Cheapest Travel and Backpacking Destinations in Oregon

1. What are the most affordable backpacking destinations in Oregon?

– The most affordable backpacking destinations in Oregon include the Pacific Crest Trail, the Eagle Cap Wilderness, and the Deschutes River State Recreation Area. These areas offer free or low-cost camping options and have stunning natural scenery for backpackers to enjoy.

2. Can I camp anywhere in Oregon?
– No, it is not legal to camp anywhere you please in Oregon. Most public lands require a permit or designated camping areas, and private landowners may also have restrictions on camping. It’s important to research and plan ahead before setting up camp in Oregon.

3. Are there any backpacking trails that are suitable for beginners in Oregon?
– Yes, there are several backpacking trails in Oregon that are suitable for beginners. Some options include the McKenzie River Trail, the Hells Canyon Loop Trail, and the Silver Creek Falls Rim Trail. These trails have manageable terrain and shorter distances compared to more rugged options.

4. Is it safe to drink water from streams and rivers while backpacking in Oregon?
– It is generally not recommended to drink water directly from streams and rivers while backpacking in Oregon unless it has been properly treated or filtered. It’s best to bring your own water supply or use a filtration system when collecting water from natural sources.

5. When is the best time of year for backpacking in Oregon?
– The best time for backpacking in Oregon depends on personal preferences and destinations. Generally, summer months (June-August) offer warm weather and clear skies but can also be crowded with tourists. Spring (March-May) and fall (September-November) tend to have milder temperatures and fewer crowds but may also have some rain showers. Winter (December-February) can be challenging due to snowy conditions but offers unique experiences such as snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

2. Where in Oregon offers the cheapest travel options for budget-conscious travelers?

Some places in Oregon that offer cheaper travel options for budget-conscious travelers are:

1. Eugene – Located in the Willamette Valley, this college town offers affordable accommodations, dining, and outdoor activities.

2. Bend – Known for its outdoor recreation opportunities, this city also offers affordable lodging and food options.

3. Medford – A smaller city in southern Oregon, Medford has budget-friendly hotels and a variety of outdoor activities nearby.

4. Portland (off-season) – While Portland can be an expensive city, visiting during the off-season (winter months) can lead to lower hotel rates and cheaper flights.

5. Salem – Oregon’s capital has several budget-friendly accommodations and is located near many popular attractions, such as Silver Falls State Park.

6. Coast towns (off-season) – Many coastal towns in Oregon have more affordable rates during the off-season (fall and winter).

7. Hood River – This small town on the Columbia River Gorge offers budget accommodations and stunning views of Mount Hood.

8. Crater Lake National Park (off-season) – Visiting this beautiful national park during the off-season (late fall or winter) can lead to lower prices on lodging and tours.

9. Ashland (off-season) – Home to the famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland’s hotel rates drop significantly during the off-season (November – April).

10. Willamette Valley wine country– While wine tasting can be pricey, some wineries in this region offer cheaper tastings or free tastings with a purchase.

3. What are some off-the-beaten-path spots for affordable backpacking in Oregon?

1. The Wallowa Mountains – Located in northeastern Oregon, the Wallowas offer stunning alpine scenery and plenty of budget-friendly backpacking opportunities. Explore trails like the Chief Joseph Mountain Trail or the Wallowa Lake Loop for a challenging but rewarding trek.

2. Alsea Falls Recreation Site – This lesser-known spot in the Willamette National Forest offers camping and hiking opportunities at an affordable price. The highlight is a picturesque waterfall that cascades over basalt rocks.

3. Cape Lookout State Park – For coastal backpacking on a budget, head to this state park on Oregon’s central coast. Campsites are inexpensive and there are several scenic hiking trails, including one that leads to a secluded beach.

4. Leslie Gulch – Located in southeastern Oregon’s high desert, Leslie Gulch is a hidden gem for backpackers on a budget. The canyon offers unique rock formations and camping is free at designated sites in the BLM-managed area.

