[Author’s note: While this article will be amended as travel restrictions ease, check your particular destination before leaving for the latest updates. Here’s the latest Covid-19 updates from Washington State and Oregon respectively.]
For those seeking to revel in the Pacific Northwest’s outdoor bounty, the Recreate Responsibly Coalition shares six tips for how to #RecreateResponsibly.
- KNOW BEFORE YOU GO Check the status of the place you want to visit. If it is closed, don’t go. If it’s crowded, have a Plan B.
- PRACTICE PHYSICAL DISTANCING Adventure only with your immediate household. Be prepared to cover your nose and mouth and give others space. If you are sick, stay home.
- STAY CLOSE TO HOME This is not the time to travel long distances to recreate. Most places are only open for day use.
- PLAN AHEAD Prepare for facilities to be closed, pack lunch and bring essentials like hand sanitizer and a face covering.
- PLAY IT SAFE Slow down and choose lower-risk activities to reduce your risk of injury. Search and rescue operations and health care resources are both strained.
- LEAVE NO TRACE Respect public lands and communities and take all your garbage with you.
National and State Parks in Oregon and Washington State
Currently, the majority of state parks in Oregon and Washington State are open albeit at limited capacity. Limited overnight camping is available at some sites though reservations are often required. The Oregon State Parks and WA State Parks websites provide the latest updates pertaining to the status of each state park, as well as information about how to make camping reservations.
For additional information regarding Covid-19 restrictions pertaining to recreating in the Pacific Northwest, check out these links.
Also, check out this link for a comprehensive guide to recreational activities in the Gorge that includes both Washington State and Oregon.
Outdoor Travel in Washington Updates
Effective January 11, 2021, the State of Washington launched Healthy Washington – Roadmap to Recovery which uses a regional approach for its upcoming phased recovery plan.
The Cascade Loop (Travelers will travel through communities and natural areas with varying levels of public access. Please research the destinations and plan in advance.)
Long Beach Peninsula With 28-miles of beach and an extensive trail system to spread out on, the Long Beach Peninsula is welcoming visitors as permitted by Washington’s Phase 2 travel advisories, which includes masking up while in public. The health and safety of both residents and guests remains this treasured destination’s highest priority. Kindly review their visitor guidelines prior to visiting, and please note that making reservations ahead of time, especially for dining in, campgrounds and lodging, will help ensure a more relaxing time away. #MaskUpLBP
San Juan Islands (Welcoming visitors back to the Islands under Phase 2 guidelines which include the wearing of masks in all San Juan County businesses and public places outdoors. Lodgings, marinas and campgrounds are open, however, capacity restrictions are in place for restaurants and other businesses. Check out the travel advisory page for San Juan County for the most up-to-date information.)
Spokane (There are no restrictions on travel to Spokane County.)
Vancouver (The city is open to visitors, especially those looking to explore the outdoors. As they are now in Phase 2, indoor dining is at 25% and outdoor gathering are expanded to 2 households and 15 people maximum. Please see their Covid-19 resource page for these updates.)
Outdoor Travel in Oregon Updates
On Travel Oregon’s website, they feature a guide titled “Covid 19: Resources and Updates.” Of particular interest to outdoor enthusiasts is the section “What to Know About Oregon’s Outdoors Right Now” which contains the latest news about how to best enjoy the state’s bounty. Members of the public with questions about the reopening process are encouraged to visit coronavirus.oregon.gov.
Mt. Hood & Columbia River Gorge, Visit Hood River (Hotel options are not limited in the Gorge, but restaurants are. Multnomah and Hood River counties can now have limited indoor dining, the rest is outdoors. Wasco county is still outdoor only. For the latest news regarding what’s open in the Gorge, check out Ready Set Gorge.)
Southern Oregon (They forward to encouraging visitors from across the country to visit Southern Oregon in the very near future, and in the meantime, continue to inspire consideration of Southern Oregon as a future vacation destination.)
Also, the Washington State Wine Commission and the Oregon Wine Board offer Covid-19 resources on their respective websites designed to assist those interested in visiting the wineries and tasting rooms located throughout Oregon and Washington State respectively. Presently tasting rooms in all regions have been approved to open though check each winery before visiting for their hours and current Covid-19 restrictions.