Facts About Oregon

Here are some quick facts about Oregon and answers to the most frequently asked questions I am asked about the state.

When did Oregon become a state?

Oregon became a state on February 14, 1859. It was the 33rd state in the United States.

What is Oregon's largest city?

Portland, the City of Roses, is the largest city in Oregon.

What city is the capital of Oregon?

Salem is the capital of Oregon.

What is Oregon's tallest mountain?

Mt.Hood is the tallest mountain in Oregon at 11,239 feet.

Does Oregon have poisoness snakes?

Oregon has rattlesnakes in some regions. Read about rattlesnakes and where they are located in Oregon.

Are there grizzly bears in Oregon?

There are no grizzly bears left in Oregon but there are approximately 30,000 black bears. Read about Oregon's black bear.

Does it really rain all the time in Oregon?

Lots of jokes have been made about Oregon's rain like "Oregonians don't age. They rust." Oregon is a large and diverse state. The truth is the areas east of the Cascade Moutain Range have approximately 300 days of sunshine a year. The northwest portion of the state receives more rainfall than the dryer southwest portion. So, yes it rains a lot during the winter months in Portland and Salem but as one visitor from back east put it, "I stepped off the bus in Portland on the most gorgeous spring day without a cloud in the sky and I was hooked."

Are there any active volcanos in Oregon?

All volcanoes in Oregon are considered to be inactive. Of these, Mt. Hood is the volcano considered the most likely to become active.


Is it true that Hells Canyon is deeper than the Grand Canyon?

Yes it is. Hells Canyon is 2,250 feet deeper than the Grand Canyon. Hells Canyon is the deepest gorge in North America.

Facts About Oregon Beaches

Can you drive on the beach in Oregon?

There are some Oregon beaches where you can drive at certain times of the year. This can change from year to year. Contact the Oregon Department of Transportation for a copy of a map showing these locations. Phone: (503) 986-4000. Make sure a beach is posted for driving before driving on it.


Can you have a campfire on the beach on the Oregon Coast?

Yes you can. You must use small pieces of wood - no logs. You must put the fire out with water before you leave. Just covering a fire with sand to smother it will not do. A fire can smoulder for hours and someone stepping on it in bare feet can get burned.

Can you camp on the beach on the Oregon Coast?

Generally the answer is no. People do however pitch tents and stay the night. You may be asked to remove the tent and leave in the middle of the night though. There is absolutely no camping on a beach adjacent to state parks.

Do you need a license to dig clams in Oregon?

Yes you do. Licenses are available at local fish and tackle shops and marinas. When you get your license you will also receive the current regulations concerning limits and open areas. See Clamming on the Oregon Coast.

Are dogs allowed on Oregon beaches?

Yes they are but they must be kept under control by the owner whether on leash or off. If the beach is within the boundaries of a state park, dogs must be kept on a leash which is no longer than six feet. Owners must clean up after their dog. Extra caution must be taken by dog owners in wildlife habitat areas. Always check to see if a beach area is posted for no dogs allowed. Even the sight of a dog can cause some nesting birds to abandon their nest permanently.

Read more facts about Oregon wildlife.



Facts About Oregon