5. Hells Canyon Wilderness – For experienced backpackers, the Hells Canyon Wilderness offers rugged terrain and remote camping options without breaking the bank. This area on the Idaho border features deep canyons, wild rivers, and diverse wildlife.

6. Three Sisters Wilderness – While not completely off-the-beaten-path, this wilderness area in central Oregon offers affordable camping fees and incredible scenery with its towering peaks, pristine lakes, and lush forests.

7. Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area – This unique spot along the central coast has miles of sandy dunes perfect for beach backpacking on a budget. Campsites are available in nearby national forest land or at nearby state parks.

8. Eastern Cascades Recreation Area – This lesser-known region in central Oregon offers plenty of backpacking opportunities without the crowds or high fees of more popular areas like Mount Hood or Crater Lake. The landscape is filled with mountains, lakes, and streams waiting to be explored.

9. Deschutes River Trail – This scenic trail follows the Deschutes River through central Oregon and offers affordable backcountry camping options along the way. Hikers can choose from various sections of the trail, depending on their skill level and length preference.

10. Newberry National Volcanic Monument – Located in central Oregon, this monument features hiking trails and campgrounds that are budget-friendly with stunning views of volcanic landscapes and lakes. Visitors can also explore ancient lava caves for a unique backpacking experience.

4. Where can I find cheap airfare and accommodation in Oregon for a backpacking trip?

1. Research budget airlines: Check out airlines like Southwest, JetBlue, Allegiant, and Frontier for affordable flights to Oregon.

2. Use flight search engines: Utilize websites like Skyscanner or Google Flights to compare prices from different airlines in one place.

3. Book in advance: Generally, booking flights and accommodation well in advance can help you find better deals.

4. Use student discounts: If you’re a student, take advantage of discounts offered by airlines and hotels.

5. Consider alternative airports: Flying into smaller airports near your destination can often be cheaper than major airports.

6. Look for package deals: Some travel websites offer package deals that include both airfare and accommodation at a discounted rate.

7. Opt for hostels over hotels: Hostels are often much cheaper than hotels and provide a great opportunity to meet other travelers.

8. Stay in rural areas: Accommodation prices tend to be lower in less popular, rural areas compared to big cities.

9. Utilize Airbnb or vacation rentals: These options can often be more affordable than traditional hotels and provide a unique experience.

10. Travel during the off-season: Prices for both flights and accommodation tend to be lower during the off-season when there is less demand for travel.

5. Where in Oregon has the best value for money when it comes to travel and backpacking?

The best value for money when it comes to travel and backpacking in Oregon can vary depending on personal preferences and budget. However, some popular and affordable options include camping in state parks or national forests, hiking the Oregon Coast Trail, exploring the Columbia River Gorge, and visiting smaller towns like Bend or Hood River. Additionally, booking accommodations through Airbnb or staying at hostels can also help save money while traveling in Oregon.

6. Where in Oregon has the lowest costs for food and transportation while traveling and backpacking?

There is no specific location in Oregon that has consistently lower costs for food and transportation while traveling and backpacking. However, some areas that may have lower costs include small towns or remote areas, where there are fewer tourist attractions and therefore lower prices. Additionally, cooking your own meals rather than eating at restaurants can also help save money on food costs. As for transportation, taking public transportation or carpooling with other travelers can help reduce the cost of getting around.

7. Are there any lesser-known Oregon destinations that are both cheap and great for backpacking?

Yes, there are several lesser-known Oregon destinations that offer cheap and great backpacking opportunities. Some examples include:

1. The Steens Mountain Wilderness: Located in southeastern Oregon, the Steens Mountain Wilderness offers stunning views and diverse landscapes for backpackers at a fraction of the cost of more popular destinations.

2. The Strawberry Mountain Wilderness: Nestled in the heart of the Malheur National Forest, this wilderness area boasts alpine lakes, mountain peaks, and lush valleys to explore on a budget.

3. The Elk River Trail: This 10-mile trail near Port Orford takes backpackers through old-growth forests, along riverbanks, and past waterfalls, making for a scenic and affordable trip.

