Overland Expo PNW—July 7-9, 2023

Overland Expo PNW

I’ve always considered Oregon—especially the Eastern desert regions—to be an overlooked and underrated overlanding destination. Like all Western states, Oregon contains a huge variety of landscapes, and they belie the rain- and IPA-soaked Portlandia stereotypes. Nearly 53% of the state is public land, and there are many miles of dirt to explore, from Arch Rock State Park on the Pacific Ocean to the Eagle Cap Wilderness near the border with Idaho. My grandparents used to live high in the Cascades near Bend, and I cherish many happy memories of casting lines into the crystal waters of the Metolius River with my grandfather. Oregon is a special place, and Redmond again will host this year’s Overland Expo PNW from July 7-9, 2023, at the Deschutes Expo Center.

The newest of the four Overland Expos, Pacific Northwest is only in its second year, but it’s poised for growth the way central Oregon has been. Deschutes County has exploded over the last decade, both in terms of population and its reputation as an outdoor and adventure mecca. Vast networks of trails for feet, bikes, ATVs, and 4x4s snake through the high desert and nearby mountains, rock climbers descend on (and ascend) the world-class crags at Smith Rock, fishermen ply their trade on the Deschutes River, and you can even take a few hacks at one of the nearly 40 golf courses in the area if you’re feeling like mixing it up. There are over 30 (!) breweries in Bend alone and many great places to eat, so the social scene also hops (literally).

Of course, there will be plenty to do at the Expo itself, including an all-new off-road driving course to tackle, in addition to the dozens of classes to take, hundreds of exhibitors to visit, and camaraderie to be had in the campgrounds. A few of us from Expedition Portal and Overland Journal will be there as well, so be sure to stop by our tent in the exhibitor area to say hi and even purchase a hat or a magazine subscription.

Tickets for Overland Expo PNW range from $25 for a basic day pass to $405 for the all-encompassing Overland Experience Pass. The Premium Weekend Passes are already sold out, so if you’re thinking of attending, now’s the time to act.

Images: Overland Expo, John Allen

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Stephan Edwards is the Associate Editor of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal. He and his wife, Julie, once bought an old Land Rover sight unseen from strangers on the internet in a country they'd never been to and drove it through half of Africa. After living in Botswana for two years, Stephan now makes camp at the foot of a round mountain in Missoula, Montana. He still drives that Land Rover every day. An anthropologist in his former life and a lover of all things automotive, Stephan is a staunch advocate for public lands and his writing and photography have appeared in Road & Track, Overland Journal, and Adventure Journal. Find him at @venturesomeoverland on Instagram.