When most people think of Oregon, they think of Portland. But many do not know that Central Oregon is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the state. If you’re looking for a road trip that will take your breath away, look no further than the Most scenic route from Portland to bend.
This route will take you through the majestic Columbia River Gorge, past waterfalls and forests of Douglas fir and Western red cedar. You’ll also experience the stunning views of Mount Hood, Mount Saint Helens and Mount Adams.
Travelers are welcome to discover the numerous natural and artificial treasures Oregon offers by taking the scenic route from Portland to Bend. A weekend road trip from Portland to Bend, Oregon, should be on your itinerary if you’re traveling to the Pacific Northwest. Many passengers flying into PDX in Portland, OR, are ultimately bound for Bend, OR. From there, it won’t take more than three hours to travel from Portland to Bend (or vice versa). There are several ways to go from Portland to BendThe I-84 to US-26 travels through the Columbia River Gorge to Hood River, where you’ll take the 35 to US-26 East before continuing on US-97 South to Bend. This route requires more time and travel than the lower, more direct path.
You will save time and gas money by taking the US-26 directly to Bend from Portland. You won’t pass through the Columbia River Gorge and Hood River, but Mount Hood and everything else you will. It is among the most beautiful drives. You can travel this beautiful 251 miles route in 5 hours and 48 minutes using about $58.78 of fuel.
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29 minutes — 16 miles
One of the top 14 cities in the United States is Portland. You might pass through this beautiful city as you make your way towards Bend. Found in Portland is Washington Park. It’s not only the largest park in the town, but it also includes attractions like the Oregon Zoo, Portland Children’s Museum, and the World Forestry Center. But it just doesn’t seem fair to declare Washington Park as Portland’s most beautiful location. The park’s pathways consist of paved roads, stairs, and trails that wind through a forest of tall fir trees and broad open meadows. They also pass reflecting pools once the city’s water reservoirs and provide panoramic views. Mount Tabor, perched atop a former volcanic cinder cone, is a favorite of hikers, stroller-pushers, bikers, runners, and even soapbox racers.
1 hour 41 minutes — 80 miles
With an elevation of 11,240 feet, Mount Hood is the fourth-tallest mountain in the Cascade Range and the highest point in Oregon. The volcano is regarded as potentially active and is most likely the next to erupt in Oregon. Some people think it is dormant because it hasn’t exploded in over a thousand years. If you have time, you may take a trip up to Timberline for lunch and photo opportunities. Driving through the Mount Hood picturesque area will take 1 hour and 41 minutes.
From Gresham, you can start driving on US-26. You will travel through a region full of farmlands as you leave Gresham. Depending on the season, visit one of the “pick your own” farms or roadside kiosks to sample apples, berries, peaches, and other fruits. When you get to Sandy, make a pit stop to check out its historical buildings or go swimming at Dodge Park in the Sandy River. As you ascend into the Cascades after leaving Sandy, you’ll notice that the scenery changes. Consider making a left-right onto Main Park Road at the fourteen-mile mark to access the Wildwood Recreation Area, where you may go hiking, have a picnic, and, in the spring and fall, observe salmon and trout in the Salmon River.
Still Creek Road
1 hour 12 minutes — 45 miles
Still, Creek Road is an alternate route to US-26 that passes through the woodland. The course is two miles long from the Mount Hood National Forest’s east gate, where you will turn south. Turn left onto Chimney Rock Road after traveling on Still Creek Road for 12 miles, then turn left onto East Perry Vickers Road to reach Mount Hood Highway (US-26). This trail offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing options in the winter. Many people enjoy traveling by bicycle and on foot. The road becomes dirt after a few miles. If you keep on the road, you’ll arrive at Trillium Lake’s rear side. Once there, signage will direct you to the lake.
You can locate places to stop off the road and out of the way as you drive to get views of the charming little creek. This lovely brook is lined with ferns and moss. As you explore this location, take care to protect the landscape. It is used frequently, and you may regrettably see wear and tear. Gary Randall is a certified guide and outfitter for the Columbia River Gorge, and the US Forest Service has permitted him to lead tours and classes there. Gary has spent his entire life in and around the gorge. He is familiar with the area’s attractions and dangers: the views and picturesque locations for the perfect snap.
Forest Road 43
39 minutes — 17 miles
Another beautiful road connecting Portland and Bend is called Forest Road. It is only 17 miles, and the trip takes about 39 minutes. You may get there by continuing on OR-26 to Cedar Burn Road, a lovely side excursion. You can find the Smith rock on the way. Lava flowing from Mount Bachelor sculpted central Oregon. The most striking remnant of those ancient flows is this towering rock in the shape of a castle, which towers half a mile above the river’s twisting course. Smith Rock is ideal for rock climbing because of its steep and pocked volcanic rock faces; this is where the idea to pull oneself up a cliff for amusement and create the modern sport of rock climbing first emerged. There is a vast network of hiking paths in the canyons, some of which require light rock climbing.
1 hour 47 minutes — 93 mi
Arrive in Bend. In this high desert town, you can find one of the biggest ski resorts in America, dozens of brewpubs, and the Deschutes River. Right in the middle of the city, a whitewater park where you can dip your oars or your feet has its flow provided by that river. There is much to discover here, but if you want to shop and eat, start in the Old Mill District. Bend is a popular location for stargazing because of its bright skies and high elevation. The serious observatory where astronomers are revealing new stars is located just south of the city and is well worth a visit. Astronomers are also entirely devoted to welcoming visitors on summer weekends.
All year long, Bend, Oregon, is a veritable outdoor paradise. While winters are excellent for skiing or snowboarding on Mt. Bachelor summers are ideal for hiking, bicycling, rock climbing, and water sports. It’s the pinnacle of outdoor experience, and don’t forget to sample some craft beer! It’s unbelievable how much fun you can have here, in all seriousness.
There is something for everyone along the scenic route from Portland to bend because of the abundance of distinctive natural and historical monuments. Visitors are welcome to discover Oregon’s unique landscapes and landmarks. While many stations along the route are popular with tourists, some are kept a secret by the locals. You must include this as one of your top quick excursions on your bucket list.