Oregon Geography and Famous Natives

Oregon geography

Oregon’s Pacific coastline of rugged cliffs (over 1,000 feet high) where the land then rises into the Coastal Range and the Klamath Mountains of the south; both are a series of relatively low, heavily forested peaks punctuated by numerous small lakes.

Directly to the east of those mountains, the Willamette Lowlands stretch south from the Portland area about 175 miles. This fertile strip of land is parsed by the Willamette River, which rises at the Cascades to then flow north to Colombia.

  • Allcitycodes: Provides map of area codes in Oregon by county and city.
  • Ask4beauty: Introduction to the state of Oregon, addressing geography, history, politics, economy and population.
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To the east of the lowlands stand the majestic Cascades. This range (volcanic in origin) peaks include Mt. Hood, Oregon’s highest point, as well as many other major mountains including Mt. Jefferson, Montana. McLaughlin and those Three Sisters. These forested mountains contain many lakes, including Crater Lake (America’s deepest lake) at 1,932 feet deep.

The Columbia Plateau extends south from Washington to cover most of eastern Oregon. Formed by ancient lava flows, this is a landscape of deep, wide valleys and rugged mountains, including Blue and Wallowa. Hell Canyon, analyzed by the Serpent River on the Oregon- Idaho border, is the deepest gorge in America, with a maximum depth of 7,900 feet.

The Harney Basin, part of the larger Great Basin region of the western United States, is an arid and flat stretch of land that has no natural outlet to the sea. Harney Lake, Mahler Lake and the Steens Mountains are its main features.

Oregon’s most significant rivers are the Columbia and the Serpent. The Columbia rises of British Columbia, Canada, then flows south through Washington into Oregon, forming much of the natural northern boundary between the two states. The snake rises in the Great Tetons of Wyoming and flows all the way to the Columbia in Washington State. Other notable rivers include the Deschutes, John Day, Owyhee, Rogue and Willamette.

Oregon Famous Natives

People listed are almost always native to the state. We do (on occasion) include those who have either lived within the state for most of their adult lives or have made significant contributions to the state in their personal endeavors.


  • Danny Ainge basketball and baseball player
  • David Anders actor
  • Secretary of the Interior Cecil D. Andrusa
  • Gather Evangelist Ted Armstrong


  • Brad Badger footballer
  • Del Baker baseball player
  • Rex T. Barbera Airman, World War II fighter pilot
  • Carl Barks artist, illustrator
  • James Beard food expert, writer
  • Philip Bradley Bird animator
  • Earl Blumenoer politician
  • Bill Bowerman founder Nike
  • Chuck Bawn Racer
  • John Bown Racer
  • Meredith Brooks singer, songwriter
  • Actor Ty Burrell


  • Airman Marion Carl, World War II Ace fighter pilot
  • Raymond Carver short story writer, poet
  • Michael Cassidy actor
  • Chief Leader Joseph Nez Persa Indiana
  • Written by Beverly Cleary
  • Actress Gretchen Corbett
  • Jack Corbett cartoonist


  • Homer Davenport political cartoonist
  • Harold L. Davis author
  • Jack Elam actor
  • Baseball player Jacoby Ellsbury
  • Douglas C. Engelbart inventor
  • Neil Everett sportscaster


  • George Buck Flower actor
  • Singer Sally Flynn
  • Dick Fosbury athlete, high jumper
  • Dan Gauthier actor
  • Alfred C. Gilbert inventor, toy manufacturer
  • Bob Gilder golfer
  • Matt Groening cartoonist, producer, writer


  • Page Hamilton singer, guitarist
  • Tim Hardin musician, composer
  • Figure skater Tony Harding
  • Katie Harman former Miss America
  • Joey Harrington football player
  • Bret Harrison actor
  • Mark Hatfield politician
  • Howard Hesseman actor
  • William (Bill) Louis Hudson musician, singer, songwriter
  • Brett Hudson musician, singer, songwriter
  • Track athlete Joni Huntley


