The best time to visit Oregon is between June and September when the weather is dry and sunny. The other months of the year can be enjoyable times to visit Oregon as well if skiing and avoiding crowds are priorities on your travel itinerary.
There are quite a few factors to take into consideration when deciding when to visit Oregon. As a west coast local, I’ve visited Oregon every season and am here to help lay to rest all Oregon travel inquiries.
When to visit the Pacific Northwestern state is just as important as choosing what things to do in Oregon. Read ahead to learn when to visit Oregon for top activities like exploring the Oregon Coast, skiing or hiking Mount Hood, or wine tasting in Willamette Valley.
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When is the Best Time to Visit Oregon?
Generally speaking, Oregon experiences its driest weather from June-September. The summer months are the typical peak tourist season in Oregon although the national forests experience heavy crowds in the winter months.
The best time to visit Oregon has a more complex answer than one would think. When to visit depends on personal itineraries and what Oregon activities travelers have in mind. Let’s get into specifics:
When to Visit Oregon for Good Weather
Typically, June-September are the warmest and driest months in Oregon. The hottest month in Oregon is July, with temperatures regularly averaging 82°F. Temperatures drop with the transition into fall but don’t reach peak chill until mid-winter.
The best time to visit Oregon for the first time and for outdoor activities is in July when there’s a very minimal chance of wet weather. Most snow has thawed from mountain trails at this time and the Oregon Coast breeze feels pleasant rather than numbing.
Late summer is also the best time to visit Portland for exploring the big city. This way, you can explore the multitude of fun things to do in Portland without having to worry about an unexpected downpour.
January-March is the best time to visit Oregon if you’re planning on cross-country skiing or snowboarding in the Cascade Mountains. There are fewer tourist crowds at this time and the cold weather retains perfect snow conditions all winter long.
When to Visit Oregon for Cheap Prices
Visit Oregon in the off-season winter months to save some money on your vacation. The summer months of June-September are the peak tourist months and are the most expensive. Most Oregon national parks and monuments are overcrowded at this time and hotels are typically booked and triple the price.
Winter invites travelers on a budget. Not only are there far fewer tourist crowds but also more deals available. Save money on your Oregon accommodation and tour packages in the winter if you aren’t afraid of below-freezing temperatures.
Car rentals will also be discounted at this time and I highly recommend renting a four-wheel-drive vehicle to easily navigate the winter road conditions. I’ve rented both a Subaru and a truck with Discover Cars in Oregon and had no problems driving in the winter.
When to Visit Oregon for Families and Kids
Visit Oregon with your family and children in late June or July, when the weather is the most agreeable and most Oregon summer events are in full swing. This is the best time to experience the best of Oregon, from the sunny beaches to fun city events like the Portland Rose Festival.
Other fun summer activities that are worth checking out with your family include the summer Kite Festival and the Hood River Lavender Daze Festival.
Summer is also the best time for camping in Oregon. Take the kids to top campsites like Mazama Campground in Crater Lake National Park or along the coast at Cannon Beach RV Resort.
When to Visit Oregon to Avoid Crowds
Oregon doesn’t get as crowded as some of the nearby top destinations in Washington but can experience overcrowding at attractions (like Crater Lake) in the summer. Visit Oregon in the winter if avoiding crowds is your biggest travel priority.
You’ll still be able to find fun attractions in the non-peak months like opening ski day on Mt. Hood, spa days in Central Oregon, and viewing the famous Multnomah Falls without an hour wait time.
I recommend contacting events beforehand if crowds are an issue for you to get an estimate on the expected headcount.
When to Visit Oregon to Explore the Coast
Exploring the coast from Southern Oregon to the Washington border is one of my favorite activities to do in the state. Wild forests meet pristine beaches along Oregon’s coast, a sight that’s most comfortable to view in the summertime.
Summer may be the peak season along the Oregon coastline but for a good reason. Temperatures during other parts of the year are simply too cold to dip in the coastal waters and can be unpleasant when even just visiting the beach fully clothed.
The best time to visit Oregon for the coast is in July-early September. Lounge about the sandy beaches on the Pacific Ocean at this time under the hot Pacific Northwest UV rays.
When to Visit Oregon for Skiing and Snowboarding
The best time to visit Oregon for winter sports is in January-March. Skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and mountaineering are among the top activities to do during a blizzardous winter in Oregon.
Visitors can expect snow all winter long but the below-freezing temperatures of January-March keep the snow frozen and in prime condition for snow sports. I recommend visiting Mount Hood National Forest, one of the most popular places to experience a full ski season in the “Beaver State.”
Stay at Timberline Lodge right at the base of Oregon’s highest peak for early access to the mountain. Staying here is also the best way to meet other winter sports enthusiasts.
Oregon Travel Seasons
- 🌳 Columbia River Gorge – Explore dense wilderness only minutes outside of Portland. Summer is the best time to camp along Oregon’s mightiest river with the whole family, a fishing pole, and your hiking shoes.
- 🍷 Wine tasting in Willamette Valley – Calling all wine connoisseurs! Summer beckons wine enthusiasts to Central Oregon for wine tasting among the pines in the Willamette Valley. Wine tasting is available year-round, but is best experienced with undisrupted valley views under the clear summer skies.
