What to Do in Oregon in January

First Day Hikes at Oregon State Parks, drink high gravity beer in Bend, listen to folk music in Florence at the Winter Music Festival, and more.

By Gabriel Granillo and Sam Stites December 29, 2022

Young skiers and snowboarders converge on Mt. Bachelor this January to compete in slopestyle, halfpipe, and other events as part the United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association's Central Oregon Competition Series. 

If your resolution for 2023 is to get out and see more of your home state, we’ve got a few ideas for how you can achieve that each month of the new year in our 12 Oregon Adventures for 2023. But we get it—one month at a time. Start January off with a First Day hike in one of our many state parks, and then you might try some beers in Bend, check out sled-dog racing in the Wallowa Mountains, and oh so much more.

First Day Hikes

Sunday, Jan 1, various Oregon State Parks, free
If starting the new year with a hike is your thing, you’re in luck: not only are guided First Day Hikes back at several Oregon State Parks, parking is free at the 25 parks that normally require a permit. Currently, Oregon State Parks lists more than 20 First Day Hikes—and other activities such as snowshoeing and horseback riding—on its events calendar, including guided, ranger-led trips at Silver Falls, Smith Rock, Tumalo, Fort Stevens, Cottonwood Canyon, and more. 

USASA Central Oregon Competition Series

Jan 7, 14, 15, 21 & 28, Mount Bachelor, free to spectators 
Watch the next generation of snowboarders and freeskiers take to the slopes in this youth competition series hosted by Mount Bachelor and Woodward freestyle parks. Entrants will compete in snowboard/skier cross races, slopestyle, halfpipe, and rail jam events throughout January and February. Catch a glimpse of up-and-coming talent as they throw down their best tricks and runs to qualify for national events put on by the United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association. 

High Gravity Beer Festival at Old St. Francis School

1–8 p.m. Saturday, Jan 14, 700 NW Bond St, Bend, $25–28
Gather around the blazing fire pits or step inside the theater at McMenamins Old St. Francis School in Bend to taste big, bold ales—and cider—at the 10th annual High Gravity Beer fest, where 24 unique ales and ciders will be on tap from McMenamins and other local guest breweries. A collaboration series features beers made by McMenamins Old St. Francis brewers and friends, never before released to the public. Tickets include 10 drink tokens. 

First Taste Oregon

Fri–Sat, Jan 27–28, 2330 NE 17th St, Salem, $12–42
Dry January be damned. We’re heading down to the Jackman Long Building at the Oregon State Expo Center in Salem for the annual First Taste Oregon, where more than 50 Oregon brewers, winemakers, spirit distillers, and culinary craftspeople unite for a one giant feast/shopping experience. 

The 12-dog, 200-mile race at Eagle Cap Extreme is Oregon's only qualifier for Alaska’s Iditarod. 


Eagle Cap Extreme Sled Dog Race

Wed–Sat, Jan 18–21, Ferguson Ridge Ski Area, Joseph, free
Three sled-dog races of varying distance through the rugged Wallowa Mountains take place beginning at noon on Thursday, January 19, from Ferguson Ridge Ski Area near Joseph in northeastern Oregon. The 200-mile, 12-dog race is the Oregon's only qualifier for Alaska's Iditarod and Canada's Yukon Quest. There's also a 100-mile, eight-dog race and 31-mile, six-dog race. Veterinary checks—which are open to the public and offer an opportunity to meet the dogs and mushers (just leave personal pets at home, please)—begin the morning of Wednesday, January 18, in Enterprise and continue in Joseph that afternoon. Salt Creek Summit Crossing Sno-Park is good place for spectators to catch more of the action before the race finishes back at Ferguson Ridge on Saturday.  

Oregon King Tides

Fri–Sun, Jan 20–22, anywhere along the Oregon Coast, free
It’s king tide season on Oregon’s coast, and the Oregon King Tides Project, a citizen-science effort organized by CoastWatch and the Oregon Coastal Management Program. During the year’s highest tide sequences, the Oregon King Tides Project asks for help documenting high tide events (known as king tides) in an effort to understand the effects rising sea levels have on coastal communities. Participation in the project is open to anyone willing and able to venture out to the coast and operate a camera.


TSI Trail School

10 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat, Jan 21, Klootchy Creek County Park, free
The Trail Sustainability Institute—a trail stewardship education program founded by the Northwest Trail Alliance—is once again hosting a Trail School event on January 21 at Klootchy Creek County Park, along Highway 26 just east of where it hits US 101. The event will go over the fundamentals of maintaining biking trails while giving hands-on stewardship training. The Alliance recommends volunteers wear work clothes including boots, gloves, and eye protection, and bring water, snacks, and their own lunch. Registration required.

Winter Music Festival

Fri–Sun, Jan 27–29, 715 Quince St, Florence, $35–50
The three-day acoustic music festival spotlighting bluegrass, Americana, and folk music returns to the Florence Events Center. The festival features a packed lineup of music from local and nationally acclaimed artists, educational workshops, and public jam sessions. Purchase tickets to attend in person, or livestream performances from home. 


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