Mt. Hood, Oregon
Your Oregon gateway  
Geography, Flora and Fauna

Oregon is a state divided by mountains. The Cascade Mountains stretch across the entire north/south length of Oregon, producing areas with two entirely different climates. West of the Cascades, a mild, moist marine climate prevails, while east of the Cascades, Oregon's high desert country can be scorching hot or bitterly cold. In between the Cascades and the coast, the Coast Range defines the lush growing land of the Willamette Valley from the marine coast area.

The wildflowers of Oregon are a special treat for the visitor. Driving, biking or especially hiking anywhere in Oregon can lead you by a myriad of wildflowers, both large and small. The vivid blue of delphiniums, the quirky petals of an inside-out flower, a bright splash of Indian paintbrush or the breathtaking view of a field of glacier lilies - all these and much more can be seen in Oregon.


The wildlife of Oregon is diverse. Oregon's state animal, the beaver, gives us the nickname of the Beaver State. The beaver is also America's largest rodent. Oregon has herds of Roosevelt elk and black tailed deer in western part of the state, and Rocky Mountain elk and mule deer east of the Cascades. In the high desert country of southeastern Oregon, there is a refuge for pronghorn antelope. Smaller animals in Oregon include skunks, raccoons, chipmunks, squirrels and opossums. Mountain lions, black bears and bobcats are also found in Oregon's forests.

As part of the Pacific Flyway, Oregon has many species of birds. The Klamath basin hosts the largest number of overwintering bald eagles in the lower 48 states, and is known as Oregon's premier bird watching area. Some of the species that can be seen are golden eagle red-tailed and rough-legged hawks, Canada geese, many duck species, herons, gulls, terns and grebes. Wildlife preserves such as Malheur and Findley are stopover points for Canada and snow geese, whistling swans, and the rare sandhill crane.

The diversity of natural resources, in flora, fauna and the land itself, is one of the most valued experiences that Oregon has to offer visitors.




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