4. The Clackamas River Trail: Just an hour outside of Portland, this 21-mile trail follows the beautiful Clackamas River through dense forests and picturesque meadows.

5. The Siskiyou Crest Trail: This 55-mile trail showcases some of the most remote and rugged areas of southern Oregon’s Siskiyou Mountains without breaking the bank.

6. Zumwalt Prairie Preserve: This vast expanse of rolling grasslands in northeastern Oregon offers backpackers an opportunity to immerse themselves in natural beauty while keeping costs low.

7. Hell’s Canyon National Recreation Area: Backpackers can experience incredible views of Idaho’s deepest canyon on this remote and budget-friendly trail system along the Snake River.

8. What are some unique budget-friendly activities to do in Oregon while backpacking?

1. Hike through the Columbia River Gorge and see waterfalls such as Multnomah Falls.
2. Visit the Painted Hills in the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument for stunning geological formations.
3. Explore the Oregon Coast by hiking along the many trails or driving along Highway 101.
4. Visit the Oregon Garden in Silverton for a peaceful and beautiful outdoor experience.
5. Tour local breweries in Portland for free samples and learn about the brewing process.
6. Take a scenic drive along the Cascade Lakes Highway and stop at various viewpoints and lakes for breathtaking views.
7. Visit Crater Lake National Park, where admission is only $25 per vehicle for a 7-day pass.
8. Attend one of Oregon’s many festivals, such as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival or the Portland Rose Festival, which often have free events and activities.
9. Spend a day exploring Bend, a charming mountain town with plenty of outdoor activities such as kayaking, hiking, and rock climbing.
10. Go on a self-guided walking tour of Portland’s street art scene using an interactive map from Travel Portland’s website.

9. Is it possible to do a low-cost road trip through Oregon?

Yes, it is possible to do a low-cost road trip through Oregon. Here are some tips on how to keep costs down:

1. Plan your route carefully: Choose a route that avoids toll roads and expensive attractions. Look for free or low-cost activities and attractions along the way.

2. Pack your own food: Instead of eating out at restaurants, pack your own meals and snacks. This will save you a significant amount of money.

3. Camp instead of staying in hotels: Camping is a great budget-friendly option for accommodation. Oregon has many beautiful campsites available for a small fee.

4. Use gas apps: Gas prices can vary greatly, so use gas apps like GasBuddy to find the cheapest gas stations along your route.

5. Take advantage of free activities: Many state parks, scenic viewpoints, and hiking trails in Oregon are free to visit. Take advantage of these opportunities to enjoy the natural beauty of the state without spending money.

6. Visit during off-peak season: Visiting Oregon during the off-peak season (winter and early spring) can save you money on accommodation and attractions.

7. Utilize discount passes: If you plan on visiting multiple attractions, consider purchasing a discount pass such as the Oregon Explorer Pass or Heritage Pass which offer discounted entry fees to various sites.

8. Limit extra expenses: Be mindful of additional expenses such as souvenir shopping and unnecessary purchases that can add up quickly on a road trip.

9. Consider carpooling or using public transportation: If traveling with others, carpooling can significantly reduce gas expenses. For those without their own vehicle, using public transportation can be an affordable option for getting around the state.

10. Where in Oregon has the most affordable camping options for backpackers on a budget?

The most affordable camping options for backpackers on a budget in Oregon are usually found in national forests or BLM (Bureau of Land Management) lands. These areas typically have dispersed camping options, which are free to use and do not require reservations. Popular options include the Willamette National Forest, Mount Hood National Forest, and the Ochoco National Forest. Primitive campsites can also be found along many of the hiking trails in these areas.

