If you’re living in Oregon currently and have a pulse, you’ve probably noticed that summer is refusing to end. Despite a couple cold mornings and spatters of rain, Aug-tober—as some have begun referring to the phenomenon—seems as though it’s here to stay for at least another week or so, with weather across much of the state forecasted for sunny skies and in the high 70s to low 80s.
So instead of moping around that we’re missing out on our typical Fall leaf-peeping, flannel looks, and crisp weather, we decided to put together a quick list of activities you typically can’t do in October but this year, you can.
1. Alpine hiking
The Timberline trail... in October? Most years we would already see a light dusting of snow on trails with elevations at or above 3,500 feet. Over the next week, it’s safe to assume that if you want to get out for a day hike or quick backpacking overnighter, you’re not going to wake to a tent buried in snow. Take advantage of this false season and get your last bit of hiking in before mud and mist descend.
(Keep an eye out for wildfires because the weather has also extended the fire season.)
Okay, technically October is a perfect month to camp whether we’re experiencing unseasonably warm weather or not. But that’s especially true this year when temperatures are staying between a balmy 75 degrees during the day and dropping to a chilly, yet pleasant 55 at night.
At higher elevations—the campgrounds around Timothy Lake are gorgeous and somewhat deserted this time of year—you can expect those temps to cool off a bit, but burn bans are lifting in many areas for campfires in developed fire pits.
Make sure to check the local regulations before you spark up and roast those mallows.
3. Paddling on the Willamette
Imagine taking an accidental tumble into the river when it’s 45 degrees out. Now imagine it’s 30 degrees warmer. A much different story, no?
Throw that stand-up paddleboard on top of the car and head to Sellwood Riverfront Park or George Rogers Park for a quick paddle in the sun. There are also plenty of options to rent a watercraft for the day.
Pack lunch and make a day of it by picnicking in the park while catching the last few rays of sunshine 2022 will likely offer.
4. Whitewater rafting
Surprisingly, several of Oregon’s whitewater outfitters are still offering guided day trips on rivers which remain open for commercial boating, such as the Deschutes and Santiam Rivers. You can even rent your own boat and make a weekend out of it.
Getting splashy on the river is typically a treat reserved for June, July, and August. But this year, we’re going “full send” through Fall. Just make sure to ask your outfitter to provide a fleece and splash jacket because the water is still ice cold despite warmer air temps.
5. Swinging the sticks
Die-hard golfers will take any chance they can to get out on the links, but playing in dry, warm conditions makes a round of 18 holes so much more pleasant. Take advantage of these final dry days to get your foursome onto the tees at one of Portland Parks and Recreation’s five municipal courses or make the drive a little bit further to get some different scenery at great public courses such as Wildwood out towards Scappoose or Forest Hills in Cornelius.