  • Peter Jacobsen golfer
  • Photographer David Kennerley
  • Harmon Killebrew baseball player
  • Dave Kingman baseball player
  • Justin Kirk actor
  • Actor Toby Linza
  • Steve Lyons baseball player, sportscaster


  • Edwin Markham poet
  • Written by Phyllis McGinley
  • Charles McNairy politician
  • Actor Jesse Merz, director, producer
  • Actress Elaine Miles
  • Sean Muir playwright
  • Actress Ona Munson
  • Dale Murphy baseball player


  • Morain Braun Neuberger politician
  • Austin O’Brien actor
  • Patrick O’Hearn musician
  • Bob Packwood politician
  • Linus Pauling chemist
  • Baseball player Johnny Sandy
  • River Phoenix actor
  • Actor Micha Pileggi
  • Actress Jane Powell
  • Steve Prefontaine legendary long distance runner


  • Ahmad Rashed football player, sportscaster
  • Johnny Ray singer
  • Singer Susan Ray
  • John Reed journalist, poet
  • Harold Reynoldsbaseball player
  • Actress Kim Rhodes
  • Jason James Richterector
  • Burt Rutan space engineer
  • Actress Susan Ratten
  • Mark Ryden artist


  • Actress Katie Sackhoff
  • Patricia Schroeder politician
  • Stephen Scott composer
  • Doc Severinsen musician
  • Ross Shafra comedian, television host
  • Jonathan Stark tennis player
  • Actress Sally Struthers


  • Will Winton animator
  • Craig Wasson actor
  • Philip Whalen poet
  • Physicist Carl E. Wimena, Nobel laureate
  • David “Dave” Wilcox football player
  • Drummer Brak Wilk
  • Actress Bridgett Wilson
  • Football player Kaylee Wong
  • Anthony Wynna playwright, author


  • Arthur Younger politician
  • Fencing gold medalist Marieli Sagounis
  • John Zerzan author

Portland Oregon

Located in the northwest corner of Oregon, about 70 miles from the Pacific Ocean, Portland is a city of quiet charm and natural grace. Parsed by the Willamette River and located along the southern edge of the Columbia major system, Portland sits between the Pacific coastal range and the magnificent Cascade Mountains.

From Portland, opportunities for outdoor adventures are plentiful, be it kayaking the rapids of Columbia, camping in ancient, majestic forests or stepping up the trails of the surrounding mountain ranges and valleys.

With many gardens and parks, and as a world-famous center for rose cultivation, “City of Roses” has earned its reputation as one of the most beautiful cities in North America, and as a great place to visit on any Oregon business trip or family vacation.

  • Portland is often referred to as “The Greenest City in America”.
  • Oregon is the only other state besides New Jersey where people can’t pump their own gas – the attendant has to do that job!
  • Hood, to the east of Portland, is an extinct volcano and part of a network of volcanic peaks within the Cascade Mountains.

Check out our Portland attraction map to spot some exciting places to visit.

Portland Rose Gardens Portland Rose
Gardens (at various locations across the city), soothe the mind and body with gorgeous displays of roses.
The rose gardens bloom with color and life and are a favorite stop for Oregon tourists and locals looking to unwind and unwind. The Portland Rose Gardens are also home to the annual Rose Festival and parade.

Alberta Arts
District The Alberta Arts District is best known for being a vibrant arts community that throws a big party on the last Thursday of the month.
The area has funky shops, great galleries, dozens of cafes and an assortment of good Portland Located along Albert Street, it is spread through one of the city’s most culturally diverse and historic districts.

Old City Chinatown
Enjoy the sights and stories of Portland’s oldest and most intriguing neighborhood. Old City Chinatown is an interesting mix of history, commercial office, popular bars, nightclubs and Chinese restaurants.
The biggest attraction in the Old City is the amazing Classical Chinese Garden, an authentic Suzhou style garden and the largest of its kind in the country. Here you can enjoy a lively Saturday Market, experience amazing local food, shop for local arts and crafts and just have fun for a whole day in this city within a city!

Oregon State

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