150 episodes

Everything to know about exploring Oregon's best outdoor destinations from the Statesman Journal including where to camp, hike, bike and more.

Explore Oregon: Making the most of the outdoors Statesman Journal

    • Sports
    • 4.6 • 96 Ratings

Everything to know about exploring Oregon's best outdoor destinations from the Statesman Journal including where to camp, hike, bike and more.

    Oregon Outback: Hot springs, hikes, dark skies and thick steaks

    Oregon Outback: Hot springs, hikes, dark skies and thick steaks

    In this episode, host Zach Urness talks about the Oregon Outback and Summer Lake area, a land of desert canyons, hot springs, hikes and quite possibly Oregon's best restaurant.

    The region was recently established as a dark sky sanctuary, but Urness looks at all the daytime adventures, along with the best time to visit and places to stay.

    He talks about Crack in the Ground, Cowboy Tree Diner and Summer Lake, among many other places to fish, bird-watch, hunt, hike and explore.

    • 32 min
    Eugene woman talks about shattering speed record on Oregon Pacific Crest Trail

    Eugene woman talks about shattering speed record on Oregon Pacific Crest Trail

    In this episode, host Zach Urness talks to ultra runner Emily Halnon of Eugene, who back in 2020 set the speed record for the Oregon segment of the Pacific Crest Trail.

    Halnon ran the Oregon PCT's 460 miles in 7 days, 19 hours and 23 minutes — an average of 57 miles per day. She set the record for both male and female runners. 

    In the podcast — and in a recently published book — Halnon talked about doing the run to honor her mother, who died of a rare form of bone cancer.

    Halnon's recently published a book about her experience called "To the Gorge: Running, Grief, and Resilience & 460 Miles on the Pacific Crest Trail." She's currently on a book tour in Oregon and elsewhere. See her page, emilyhalnon.com, for a full list of book tour stops.

    • 51 min
    Fern hunt! How to harvest plants from Oregon's national forests for your backyard with a free permit

    Fern hunt! How to harvest plants from Oregon's national forests for your backyard with a free permit

    In this edition of the Explore Oregon Podcast, host Zach Urness talks about a program that allows harvesting plants from national and state forests and replanting them your own backyard.

    With the program, you can transplant ferns, saplings and even wildflowers into your own yard for free. It's called the "forest products free use permit" and we'll tell you how you can use it to go on your own plant hunt.

    • 22 min
    A guide to ‘wildflower hotspots’ and the best times to visit

    A guide to ‘wildflower hotspots’ and the best times to visit

    In this episode, Zach talks about Oregon's wildflower hotspots and the best times to visit with expert Greg Lief.

    Lief, who runs the website OregonWildflowers.org and the Facebook group Oregon Wildflowers, talks about some of Oregon's most interesting blooms and the best times to visit places such as the Columbia Gorge, Old Cascades, Coast Range and Eastern Oregon.

    • 54 min
    Steelhead rebound: Once at risk of extinction, Oregon's iconic fish has biggest year in two decades

    Steelhead rebound: Once at risk of extinction, Oregon's iconic fish has biggest year in two decades

    In this episode of the Explore Oregon Podcast, host Zach Urness talks about the rebound of one of Oregon's most iconic fish from near extinction.

    Urness was interviewed by Think Out Loud host Dave Miller on Oregon Public Broadcasting about why this year's run of winter steelhead in the Upper Willamette Basin was so special. After their population nearly crashing in 2017, the sea-run trout returned their best numbers in two decades this year.

    The interview was based on a story Urness wrote on the subject titled: "Once in 'extinction vortex,' Willamette winter steelhead post best returns since 2004."

    • 17 min
    Oregon Desert Trail features canyons, dark sky, hot springs, solitude

    Oregon Desert Trail features canyons, dark sky, hot springs, solitude

    In this episode, host Zach Urness revisits the Oregon Desert Trail, a challenging but beautiful route designed to open the eyes of hikers to the wonders of the high desert.

    Urness talks about why spring is a time to consider hiking or planning a short or long-distance trek along the 750-mile route that travels from just outside of Bend all the way to Lake Owyhee State Park.

    Urness get expertise from Renee Patrick, trail coordinator for the Oregon Natural Desert Association about everything hikers need to know about undertaking the route, and just what makes it special.

    • 30 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
96 Ratings

96 Ratings

jamwcats ,

Outstanding journalism & information

I moved to Oregon in 2018 and luckily discovered this podcast shortly there after. Zach Urness produces well research highly interesting content that has enhanced my understanding of Oregon and nature in general. I enjoy this podcast so much I share it with friends and family, and have actually almost subscribed to the statesman based on the podcast alone. Zach, if you read these reviews, I am really curious about the music that starts every show. Is that your guitar playing or someone else’s?

Gary Rembrant 123 ,

Fantastic podcast!

Lots of great ideas for getting outside in Oregon and good context about how to stay away from the crowds!

Gaiduwbak579 ,

Oregon is a Joke

If listening to this podcast for a couple years has taught me anything, it’s that 1) the government in Oregon is actively trying to keep people from outdoor recreation, and 2) Oregonians are entitled, conceited hypocrites who abuse nature when given the opportunity. That’s basically the theme of every episode. “Too many people are going outside and ruining it. How do we keep them from doing it while keeping up this facade of being green, outdoorsy Oregonians?” State Parks is a joke. The Forest Service is a disappointment. Go to literally any other state if you want wide open spaces and freedom to recreate responsibly.

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