Many Of The Oregon State Parks Are Located On The Dramatic Pacific Coast
The name Oregon conjures up an image of mountains covered with majestic pine forests and fast flowing rivers teeming with fat salmon.
This image is not far from the truth and was the reason why so many early pioneers made the hard journey west along the famous Oregon Trail.
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The state of Oregon is situated in the north-western part of the United States.
It is rightly famous for its dramatic, windswept coast on the Pacific Ocean.
Oregon has California as its southern neighbor while to the north lies the state of Washington.
Chetco Point, Oregon
Oregon is separated from Washington by the Columbia River which forms a large part of the state border. There are a number of Oregon State Parks located along this very scenic waterway. They include Guy W.Talbot State Park, Mayer State Park and Rooster Rock State Park.
Although the image of vast pine forests is a reality the landscape of Oregon is extremely varied and includes lush rainforest and barren desert.
This variation tends to occur in a west to east direction, with the high desert plains being located toward the eastern part of Oregon in the rainshadow of the Cascade Range of mountains.
Found in this high desert area is one of the most notable of the Oregon State Parks. This is Smith Rock State Park which has been the location for a number of movies especially the great John Wayne western, "Rooster Cogburn." Smith Rock is also considered to have some of the most challenging rock climbing routes in the whole of America.
Smith Rock State Park
Oregon is also the home to four of the tallest mountains in the United States with Mount Hood at 11,249 feet being the highest point in the state.
The Cascade Range, which runs north to south down the length of Oregon, are a range of volcanic mountains and is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. The beautiful Cascadia State Park is situated in this wonderful mountain range and features superb wooded scenery as well as a 150 feet high waterfall.
The Spectacular Scenery Of Cascadia State Park
Although the forests and mountains of Oregon are undoubtedly extremely attractive, perhaps the most dramatic geographical feature of the state is its wild, windswept coastline.
There are over 360 miles of headlands, coves and beaches backed by wooded hills. Out to sea you can often sight sea lions, whales and numerous varieties of sea birds while in the distance fishing boats move slowly over the horizon.
Oregon State Parks such as Humbug Mountain State Park, Port Orford Heads State Park, Ecola State Park and Oswald West State Park showcase the incredible beauty and quality of this coast.
Smuggler Cove At Oswald West State Park
Other interesting Oregon State Parks include the state capitol building in Salem. Also Willamette Mission State Park which is on the site of an old mission built in 1834 to convert Native Americans to Christianity and which is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Silver Falls State Park is the largest of the state parks in Oregon and has ten waterfalls, the 177 feet of the South Falls being the most spectacular.
Here is a map of Oregon