The origin of the state's name is unknown, but one theory holds that it may have come from the Wisconsin River, shown in a 1715 French map as "Ouaricon." In 1859, Oregon was admitted as the 33rd state to the Union. Spanish sailors in search of a northwest passage were the first Europeans to see what is known today as Oregon. Settlers traveling in wagon trains over the Oregon Trail in the 1840s followed the missionaries who had come in the 1830s.
Oregon is a state of great natural beauty with places such as Crater Lake National Park and the Columbia River Gorge. Oregon is known for its vast evergreen forests and its mountains, covered in forests, make Oregon the leading state in the production of wood products.The rugged beauty of Oregon's mountains, seacoast and forest lands attract millions of tourists every year. Majestic snow-covered Mount Hood towers above the Cascade Range about 80 kilometers east of Portland. Motorists can skirt Mount Hood and see close-up views of its glacier-clad slopes. A drive along the Oregon coastline provides dramatic views of white sand dunes, coastal lakes and bays, and cliffs rising above the shore.
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