The Seven Natural Wonders of Oregon (according to me)

I love the Seven Wonders of the World. All the versions. The Ancient Wonders, the Modern Wonders, all of them. It’s probably a combination of the attraction of a “Best Of” list and amazing sights our planet has.

Well, my beautiful home state of Oregon needs one. I’ve looked online, and several people have shared their own lists. But there isn’t yet an official one. That means I can make my own version, too!

So here are my votes for Oregon’s Seven Natural Wonders. Man-made wonders will be my next post. All of the picture’s I’m including here were taken by me, and I don’t have pictures of all the places on my list. To see pictures of all seven wonders, check out my Pinterest board

Here they are, in no particular order:

1. Crater Lake National Park- One of the deepest and clearest lakes in the world, formed by an extinct volcano. Breathtaking enough to be a National Park. Surrounded by pinnacles, waterfalls, and forests.

2. Smith Rock State Park- World class rock climbing and hiking. Stunning cliffs and rock formations. And huge huckleberry ice cream cones nearby. Need I say more?

3. Oregon Caves National Monument- rare marble caves with beautiful flowstones and dripstones. Lovely views, waterfalls, and hiking trails outside the caves.

4. Sea Lion Caves- presumable the largest sea cave in the world, filled with sea lions playing “king of the mountain” on a large rock in the middle of the seawater inside the cave.

5. Hells Canyon- America’s deepest gorge. World class whitewater rafting. I want to go! Wallowa Mountains nearby as well.

6. The Columbia River Gorge- Big and beautiful, with oh-so-many gorgeous waterfalls spilling down the cliffs. Multnomah Falls is Oregon’s highest, but Latourelle Falls flows down columnar basalt columns and tiny Fairy Falls cascades down shiny basalt.

7. Proxy Falls- both Upper and Lower are graceful and almost magical, but Upper falls ends in a pool with no outlet.

Honorable mention: Waldo Lake, one of the other (besides Crater Lake) purest lakes in the world. Ramona Falls- the kind you picture seeing on a postcard from Hawaii. The Obsidian hike on Paulina Mountains/Newberry Crater- I never thought I’d see so much obsidian in one place. Silver Falls State Park- 10 substantial waterfalls on one 7-8 mile hike, nestled in a canyon surrounded by rainforest.

I’m sure I missed some amazing ones. What places in Oregon do you think belong in this list? Please comment below. Maybe someday a list will be official!

Columbia River Gorge, from Oregon side

Lower Proxy Falls, Oregon

Sea Lion Caves, Oregon Coast

Smith Rock State Park, Oregon

Categories: Amazing Places | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “The Seven Natural Wonders of Oregon (according to me)

  1. Silver Falls State Park is a must for the top seven. I would rate it over the Sea Lion Caves or Proxy Falls.

    • Good point! It was a tough decision. I do love Silver Falls. But I already had other waterfalls that I think are prettier, and I wanted to have more variety. Silver Falls is going to show up again in another series I’m going to do, too. Thanks for commenting!

  2. I’ve been to some of those places! Though I’ve never heard of the Sea Lion Caves or Proxy Falls. I’ve been looking around for a list for Washington, and I’ve yet to find one. Yet there are three national parks, 2 national monuments, and much more in the state.

    My “7 Natural Wonders of Washington” would probably be this:

    1. Mount Rainier National Park- centered around the tallest mountain in the Cascade Range, Rainier, and encompasses the largest glacial system in the lower 48 states.
    2. The Olympic Rainforests and Coastline- one of largest temperate rainforests in the world, and reaches down to the rugged Olympic Coastline, the longest stretch of undeveloped coastline in the lower 48 states. It resides in the Olympic National Park, which is unique in the U.S. for featuring three types of parks, the rugged shoreline, the lush rainforest, and the rugged mountains reaching heights of over 7,000 feet high.
    3. North Cascades National Park- Boasts the most glaciers in any U.S. park outside of Alaska. Glaciers carve their way down deep gorges carved out between granite peaks. Known as the “American Alps.”
    4. San Juan Islands- an archipelago consisting of a staggering 172 islands as well over 300 miles of shoreline. The islands are famous for their resident pods of Orca whales.
    5. Mount St. Helens- Erupted at 8:32 Sunday morning, May 18, 1980, and blew down or scorched 230 square miles of forested land. The land is still recovering and life now flourishes in this healing and dynamic land.
    6. Palouse Falls State Park and the Channeled Scablands- Its size and splendor make Palouse Falls one of the most scenic and impressive waterfalls in the Channeled Scablands and all of Washington, its vertical cliffs scoured clean by a flood unleashed when a large glacial lake drained. They are a geologically unique erosional feature in the U.S. state of Washington.
    7. Mount Adams- The largest volcano in the Pacific Northwest and the second tallest in the state makes Mount Adams one of the most impressive mountains in the Cascades. It is topped by 11 icy glaciers, the largest is the Adams Glacier, which cascades down from the summit icecap in a series of very impressive icefalls.

    I considered the Columbia River Gorge, but figured that was more of an Oregon thing, even if most of the National Scenic land lies in Washington. Also, I considered Hells Canyon, but again, that is mostly in Oregon and Idaho, with the northern tip in SE Washington. Snoqualmie Falls also was considered.

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