10 Photos from My Long Weekend Road Trip to the PNW

7 spots, 1800 miles driving. This is how I spent my 3 day weekend, and it was well spent.

By: Leo Xu + Save to a List

I have to say Oregon is one of my favorite states. There are so many amazing places and I just never got enough time to go there.

10 hours of non-stop driving is not a big deal for me, as long as I have coffee, so after my work is done I headed straight up to Bend, Oregon. It was snowing all the way in Idaho, but I made it to Bend at 4:00 in the morning. I pulled over on the way to Tumalo Falls and took a 2 hour nap. There was a lot more snow than I expected, 6 miles round trip never felt so long, but all worth it when I arrived and had the place to myself. I just felt so peaceful inside.

Can't miss Smith Rock State Park since it's only 50 minutes away. It was a Friday and super crowded. I had to drive around 20 minutes to find a parking spot. The hike to Misery Ridge was pretty awesome, there were a ton of people but I found a secret spot for myself.

Also can't miss my favorite spot in Mount Hood National Forest - Trillium Lake. The road to the lake was covered by 3-4 feet of snow, which made it harder to get there and my shoes were all wet when I got back to the parking lot. I was hoping for some sunset colors, but didn't have that luck this time.

I slept in the car that night and drove to Punchbowl Falls in the Columbia River Gorge. It was drizzling and the trail was pretty muddy in some parts. Since it had been snowed on, the water was pretty high in lower punchbowl falls but that didn't stop me from snapping a picture in the water - even though it was freezing and took 15 minutes to feel my feet again!

Then the Rowena Crest is just right by I84, so worth it to make a stop.

I added another spot for this trip which was kind out of the way - Palouse Falls. I've been wanting to go there for a long time, this time I finally made the decision to drive the extra 200 miles just to see this gem in the middle of nowhere in Washington. The condition was all good and I made it to the campground and watched the sunset.

The last stop was Shoshone Falls in Idaho. As expected, there were so many people, but it's nice to see the rainbow to end the trip.

Instagram: leo_exploring

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