Follow the Web to Oregon's scenic Cascades

Posted: Sunday, March 30, 2003

Need a destination for your next vacation? Think about exploring the snow-covered peaks, dense forests and spectacular waterfalls of the Cascade Range in southern Oregon.

One of the region's most popular attractions is the century-old Crater Lake National Park -- http://www.-nps.gov/crla/ -- about an hour's drive north of Klamath Falls. Click on ''inDepth'' for an overview of the park and a trip planning section with information on bicycling, camping, hiking, maps and more.

Get a taste of more of the area from the Klamath County Tourist Guide -- http://klamathcounty.net/ -- and click on ''Attractions'' to learn about 30-mile-long Upper Klamath Lake. You can drive the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, sail on the lakes, ski in the winter and go fishing.

West of Klamath Falls, the relatively new Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument -- http://-www.or.blm.gov/csnm/visitor--info.htm -- offers still more scenery, hiking and fishing.

You can also drive to the Crater Lake area from the southwest, an area the Upper Rogue Regional Tourism Alliance -- http://www.-upperrogue.org/ -- calls the gateway to Crater Lake. Click on ''Attractions'' for links to the Antelope Creek Covered Bridge, Spirit of the Rogue Nature Center and the area's national forests.

You might know the GORP Web site for its wealth of information on outdoor pursuits including camping, hiking and canoeing, but that's not the limit of their helpful resources. Visit their Oregon guide --http://gorp.com/gorp/location/or/or.htm -- and look below the ''Best of Oregon'' list for a drop-down menu that says ''All Oregon Features.'' Click on the tiny arrow on the right side to open the menu and click on ''Scenic Driving'' for suggested tours through the mountains and along the rivers.

After GORP, try the state's official Travel Oregon Online -- http://www.traveloregon.com/ -- and look for ''Regions'' to click on ''Southern Oregon.'' Along with statewide information, they provide links to towns in the southern region, plus a brief slide show.

With all of the area's mountains and snow-fed streams, Waterfalls of the Pacific Northwest -- http://www.waterfallsnorthwest.com/oc.htm -- provides photos and directions to Oregon's most spectacular cascades. Plan to buy plenty of film.

Don't ignore Oregon's system of state parks. The state Parks & Recreation Department -- http://www.prd.state.or.us/ -- will help you find places to play and camp, including scenic spots in the southern Cascades such as Jackson Kimball State Recreation Site.

You can even take a lazy tour aboard the Amtrak Cascades -- http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/amtrak/ -- which offers views of the mountains along its route from Eugene, Ore., north to Vancouver, B.C. They offer a ''Photo Gallery,'' but the pictures are small and have no caption information.

For serious mountain climbers, Cascades Mountaineers -- http://www.cascadesmountaineers.org/ -- is a club whose activities range from rock climbing to full alpine ascents.

If you have time, there are lots more informative sites on the Web. Try the Oregon High Country page of About.com -- http://portlandor.about.com/library/weekly/blcascades.htm -- and click on ''Get-Away Planner,'' ''Photo Tour'' and other entries to find links to towns, national forests and more.

Learn about the processes that built the Cascades at Oregon Volcanoes and Volcanic Areas -- http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Volcanoes/Oregon/framework.html -- from the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory. Much of the information is technical, but you can find nuggets of visitors information for spots ranging from Mount Bachelor to Three-Fingered Jack to Mount Washington.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: E-mail comments and tips to cybertrip(at)ap.org.



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