11. Can you recommend any inexpensive hostels or guesthouses in Oregon for backpackers?

1. Hostelling International Portland Northwest
2. Morrison Street Hostel
3. Portland Hawthorne Hostel
4. The Society Hotel Bingen
5. Ashland Commons
6. Hood River Hostel
7. Eugene Whiteaker International Hostel
8. Coos Bay Downtown Backpackers Hostel
9. Bend Adventure Hostel
10. Salem Travelers’ Lodge

12. What states have the best deals on outdoor gear and equipment for backpackers?

1. Colorado
2. Utah
3. Washington
4. California
5. Oregon
6. Montana
7. Idaho
8. Nevada
9. Arizona
10. Wyoming

13. Are there any hidden gems in Oregon that offer budget-friendly attractions and activities for travelers on a budget?

Yes, here are a few hidden gems in Oregon that offer budget-friendly attractions and activities:

1. The Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport offers free admission and is a great place to learn about the marine life and ecosystem of the Oregon coast.

2. The Blue Pool at Tamolitch Falls in McKenzie River is a breathtaking natural swimming hole that can be accessed for free by hiking through the Willamette National Forest.

3. The Oregon Zoo in Portland offers $5 admission every second Tuesday of the month, making it an affordable option for animal lovers.

4. The Alvord Desert in Southeastern Oregon is a unique destination with an otherworldly landscape that can be explored for free.

5. The Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn offers free admission to their fields of vibrant tulip blooms during their annual Tulip Fest.

6. The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument offers free admission and showcases a diverse range of fossils, rock formations, and scenic viewpoints.

7. The Cascade Head Preserve near Lincoln City features stunning coastal views and hiking trails, with no entrance fees or parking fees.

8. Painted Hills State Park in Eastern Oregon showcases colorful layers of rock formations and can be visited for free, with options for camping at affordable rates.

9. Fort Stevens State Park on the northern coast has a military history museum, shipwreck remains, and beach access all for no entrance fee.

10. Fern Canyon Trail in Gold Beach features waterfalls, lush greenery, and impressive canyon walls for hikers to explore without any cost.

14. Where in Oregon has reliable public transportation systems that make it easy and cheap to get around as a backpacker?

Some cities in Oregon with reliable public transportation systems that are easy and cheap for backpackers include:

1. Portland – The city has a well-developed public transportation system, including buses, light rail, and streetcars that cover most of the city. Backpackers can purchase a one-day or one-week pass for an affordable price and use it to access all forms of public transport within the city.
2. Eugene – This city also has a reliable bus network covering most popular destinations throughout the city. They offer single-use or multi-use tickets for a reasonable price.
3. Corvallis – Like Eugene, Corvallis also has a good bus system operated by the Oregon Cascades West Council of Governments (OCWCOG). Single ride tickets are available at an affordable cost, and backpackers can also get weekly passes.
4. Ashland – This small town in southern Oregon has a free shuttle service called “The Around Town” shuttle that runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day and covers various popular tourist spots.
5. Bend – The Bend Transit bus network operates within the city and offers daily or monthly passes at an affordable rate.
6. Medford – The Rogue Valley Transportation District provides bus services throughout Medford at very affordable rates, with multiple devices options available for backpackers.

In addition to these options, some smaller towns in Oregon may have limited public transportation but are usually served by local taxi services or ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft.

15. What is the cheapest time of year to visit Oregon for a budget-friendly and enjoyable backpacking experience?

The cheapest time of year to visit Oregon for a budget-friendly backpacking experience is during the shoulder seasons, which are late spring (May-June) and early fall (September-October). During these times, the weather is still pleasant but not as crowded as the peak summer months. Accommodation and permit fees may also be lower during this time. You can also save money by bringing your own gear and supplies instead of renting or buying them.

16. Where in Oregon offers discounts or special deals specifically catered towards low-budget travelers and backpackers?

There are several places in Oregon that offer discounts or special deals for low-budget travelers and backpackers. Some options include:

1. Hostels: Many hostels in Oregon offer discounted rates for budget travelers, especially during the off-season or for longer stays. Some popular hostels in Oregon include Northwest Portland Hostel, Eugene Whiteaker International Hostel, and Bend Woodpecker Hostel.

2. State Parks: The Oregon State Park system offers a few options for budget travelers, including a hiker/biker rate at designated campgrounds for those arriving by foot or bicycle. Additionally, some state parks offer walk-in campsites at a lower cost than traditional sites.

