Spring is a time for new beginnings. For me, cherry blossoms and melting snow usually signals that it’s time to start hiking, camping and exploring around Vancouver.

However, 2020 is shaping up to be anything but normal.

As an outdoor adventurer, I still need to get my nature fix. But how? Are virtual videos the next best thing? Try it out and visit Utah and Oregon—for free­—online.

photoAlison Karlene Hodgins


Never been to Utah? Now’s your chance. The Utah Office of Tourism has curated a round-up of virtual experiences to bring the outdoors to you. Whether it’s experiencing Moab’s vast desert and star-spangled night skies or racing across snow with sled dogs in Park City, here are a couple of ways to experience this state’s incredible nature:



Travel Oregon has released nine 10- to 20-minute videos that imbue feelings of peace and relaxation, while allowing you to experience the West Coast’s incredible scenery.

Accessible through YouTube, these videos range widely. You can be transported to to all seven regions around the state and watch:

  • A musical performance at The Painted Hills in Eastern Oregon
  • Painting Autumn colours en plein air at Lithia Park in Southern Oregon
  • Watching waves lap the shore in Samuel H. Boardman State Park on the Oregon Coast
  • Fly fishing on the Deschutes River in Central Oregon
  • Chasing waterfalls at Salt Creek Falls in the Willamette Valley
  • Touring the Portland Japanese Garden
  • Relaxing fireside overlooking Mt. Hood and Mt. Hood Ski Bowl



There’s also a playlist of 13 short, one- to two-minute clips that allow you to see the regions in 360-degree video. Simply press “play” and click the arrow keys or click and drag to navigate around the screen. This epic technology gives you the feeling of really being there in real life.

Travel to:

  • Columbia River Gorge
  • Smith Rock State Park
  • Southern Oregon Coast
  • Hellgate Canyon
  • Portland Timbers
  • Anthony Lakes
  • Oregon Coast Aquarium
  • Archery Summit Winery
  • Mt. Bachelor
  • Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood


Will you go on a virtual adventure this spring?

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