Listings in Oregon

Central Oregon

With ponderosa forests at the foot of the Cascade Mountains and Western juniper forests to the east, the Deschutes River serves as a rough boundary between the two. Most towns are built on the riverside plain and between the surrounding foothills.

The central part of the state is well-known for its dry and sunny climate, averaging 300 clear days each year. With so much sunshine, the main industries are agriculture, forest products, and recreation. Much of Central Oregon covered in forest, and logging remains an important part of the regional economy. Irrigation development in the area has made the arid flatlands useful for extensive hay production, farming, and livestock raising.

The eastern part of Central Oregon has dry wheat farming and grazing land for cattle, while the western area is mainly timber country. The Willamette Valley in West Central Oregon was settled by pioneers who came out on the Oregon Trail, and has since become an agricultural center. While some of the primary agriculture include wheat, barley, horticulture, and dairy farming, the area is also known for its abundant orchards and wineries.

The Columbia Gorge is an 80-mile stretch of the Hood River Valley that forms the border between Northern and Southern Oregon. The principal industries include agriculture, timber, hydroelectric production, and recreation. High winds make the area an ideal setting for wind farms, and wind surfing on the Hood River is a popular recreational sport. This valley is an ideal climate for the production of apples, cherries, peaches and pears, and is responsible for over half of the nation’s winter pears. It is home to many breweries and wineries, and potatoes, seed, hay, and mint are also produced in this northern region.

Due to the many lakes and rivers in Central Oregon, combined with the high Cascade Mountains, the area has been dubbed an “outdoor playground,” and the economy relies heavily on outdoor recreation along with the agricultural and livestock industries.

The Coast

The Oregon Coast is made up of a nearly 400 mi stretch of shoreline, lush forests, and rugged cliffs bordering the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Oregon Coast Range to the east, whose oldest portions are over 60 million years old. The Oregon Coast was the famous destination of the Lewis and Clark expedition to the Pacific at the start of the 19th century, which had long-lasting effects on the Pacific Northwest and was the starting point for pioneer settlement and development of the area in coming decades. Fur traders set up the first U.S. settlement west of the Rockies in 1811 – that fort at the mouth of the Columbia River became the port city of Astoria.

The North Coast is a very wet and temperate heavily forested region connected by rivers running to the sea and possesses long stretches of unbroken beach and a higher concentration of logging zones. Dairy farms dominate the fertile valleys of the Oregon Coast, and logging and lumbering are a significant economic force in the region. The coast’s top three industries are logging, commercial fishing, and tourism, and the economy is still rather dependent on natural resources.

Over 80 state parks and recreation areas dot the coast, along with numerous tourist facilities. The marine ecology of the Oregon Coast is some of the most diverse in the world, and both whale watching and exploring coastal tidepools are popular tourist activities. Many large species of animals can be found in the heavily forested regions, mostly elk and deer as well as some bobcats and cougars.

The South Coast has more sandy beaches and dunes than the rockier northern coastline. The coast is host to a multitude of year-round recreational activities, including horse-back riding, surfing, camping and sport fishing.

Northeastern Oregon

This region of the state includes the entire area east of the Cascade Mountain Range. The climate is drier continental and with wider seasonal temperature variations when compared to the western part of the state. The Cascades cause a rain shadow effect, contributing to the dry desert climate with some parts of the region receiving less than 10 inches of rainfall per year. However, some parts of Northeastern Oregon also get a significant amount of snow in the winter months. Over a third of the region is covered in pine and juniper forests, especially in the mountainous areas. Columbia Plateau’s rich loess soils help make it one of the top wheat-producing regions in the world.

The economy of the region is primarily agricultural, and former key industries of timber and mining have decreased in recent years, although still important. The initial economy in the area was mining but that industry has been mostly replaced over the years by crop farming, cattle ranching, sheep raising, and timber production as primary economic forces of the region. Cultural tourism, agritourism, and ecotourism continue to develop. From crystal clear alpine lakes and fish-filled rivers to forested mountains and sage-covered deserts, there are plenty of opportunities for recreation in Eastern Oregon. The Snake River offers a range of boating experiences from gentle kid-friendly drifting to world-class whitewater rapids.

Southeastern Oregon

Oregon’s southeast corner forms the northernmost section of the Great Basin Desert, which also covers parts of Utah, Idaho, and Nevada. Most of the land is publicly owned and managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and thus open for use and exploration. While the southeast is less inhabited than other regions of the state, the vast, expansive landscape of the desert harbors many sites of interest, including hot springs, wetlands, volcanic remains, historic sites, lakes, and river canyons. One interesting feature of the Great Basin Desert is that all rivers flow inward, ending in lakes or salt pans, and none reach the sea.

Southeastern Oregon is home to many wildlife refuges which protect desert species like pronghorn antelope and bighorn sheep.

South of the wheat lands of northeast Oregon, agricultural activity tends toward livestock grazing except where irrigation is available – those areas are often used to produce alfalfa hay. The Owyhee River flows through the region, forming a thousand-foot deep canyon with layered rock formations, and is a popular destination for whitewater rafting trips.