Oregon Road Trips

The Most Scenic Drives in Oregon

From Route 66 all the way to The Loneliest Road, the United States is filled with fantastic road trips that have long been alluring travellers out onto the open road. With so many different routes to take, it’s near impossible to decide on just one road trip to take. These Oregon road trips are a great starting point for an adventure with friends.

For an off-the-grid getaway, Oregon is the perfect place, scenic routes that pass through secret mountains, prairies, rivers and lakes.

The Best Oregon Road Trips

1. Hells Canyon Scenic Byway

Hells Canyon Scenic Byway offers breathtaking views of the canyon while winding its way along the east side of the massive rift that separates Idaho from neighbouring Oregon. Towering cliffs of black and green basalt hang high above the Snake River and its sandy beaches. Plan ahead – you’ll find stretches of more than 80 miles without gas and with few services!

Distance: 208 miles.

Route highlights: Elgin; Joseph; Hell’s Canyon Overlook.

When to do it: June – October.

Hit the Highway to Hells Canyon - Travel Oregon

2. Blue Mountain Scenic Byway

This this byway is known for its diverse landscape: charming towns, a majestic national forest, rocky peaks, and wild rivers. The southern (first) half of the route climbs through a majestic national forest, while the northern (second) half is dotted with charming towns. The route has an amazing grand finale: suddenly arriving at Columbia River.

Distance: 145 miles.

Route highlights: Heppner; Willow Creek; Umatilla National Forest.

When to do it: April – November (winter snow can cause road closures).

3. Diamond Loop

As you drive along the Diamond Loop Back Country Byway, you will find a beautiful landscape of high desert terrains. From the deep blues of mountain vistas and the dusky hills, to the red canyons and the grassy reaches of marshes and valleys, there’s miles of scenic adventure waiting for you.

Distance: 69 miles.

Route highlights: Diamond Craters Outstanding Natural Area; Peter French Round Barn.

When to do it: Spring – Fall.

Diamond Craters Outstanding Natural Area | Summer afternoon … | Flickr

4. Oregon Outback Scenic Byway

This 171-mile road stretches southeast from Highway 97 outside of La Pine through some of Oregon’s most wild landscapes and remote communities, until it reaches Oregon’s southern border. Visitors often say it looks like Australia’s Outback, with wide-open spaces and rocky outcrops.

Distance: 171 miles.

Route highlights: Fort Rock; Paulina Marsh; Picture Rock Pass; Summer Lake.

When to do it: Spring – Fall.

Travel Southern Oregon | Driving the Oregon Outback Scenic Byway

5. Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway

One of only 42 All American Roads in the Nation, the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway connects Lassen Volcanic National Park in northern California to Crater Lake in southern Oregon. The Oregon section is stunning, passing through pristine mountain lakes and small western towns rich with history.

Distance: 140 miles.

Route highlights: Sinnott Memorial Overlook; Klamath Falls; Crater Lake;

When to do it: Spring – Fall.

Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway - Travel Oregon

6. The Vineyard and Valley Route

Get out of Portland and enjoy this near 60-mile drive through Washington County, this road switches from historic site to scenic vista, showing off Tualatin Valley’s wineries and farms, with staggering views of the Cascade Mountains. Stop off at the many wineries, farms and—when in season—produce stands along the route.

Distance: 57 miles.

Route highlights: Montinore Estate; Gales Creek; Tualatin Valley.

When to do it: Year-round.

Vineyard and Valley Scenic Tour Route | The Official Guide to Portland

7. High Desert Discovery Scenic Byway

From desert to mountain, this is Oregon’s frontier country: basically, Oregon’s Wild West. Travelling through remote towns, green marshlands, winding rivers and ranches, you’ll end up at Catlow Rim, part of the Steens Mountain Wilderness. You can sometimes spot bighorn sheep and the region’s wild horse herds along this stretch of road.

Distance: 127 miles.

Route highlights: Burns; Malheur National Wildlife Refuge; Frenchglen; Catlow Valley.

When to do it: April – October.

Reining in the Wild Horse Crisis

If you are spending time in the state check out The 25 Best Coffee Shops In Oregon.