- 🏞️ Crater Lake National Park – Crater Lake is easily the most visited destination in Oregon. As the state’s sole national park, it’s a definite must-see. Visit in the summer to fully explore the park in all its glory- without road closures or ice on the trails.
- 🎃 Smith Rock Pumpkins – Go for an adventure in Central Oregon’s high desert region to Smith Rock State Park, but with a fall harvest season twist. Scenic ranches host pumpkin patches with fun rides and games near the twisting spires of the state park at this time.
- 🌲 Visit the Wallowa Mountains – The deep forest of Eastern Oregon completely transforms in the fall. Otherwise, green seas of trees transform into yellow coniferous oceans in this area also known as “Little Switzerland.”
- 🚴♀️ Cycle Down the Scenic Bikeway – There’s no better way to witness the changing fall colors than via bike. Cycle down the Scenic Bikeway in Oregon’s wine country, Willamette Valley and taste a wine or two along the way.
- 🌷 Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival – Visit Central Oregon in the spring to experience thousands of blooming tulips at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival. Festival activities include hot air balloons, a tulip run, and wooden shoe-making demonstrations.
- 🏜️ John Day Fossil Beds – The crisp spring air is the best time to explore wilderness spaces in Eastern Oregon. Visit this stratigraphic desert region in the spring before summer temperatures become too unbearable.
- 🌸 Portland Cherry Blossoms – Spring is the best time to witness an explosion of pink around the biggest city in Oregon. Visit the Tom McCall Waterfront Park from late March-early April to see the blossoming icons.
- 🏂 Skiing or Snowboarding the Cascade Range – Snow sports are the most popular thing to do in Oregon during the winter. Cross-country skiing can be found from the north to Southern Oregon and locals can be found at Cascade Mountain ski resorts all winter long.
- 🎅 Silverton Christmas Market – Celebrate the Christmas holidays in German style at this festive Christmas market. A biergarten, visits from Santa, tubing, hot cocoa, and gift vendors just scratch the surface of fun things to do here.
- 🌊 Chase Waterfalls – Avoid heavy waterfall crowds by visiting in the winter. Hundreds of crashing cascades dot the state and although you may not want to go for a dip in the winter, visiting without crowds at this time is ideal for photography.
Oregon Weather and Climate
Western Oregon experiences a warm summer-Mediterranean climate whereas Eastern Oregon features a cold, semi-arid climate with drier weather. Western Oregon experiences its fair share of dry summers and wet winters with frequently cloudy skies.
Oregon summers typically average 71°F, with the July high averaging 82°F high and 63°F low. Oregon winters exhibit a daily high average of 46°F and a low average of 35°F.
Tips for Visiting Oregon
Don’t Forget to Pack the Essentials
Don’t forget to pack the travel essentials for your upcoming trip to Oregon. This includes a Gore-tex rain jacket, hiking boots, a daypack, earplugs, and shower sandals.
👉 Pro Tip: Make sure your rain jacket is waterproof, not water-resistant. Waterproof properties like Gore-tex ensure dryness even in the heaviest downpour whereas water-resistant technologies are best suited for minimal moisture. I always pack this Gore-tex rain jacket on my trips to Oregon.
Bring Your Laptop
Oregon is an ideal place to work remotely. The digital nomad culture is alive and thriving in Oregon, and not just in the trendy city of Portland.
Bring your laptop and work from almost anywhere in Oregon, whether that’s at your bungalow along the Willamette River or on the sandy beach at Cannon Beach.
Consider Alternative Accommodations
Step outside of your normal travel comfort zone by staying in an accommodation that isn’t a hotel or motel. Hostels are one of my favorite places to stay in Oregon, especially if I’m traveling alone.
Camping is another great option in Oregon. With the high number of state parks and national forests, camping is easier than ever in the Pacific Northwestern state.
Consider a Day Trip
Eat Out at Least Once a Day
Oregon has some of the tastiest food on the west coast. I recommend eating out at least once a day to explore the best flavors of Oregon. One of my favorite restaurants is the Thai Peacock in Portland, but there are delicious one-of-a-kind eateries throughout the entire state.
FAQs About the Best Time to Visit Oregon
What is the best time of year to travel the Oregon Coast?
The best time of year to travel the Oregon Coast is in the late summer from July-September. The weather is the most pleasant at this time and chances of a spontaneous rainstorm are minimal.
What is the rainy season in Oregon?
October through April is the rainy season in Oregon. You will want to bring a rain jacket and umbrella with you if visiting Oregon at this time to avoid soaked clothes. The Cascade region and the middle Rogue Valley experience the most rain at this time.
What is the best time of year to visit Oregon and Washington state?
June-October is the best time to visit both Oregon and Washington state. Rain is minimal at this time and the Pacific Northwest debuts with the strongest UV rays in the summer.
Does it snow in Oregon?
It snows in the mountainous regions of Oregon in the winter, including Mount Hood National Forest along the Cascade Mountains. Oregon experiences snow along the coast as well, although this is far less common.
I hope you find this guide on the best time to visit Oregon helpful! Be sure to give our Oregon Packing List guide a read so you don’t forget any of the essentials at home!
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