Portland and Oregon and the PNW

One of the perks of living in Portland is exploring Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Oregon and the Pacific Northwest is lush landscape known for its outdoor adventures, green forests, breathtaking views, dramatic coastline and snow-capped mountains. And don’t forget some of the best coffee, craft beer and wine in the country! Here in Oregon we are surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and Cascade Mountains and on a clear day you can see Mount Adams, Mount Hood, and Mount St. Helens from the balcony of Kohler Pavilion. Our climate ranges from the high desert like the Alvord Desert to literal glaciers.

Portland's unexpected attractions range from coffee shops and bookstores to gourmet restaurants and breweries. Downtown Portland is a bustling metropolitan, full of historic building, intimate coffee shops, hip bars, an impressive foodie scene, and all the things that “Keep Portland Weird”. When you need to get out of town, hiking and camping in Mount St. Helens, Mount Hood, or the Columbia River Gorge are a two hour drive. If beaches are your thing, the coastal range is three hours away. And if you need to dry out from the rain, the desert is less than a four hour drive. And Portland is home to Powell’s City of Books, the largest used and new bookstore in the world.

Check out some of our favorite places!

Residents and Faculty Exploring the PNW

Bend, Oregon is best known for its beautiful scenery and its craft breweries. Bend is at base of the Cascades, along the Deschutes River in Central Oregon. In Bend you can experience lake and rivers, mountains, hiking and skiing. Bend is a three hour drive from OHSU's Marquam Hill campus.

Learn more about Bend here

Jenna Kahn exploring Bend
Aasheesh Kanwar-Chris Deig-Timberline
Aasheesh Kanwar and Chris Deig hiking the Timberline Trail

The Timberline Trail is a 40-mile loop around Mount Hood and is one of Oregon’s most iconic and scenic trails. On the Timberline Trail you can experience lush forests, waterfalls, meadows full of wildflowers and some of the best views known to Oregonians. The Timberline Trail is a two hour drive from OHSU's Marquam Hill campus.

You can learn more about the Timberline Trail here

Kiri Cook and Eric Chang
Eric Chang and Kiri Cook on the Oregon Coast

One of the most popular places to unwind is "The Coast". The Oregon Coast is 363 miles of shoreline on the iconic Highway 101. You can relax on the beach, hike coastal trails, hike to waterfalls or visit some iconic Goonies locations. Most coastal towns are a two hour drive from OHSU's Marquam Hill campus.

The Oregon Coast is known for its whale watching. Gray whales migrate from Alaska to Baja California, Mexico and the Oregon Coast is right along their path! Oregon's two whale watching seasons are mid-December to mid-January and late February to May. Also, between May to August, colonies of puffins can be seen on Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach and along the entire Oregon coast.

You can learn more about the Oregon Coast here

Did you know there are redwoods in Oregon? In Oregon’s South Coast, just 11 miles southeast of Brookings, Oregon, you can find soaring giant redwood trees among a collection of state parks. There are quite a number of redwood trails that will help guide your way thru these giants. Brookings is a five hour drive from OHSU's Marquam Hill campus  and 6 miles north of the California border.

Learn more about visiting the redwood trees here

Nima Nabavizadeh riding thru the redwoods
Skiing in Portland
Mt. Hood Ski Bowl

Winter outdoor sports are just as important as hiking here in the Pacific Northwest. There are 12 outstanding skiing and snowboarding areas in Oregon, most within a two hour drive. In addition to skiing and snowboarding in the winter, Timberline is the only year-round ski resort in the United States. 

Learn more about our winter sports here

Hood River, Oregon is a neighboring town that is known for its outdoor activities especially windsurfing. Hood River is called the windsurfing capital of the world and is surrounded by panoramic views of Oregon and Washington. Hood River is also known for its "fruit loop", a 35-mile scenic drive that features some of Oregon's best farms, fruit stands, wineries and breweries. Hood River is less than an hour drive from OHSU's Marquam Hill campus.

Learn more about Hood River here

physics rafting in Mt Hood
The Physics Division on their annual Hood River rafting trip

One of Portland's most unique attributes is its bridges! The city of Portland boasts over 12 bridges that span the Willamette River, including the Tilikum Crossing bridge right next to OHSU's South Waterfront campus. It is rare to see all the bridges in one glance but when flying into Portland International Airport on a clear day, you can catch the rare glimpse of all 12 bridges. 

St Johns Bridge
St. John's Bridge in North Portland

Of the 12 bridges, 8 of the bridges are pedestrian and bike friendly, with the Tilikum Bridge being a pedestrian only bridge. 4 bridges, the Broadway, Burnside, Hawthorne and Morrison bridges, are actually drawbridges and lift in a variety of ways to allow boats and ships to pass thru the Willamette River.

Learn more about Portland's bridges here