Oregon is very much a year-round destination, and each season brings with it its own special perks. Summers are undoubtedly magical, with warm temperatures that make it next to impossible for most people to stay inside. However, each season brings with it its own special charm, and while you may encounter some rain, just remember that it’s part of the Oregon experience. Here’s what you need to know about Oregon throughout the year.

January to March is when Oregonians hit the slopes

Many of Oregon’s best places to ski are within easy reach of larger cities, and winters are a great time to visit the state if you’re a fan of snow sports. Mount Hood near Portland also offers “cosmic inner tubing” in case you want to slide around after dark. If powdery snow isn't enough to entice you outside in the winter, there are also lots of special events during the chilly season, including the Portland Winter Light Festival and the Bend's Oregon Winter Fest, both held in February.

March to June is when flowers are in bloom

Although you may spot some daffodils and tulips poking up from the Oregon soil as early as February, March to June are when the colors really start to pop in the state. Early arrivals include cherry blossoms and tulips, and some types of wildflowers begin to pop up shortly thereafter, particularly in some of the hillier areas in the Columbia River Gorge and around the Cascade and Coast Range. Roses – Portland’s official flower – usually come out in late May or early June, just in time for the annual Portland Rose Festival celebrations.

A woman rock climber ascends a cliff at Smith Rock State Park in Oregon.
Book ahead for summer time campsites near Oregon's natural assets © thinair28 / Getty Images

July and August mean great weather and lots of events

Although a large part of Oregon is gray and rainy throughout much of the year, everything changes in July, when the sun comes out and temperatures soar. For many Oregonians, a few months of absolutely glorious weather make up for the grisaille of the rest of the year, especially given that even on scorching days, there are always plenty of well-hydrated trees to provide cover from the sun. Temperatures during this time of year often reach over 80℉ in much of Western Oregon, though things tend to be a bit cooler along the Oregon Coast and hotter on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains.

Oregon’s gorgeous summer weather makes it an ideal time for festivals, too, with annual events such as Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival and the Eugene area’s Oregon Country Fair drawing in major crowds. It’s also peak camping season, so make sure to book your campsites well in advance.

September offers high temperatures without the crowds

Kids in many of Oregon’s school districts go back to class the day after Labor Day, but that doesn’t mean summer is over. In fact, September has some of the best weather of the year in Oregon, with average temperatures only hovering a few degrees below what you’d get in August. It’s also a great time to swim in Oregon’s mountain-fed rivers and lakes, which often don’t really get warm enough until late summer anyway – and with kids back in school, it’s easier to secure a campsite or find a quiet trail away from the peak-season crowds. Just be aware that there are often wildfires during this time of the year, which can lead to smokey conditions, even in urban areas.

Wide view of a Willamette Valley vineyard, Oregon, USA
Enjoy cooler temperatures and the autumn harvest in the Willamette Valley © tomwachs / Getty Images

October and November offer cool harvest time fun

October in Oregon is incredibly atmospheric, with cooler temperatures and plenty of fog in the days leading up to Halloween. This is when Oregon’s default rainy season kicks in, but the weather can be unpredictable, so pack layers and be prepared for anything (this is generally a good idea no matter when you visit Oregon). Temperatures start to drop drastically in November, and while Western Oregon destinations such as Portland usually stay clear, Eastern Oregon and on mountain passes start to see snow during this time of year. Popular autumnal activities range from apple picking to wine country harvest celebrations. If you're thinking of a trip to wine country, check out our first-timer's guide to Willamette Valley

December brings holiday lights and festive vibes

Expect cold temperatures and plenty of rain (or snow in some parts of the state) if you’re visiting Oregon in December, but there is a silver lining: Oregon is big on holiday light displays. Portland alone has plenty of massive light displays, from Portland’s storybook-style Peacock Lane (an actual street where all the homeowners bedazzle their houses in lights) to the annual Christmas Ship Parade, during which dozens of decorated vessels cruise down the Willamette River to show off their illuminated finery. The Silverton Christmas Market at the Willamette Valley’s Oregon Garden lets visitors roam through gardens adorned with over a million lights, while the Annual Holiday Lights at Shore Acres State Park showcases a massive light display spread across a traditional English garden on a Pacific Coast cliff.

For more expert advice to help you plan your trip to Oregon:

This article was first published Jan 5, 2022 and updated Apr 20, 2024.

Explore related stories


Tips & Advice

The best places to go in August 2024

Jun 21, 2024 • 9 min read