3. Couchsurfing: Couchsurfing is a website and app that connects budget travelers with local hosts who offer free accommodations. There is an active couchsurfing community in many cities throughout Oregon.

4. Public Transportation: The TriMet transit system in Portland offers discounted fares for students, seniors, and people with disabilities. Additionally, visitors can purchase day passes or use the Hop Fastpass card to save money on multiple trips.

5. Outdoor Gear Rentals: In some areas of Oregon, rental shops offer discounted rates for outdoor gear such as tents, sleeping bags, and backpacks to encourage low-budget travelers to explore the outdoors without having to invest in expensive equipment.

6. Free Activities: Many attractions and activities in Oregon are free or have suggested donations instead of set admission fees. These include hiking trails, scenic viewpoints, and public gardens.

17. Where in Oregon has affordable ways to experience local culture, cuisine, and nightlife in various states while traveling on a budget?

Portland is a great place to experience local culture, cuisine, and nightlife on a budget. Here are some affordable ways to do so:

1. Food Carts: Portland is known for its food carts that offer a variety of cuisines at affordable prices. You can find them all over the city, especially in downtown and popular neighborhoods like Hawthorne and Alberta.

2. Happy Hour: Many restaurants and bars in Portland offer happy hour specials on food and drinks. This is a great way to experience local cuisine and drinks without breaking the bank.

3. Breweries: Oregon is famous for its craft beer scene, and Portland has numerous breweries where you can sample different beers at reasonable prices.

4. Local Markets: The Portland Saturday Market is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience local culture while staying on budget. It features stalls selling locally-made arts, crafts, and food products.

5. Free Tours: There are several walking tours in Portland that are free or have a suggested donation. These tours offer insights into the city’s history, art, and architecture.

6. Live Music: You can find live music performances almost every night in Portland at various venues like bars, clubs, and coffee shops. Many of these events have no cover charge or have low admission fees.

7. City Parks: With over 200 parks in the city, there’s always something to do for free in Portland’s green spaces. You can have a picnic, attend free events or concerts, or simply enjoy the scenery.

8. Art Galleries: Explore the local art scene at one of Portland’s many art galleries that offer free admission or discounted rates for students and seniors.

9. Street Fairs & Festivals: Throughout the year, there are various street fairs and festivals happening in different parts of Portland where you can experience local music, food, art, and culture for little or no cost.

10. Public Transport: Exploring the city on a budget is made easier by using Portland’s affordable public transportation options, including the Max Light Rail and Streetcar systems.

18. Are there any eco-friendly or sustainable options available for budget-conscious travelers in Oregon while backpacking?

Yes, there are various eco-friendly and sustainable options available for budget-conscious travelers in Oregon while backpacking. Some options include staying at environmentally friendly hostels or campsites, bringing reusable water bottles and shopping bags, opting for organic and locally sourced food options, using public transportation or biking instead of renting a car, participating in volunteer programs to help preserve the environment, and choosing eco-friendly activities such as hiking and wildlife viewing. Additionally, there are many affordable eco-tourism companies and organizations that offer discounted or budget-friendly trips that focus on sustainability and conservation efforts.

19. Where in Oregon has provide amazing scenery, nature, and outdoor activities at a low cost for backpackers?

The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area is a popular destination for backpackers seeking amazing scenery, nature, and outdoor activities at a low cost. Here, travelers can explore rugged cliffs, lush forests, and sparkling waterfalls without breaking the bank on lodging or entrance fees. The area also offers many opportunities for hiking, camping, and wildlife viewing.

20. Where in Oregon is known for their vibrant and affordable music or arts scenes that attract budget travelers and backpackers?

Some possible options could be Portland, Ashland, Eugene, Bend, or Corvallis. Each of these cities has a distinct arts and music scene with various events and performances that may appeal to budget travelers and backpackers. Additionally, they often have free or low-cost concerts and community events that showcase local talent.