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In Car Travel Adventures


Travel Expert and the Author of "The Best Adventures Close to Portland, Oregon", Adam Sawyer talked about fun, local in car travel adventures. Click here for more information about Adam.

As reopening begins, we all want to alleviate our collective cabin fever. However, it’s important to do so in a responsible way. A great option is to take a scenic road trip that affords numerous opportunities along the route to take in a view, stretch the legs a little, and get some fresh air. If certain spots are looking a little too crowded, continue onto the next potential stop. There are plenty of chances and ample scenery along all of these routes.

Please be respectful and courteous while traveling to or through these communities. At any stops you might make along the way, please practice applicable public health recommendations including social distancing and face masks.

Northwest Trek Wild Drive

  • Northwest Trek just announced their Wild Drive experience, which gives everyone in your family a window seat to see the bison families, herds of Roosevelt elk, moose, mountain goats, and longhorn sheep in the Free-Roaming Area.
  • From the comfort of your own vehicle, a Northwest Trek naturalist uses a live-audio app to guide you and your caravan through the forests, plains, and wetlands of the 435-acre area. Previously, the roads through the Free-Roaming area were only open to the park's trams.
  • The park itself remains temporarily closed, so tours are available to the public by pre-scheduled appointment only beginning May 22, and with guidelines in place to keep everyone safe and healthy. The tour takes 1 hour and is available to the public at $80.

Columbia River Gorge

  • Take I-84 to the Dalles. Cross over into Washington and come back along Hwy 14. Along the way enjoy viewpoints and leg stretches at:
  • The Historic Highway is closed between Bridal Veil and Ainsworth State Park. However, you can still visit the Portland Women’s Forum. Bridge of the Gods, Mosier Plateau, Stonehenge Memorial, Beacon Rock, and Cape Horn.

Mt. Hood Loop

  • Take I-84 to Hood River. Drive Hwy 35 up to Hwy 26, around Mt. Hood and back to Portland. Along the way:
  • Portland Women’s Forum, Bridge of the Gods, Panorama Point, White River, Government Camp, Jonsrud Viewpoint.

Upper Columbia River Loop

  • Take Hwy 30 to Astoria. Cross into Washington and drive through or on Long Beach. Take Hwy 4 to I-5 and back down to Portland. Along the way:
  • Sauvie Island, Astoria, Long Beach - Drive along the beach. Please see this page for regulations and recommendations. Willapa National Wildlife Refuge (Willapa Art Trail & Teal Slough), Julia Butler Hansen NWR Wildlife Drive, Ridgefield National Wildlife Reserve.

North Coast Loop

  • Take Hwy 26 west to Hwy 6 to Tillamook. Take Hwy 101 north to Hwy 26 and home. Along the Way:
  • Bridge Creek Falls, Tillamook, Kilchis Point Reserve, North Coast Cannon Beach Area, Four County Point Hike, Sunset Rest Area (Steam Donkey Trail).