Picnic Spots with Stellar Views

Dine with a view at 13 outdoor destinations in the West. 

Family picnicking at Ecola State Park, Ore., image

Oregon's Ecola State Park features soft grass and gorgeous views. 

California

Arch Rock Bear Valley Trail, Point Reyes National Seashore, Calif. “Worth every step,” promises Deborah Petersen. “Sitting high on this massive rock with the ocean on three sides, you’ll beam like a lighthouse.” nps.gov/pore.

Edgewood Park & Natural Preserve Redwood City, Calif. “Expect views from the Bay Bridge to San Jose on trails here,” Mike Hildreth says. “Park in Emerald Hills on Robertson Way.” www.co.sanmateo.ca.us/portal/site/parks.

Folsom Point Folsom Lake State Recreation Area, Folsom, Calif. “Water surrounds the picnic area,” Marijane Osborn says. “One day a meandering sailboat was the only boat in sight. Could it be more gorgeous?” www.parks.ca.gov.

Garden Of Eden Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, Felton, Calif. “At a bend in the San Lorenzo River you can picnic on a rock or sand amid sun, rushing water, and majestic redwoods,” says Andrea Monaco Randall. www.parks.ca.gov

Idaho

Ste. Chapelle Winery Caldwell, Idaho. “A great place with a breathtaking view of the Snake River Valley,” Sherron Carlson says. “In summer the winery has special Sunday music events. Bring a picnic or buy one there.” stechapelle.com.

Nevada

Johnson Lake Great Basin National Park, Nev. “Imagine picnicking on a rock while gazing at a pristine alpine lake that reflects the nearby mountains like a mirror,” Alison Mueller says. “This day hike is well worth the effort.” nps.gov/grba.

Oregon

Ecola State Park Cannon Beach, Ore. “Certain to please bird-watchers and surfers, history buffs and photographers,” Dove Hotz says. “Ample picnicking and romping space for you and your pooch.” oregonstateparks.org.

Astoria Column Astoria, Ore.“There’s a great view of the Astoria-Megler Bridge from the picnic table on Coxcomb Drive below the column,” Judi Mahoney says. astoria-usa.com/astoria_column.shtml.

Bradley State Scenic Viewpoint Columbia River Highway west of Clatskanie, Ore. “An interesting spot that you wouldn’t know was here,” Nancy Wilcox says. “The tables are usually very private. Up the river you can see the ships loading timber of Longview, Wash.” oregonstateparks.org.

Cape Perpetua Scenic Area Yachats, Ore. “The West Shelter observation point, built in 1933, stands 700 feet above the Pacific,” Eileen Flory says. “You can look down at sea lions resting on the beach.” fs.usda.gov/main/siuslaw.

Hat Point Overlook Joseph, Ore. “Awesome,” Carroll Gorg says. “The picnic area here overlooks Hells Canyon. You see the Snake River and beautiful Seven Devils Mountains.” fs.usda.gov/recarea/wallowa-whitman/recarea/?recid=51929.

International Rose Test Garden Portland. “Bring picnics, blankets, and chairs to enjoy summer concerts and views into Portland,” Barbara Kochevar says. “Wander among the fragrant roses.” rosegardenstore.org/rose-gardens.cfm.

Utah

Scout Lookout Zion National Park, Utah. “The trail to this overlook is two miles long with a 1,500-foot elevation gain,” Michael Stone says. “But the rewards are stunning views of Angels Landing and Zion Canyon.” nps.gov/zion.

Photography by Don Frank

This article was first published in July 2013. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.

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