River Highway Scenic Byway
To know what the star of this stretch of road is, one must look no further than the name itself. For anyone who has traveled along the Historic Columbia River Highway, it’s hard to compete with something that began forming anywhere from 12 to 17 million years ago. Simply put, the grandeur of the Columbia River Gorge is flat-out, one of the BEST road trips in the entire state.
But, not to be out done with Gorge, the historic Columbia River Highway also boasts one of Oregon’s favorite tourist destinations in Multnomah Falls.
Pacific Coast Scenic Byway
The Pacific Coast Scenic Byway stretches 363 miles from border to border. Oregon’s coast is also, and obviously, one of the state’s 7 wonders. This byway is best to take slow to ensure every beach, crashing wave, headland, tide pool or even salt water taffy is thoroughly enjoyed. In all, you’ll want to give yourself upwards of 12 hours to enjoy this route, which can easily be broken into four different sections that begin in Astoria and end in the small town of Brookings.
Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway
This awesome 500 mile journey will take you from volcano to volcano and is actually a shared All-American Road with California. Starting at Crater Lake, the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway will wind its way past Mt. Shasta all the way to Lake Almanor, which is located just miles from the active geothermal features at Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Of course, these are merely brief glimpses of each of Oregon’s All-American Roads. In future articles, we’ll go more in-depth. But, in just the descriptions alone, it’s not hard to see why Oregon is truly indeed, God’s Country.
And, to be honest, we actually do understand why people come to Oregon and never want to leave. Who wouldn’t? Where else can you experience all of this natural beauty and still make it home to bed (your very own bed) that same night?
Oh yes, God’s Country. That’s where.
So, who’s ready for a road trip? We are!