From scenic Salem, thundering falls, mountain lakes, and river rafting are all within your reach.
The scenic heart of Oregon is also its capital city. Nestled in the Willamette Valley, Salem is surrounded by diverse landscapes ripe for adventure. Think wetlands, rolling hills, and dense hardwood forests. Must-see Oregon staples lie in every direction. Portland, the Cascade Mountains, and the Pacific Coast are all just a short drive away. You also find striking wilderness gems right at Salem's doorstep. For starters, spot 200 bird species at Basket Slough, fish the Willamette River, or kayak the riverfront city parks. Ready to answer the call of the wild? Fall asleep to the crashing of waterfalls at Silver Falls State Park—the biggest state park in Oregon. Rocky canyons and lush forests fill the 9,200 acres. Follow the Trail of Ten Falls to see the famous cascades. (The South Falls drops a whopping 177 feet!) The park's 35 miles of trails are perfect for exploring on foot, by bike, or by horse. For more camping nearby, check out North Santiam State Park. The hike-in and boat-in sites are your ticket to ultra secluded tent camping. Locals come here to fish the Santiam River for steelheads and trout. For more adventure, get psyched about whitewater rafting or kayaking. Further into the mountain wilderness, Detroit Lake serves up 32 miles of shoreline for you to enjoy. Hiking, fishing, boating, and swimming are a few favorite activities. For lakeside camping, choose from several national forest campgrounds perched on the shore. Around Salem, you can also find a host of RV parks and secluded camping spots. Just imagine sleeping under the stars on an organic farm or glamping in a luxury yurt. Just keep in mind that summer is the peak season. For lower campsite competition, think about planning your Oregon trip for spring or fall.