Welcome to Oregon
The state of Oregon has one of the most diverse landscapes of
any state in the Union, with its towering, thick forests, arid
scrublands, wide prairies, deserts and scenic Pacific coastline.
Oregon lies in the northwest section of the USA, bordered by the
ocean, and the states of California, Washington, Idaho and Nevada.
Along its northern boundary lies the Columbia River, and its area
encompasses the fertile Willamette Valley and two mountain ranges
(Pacific Coast and Cascade) where lift-serviced alpine skiing is
offered throughout the year.
Most of Oregon's countryside, from beaches and valleys to
mountain peaks, is unspoiled, and the state has been dubbed 'God's
country'. The state boasts natural attractions like Hell's Canyon,
the deepest river-carved gorge in northern America, as well as more
than 6,000 lakes (including famous Crater Lake, deepest lake in the
USA) and more than a hundred thousand miles of rivers and streams.
In addition more than half of the state is covered in natural
forest. This makes it a delight for nature lovers, although its
merits as a tourist destination are somewhat marred by an
over-abundance of rainy days.
Although Salem is the state capital, the largest city in Oregon
is Portland, straddling the Willamette River. The modern, compact
and vibrant city is the commercial and touristic hub of the state,
famed for its locally brewed beer and multitude of roses.
It is far easier to head west on the 'Oregon Trail' today than
it was for the historic pioneers in their covered wagons, but
visitors are no less delighted by the charms of this destination
than were the gutsy emigrants of the mid-1800s.
Information & Facts
Oregon's climate is generally moderate, divided into east and
west by the Cascade Mountain Range. The mountains block the moist
winds blowing in from the sea, which moderates the temperature and
brings heavy rainfall to the western part of the state, where most
of the main cities are situated. The east is drier and has more
extreme temperatures. Temperatures range from 45°F (7°C) in winter
and 68°F (20°C) in summer along the coastal belt, and 25°F (-4°C)
to 78°F (26°C) in the eastern part of the state. Heavy snowfalls
are common in the Cascades in winter.
English is the most common language but Spanish is often
spoken in south-western states.
The US Dollar (USD) is the unit of currency and is divided into
100 cents. Only major banks exchange foreign currency. ATMs are
widespread and credit cards and travellers cheques are widely
accepted. Travellers cheques should be taken in US Dollars to avoid
hassles. Banking hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.
GMT -8 (GMT -7 from March to November).