What to Do in Oregon in February
It's February, and winter is in full swing. But before you know it, that sweet sweet snow is going to turn to rain and our state's frosty peaks will melt to become rushing rivers and chilly lakes. Winter can be isolating for some, but there are plenty of upcoming events to fill your cup—both literally and figuratively—with some socialization whether or not you celebrate the snow and cold.
Eastern Oregon Backcountry Festival
Fri–Sun, Feb 3–5, Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort, 47500 Anthony Lakes Hwy, North Powder, $5–75
Join the Wallowa Avalanche Center in celebrating the 60th anniversary of Anthony Lakes Mountain Resort at the Eastern Oregon Backcountry Festival. A showing of the documentary Buried at HQ in La Grande (112 Depot Street) kicks off the weekend Frida night. Other events start Saturday, February 4, at 8 a.m. including a backcountry race and avalanche clinics. A group backcountry tour of the Elkhorn Mountains on Sunday concludes the weekend.
Guided Hikes at Tryon Creek State Natural Area
10 a.m. Sat, Feb 4, 11, 18 & 25, 11321 SW Terwilliger Blvd, Portland
Take a guided nature hike to learn about mammals, woodpeckers, creek dwellers, and trees that thrive at this urban state park on the border between Lake Oswego and southwest Portland.
The Suttle Lodge Winter Beer Festival
Noon–5 p.m. Fri–Sun, Feb 24–26, 13300 US 20, Sisters, single-day passes start at $50, weekend pass $120, VIP entry $160
You might think of the Suttle Lodge, off US 20 near Sisters at the western edge of Suttle Lake, as a sunny summer destination, but its snowy-season attractions include proximity to Hoodoo Ski Area and, since 2020, a Winter Beer Festival (minus a virtual version in 2021). For the Bavarian-inspired outdoor fest, the Lodge’s cabins are turned into mini-pubs serving drinks from regional breweries and cideries. On the grounds in between, you’ll find firepits, grills stacked with pretzels and brats, and local musicians.
Winter Wings Festival
Fri–Mon, Feb 17–20, Klamath Falls, $15–150
The Klamath Basin Audubon Society is hosting four days of birding field trips, workshops, and presentations from conversationists and wildlife photographers in and around Klamath Falls in this Southern Oregon watershed. Catch glimpses of more than 130 species, including hawks, owls, raptors, and the largest gathering of wintering bald eagles in the continental US. Saturday at the festival features dozens of free activities for kids to participate in.
Oregon Winter Fest
Fri–Sun, Feb 17–19, Deschutes County Expo Center, Redmond, $10–17
Family-friendly entertainment abounds at the Oregon Winter Festival in Central Oregon, with local arts vendors, live music, and, of course, lots of food and drinks. Grab a cup of hot cocoa (or frothy local beer if you’re over 21) and take a gander by one of the event’s many ice, fire, and light shows.
Newport Seafood and Wine Festival
Thu–Sun, Feb 23–26, South Beach Marina, 2320 SE OSU Dr, Newport, $20–150,
This 21+ event hosted by the Newport Chamber of Commerce returns in full force for 2023 after a brief hiatus during the pandemic and decentralized format in 2022. The festival will be back under the big white tent near Rogue Ales at the South Beach area with more than 40 wineries and a dozen food vendors. Started in 1977, the event features the longest-running wine competition in the Pacific Northwest. A free shuttle is available on a continuous 45-minute loop throughout the day stopping at Nye Beach, the Historic Bayfront Hotel, and other lodging, as well as South Beach State Park.
Hoodoo Winter Carnival
11 a.m.–9 p.m. Sat, Feb 25, Hoodoo Ski Area, 27400 Big Lake Road, Sisters
Celebrating more than 40 years, the Hoodoo Winter Carnival offers visitors a full day of free activities such as axe throwing, a pie eating and tubing contests, frisbee golf, and more.
Don't miss the Dummy Downhill contest where participants send their homemade dummies down the slope and over a jump to see whose can withstand the impact. A prime rib dinner will precede the annual torchlight descent of the mountain, followed by a professional fireworks show to close out the day's festivities. Activities at the base area do not require a lift ticket to participate.
Waterfall Snowshoe Tours at Mt Hood Meadows
Though February, Mt Hood Meadows, $15–45
For all the skiing and snowboarding-challenged, there’s still plenty of opportunities to enjoy the snow this winter. Bundle up and shuffle through the snow-dappled trails of Mount Hood on a guided snowshoe tour, ending in two cascading, icy waterfalls. Guided tours of both Sahalie Falls and Umbrella Falls are available throughout the month, as well as snowshoe and pole rentals at both the Nordic Center at Hood River Meadows and new Sahale Lodge at the main base area.