Oregon : Safety by City
- Baker City
- Coos Bay
- Hood River
- Klamath Falls
- La Grande
- Lincoln City
Corvallis, Oregon, pulsates with both historical charm, youthful vigor, creative vibes, and outdoor adventures, all at the center of the Willamette Valley.
Founded in 1853 on the banks of the Willamette River, this “Heart of the Valley” cradles Oregon State University, a renowned institute that has shaped science, agriculture, and forestry for over a century.
Beavers, the university’s beloved mascot, not only paint the town green and gold but also reflect Corvallis’ commitment to environmental stewardship and sustainability.
A vibrant downtown buzzes with art galleries, eclectic shops, and locally sourced gastropubs while farmers’ markets burst with fresh produce and artisan delights.
For the adventurer, Corvallis is a gateway to nature’s playground.
Hike through lush Avery Park, paddle the Willamette River, or spot eagles soaring above Finley National Wildlife Refuge.
Meanwhile, you’re just 60 miles from the coast and 80 miles to Portland.
Heck, you’re also just two hours from America’s deepest lake at Crater Lake National Park.
One quick note – the name Willamette is pronounced “Will-ammit.”
It’s helpful to remember this rhyme, “Willamette Dammit.”
Warnings & Dangers in Corvallis
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low risk in Corvallis when it comes to violent crime, but theft is another thing. It's nothing to be overly concerned about, and we'll help you make the best safety decisions to keep the risk low.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
Corvallis Transit System is free public transportation. You can also get a free express ride to Philomath. Look at the "Connecting Services" section of the city's website to find other options that can take you to Portland or the coast. Taxis and rideshare are easy to find, and rental cars offer another option.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
The high theft rates made me think this category would be at least a medium risk, but 2022 had just three pickpockets or purse snatchings. I dug back to the previous five years, and the average bios are three pickpockets a year. Car break-ins are another story we'll talk about later. The risk is statistically low, but don't let your guard down.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW
You'll get a lot of rain here, and that could lead to flash flooding, landslides, or mudslides. Earthquakes are another risk, but there's a helpful guide on the city's emergency management website to help you learn about safety. While the risk of a volcano eruption is rare, it's still something to know basic safety steps. The risk is low, but keep it that way by learning the unique weather landscape here.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
This is another low-risk, with a robbery rate 40% lower than national averages. In addition, just 20% of those are highway robberies - in 2022, the raw number was six highway robberies.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
Yet another low risk as this is a remote town with no real draw for international terrorism. Read the latest Terrorism Advisory Bulletin from Homeland Security to get an overview of terrorism concerns in the country. Mass shootings and domestic terrorism can happen anywhere. There's no way to avoid that risk, but you can help by reporting any suspicious activity.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
The risk is low, but keep it that way by reviewing the latest scams from the city, university, and state attorney general. Most of the ones I've seen involved common phone scams or targeted students.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Women should use all the standard safety precautions, especially those enjoying alcoholic beverages in this college town. There's nothing in the crime data that suggests female visitors are at a higher risk.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
The 2023 Water Quality Report shows full compliance and no violations. New reports for the previous calendar year are issued by July 1.
Safest Places to Visit in Corvallis
VisitCorvallis.com is the official tourism site for the city.
One thing I love about this website is the “Travel Watch,” where you can get information about road construction, air quality, and wildfire risks.
Too many tourism sites don’t want to talk about the “negative” aspects, but I give kudos for helping people visit SAFELY.
View the tourism guide online, so you don’t have to give personal information to have it mailed to you.
Step back in time to the Benton County Historical Museum, housed in a stunning Queen Anne-style mansion.
Immerse yourself in local history through interactive exhibits, antique photographs, and fascinating artifacts that whisper tales of pioneer grit and innovation.
Stroll through the soul of Corvallis along vibrant Third Street.
Browse eclectic shops showcasing local art and handcrafted goods, savor a cup of joe at a cozy café, or indulge in gourmet treats at the bustling Corvallis Farmers’ Market, teeming with fresh produce and artisan delights.
Downtown also offers an Alley Art Walk and a Mural Scavenger hunt for those who can’t get enough creative inspiration.
Embrace the outdoors at Avery Park, a verdant oasis brimming with natural beauty.
Wander through the fragrant Rose Garden, explore wooded trails teeming with birdlife, or simply relax on a picnic blanket under the shade of towering trees.
Indulge your inner nature explorer at Finley National Wildlife Refuge, a haven for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts.
Hike through wetlands teeming with waterfowl, kayak along the serene Willamette River, or spot elusive bald eagles soaring through the skies.
You’ll see Mary’s Peak dominating the skyline, and in just 30 minutes, you could be there.
The 4,097 summit has a road to the top, or you can hike and camp in the region.
When the weather is clear, you’ll see the ocean from the top.
Four seasons of fun await, from spring waterfalls to winter skiing.
If you’re really adventurous, try the Corvallis-to-the-Sea trail that winds 62 miles through the Willamette Valley.
You can hike or bike it.
The trail’s western edge is Ona Beach.
The Willamette Water Trail goes through Corvallis on its 187 miles of beautiful river.
You’ll pass through many towns along the way.
This region is also known for its wineries and breweries.
While there are far too many to list here, you can look for the Heart of Willamette Wine Passport on the tourism site.
Places to Avoid in Corvallis
You won’t have to overthink where you visit, as there aren’t parts of town that are too dangerous.
However, with the theft rate here, you do want to avoid letting your guard down.
If you’re renting a bicycle, ensure you know how to lock it and ask about the best bike theft prevention – bike thefts make up 20% of all thefts.
If you leave your car unlocked, you’ll likely have someone rummaging around in it.
Avoid leaving rental paperwork or anything with personal information inside.
Crime data and social media reviews show the same issue with theft.
You should also know that’s why many crime maps you see only make the rate look worse than it is.
Thefts are double the national average.
There is a one in 33 chance of being a theft victim in Corvallis.
By simply paying attention and using diligence safety measures, you’ll lower that risk.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Corvallis
- Corvallis does have its own police department. Follow them on Facebook @CorvallisPoliceDepartment to get updates. You can also ask specific safety questions by calling (541) 766-6924 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In one quick text message, you can sign up for Corvallis Alerts. These emergency notifications will let you know about any major public safety hazards, severe weather, earthquakes, and anything else that is necessary to share with the public. All you have to do is text CORVALLIS to 888777.
- You can also consider subscribing to city email alerts. While there are dozens of categories, I want to offer a few that I think would be helpful for tourists. Those include “Emergency News and Notices,” “CTS Service Alerts,” and “Active Transportation.”
- The police department has a “Crime Prevention” section on its website that is worth reviewing. You’ll find safety brochures about various crime concerns along with information about neighborhood watch groups.
- Police also release a daily list of activities, which is one of the best ways to get updated crime information. Keep in mind that this list will cover every call, even if it doesn’t lead to an arrest.
- You’ll see a lot of beavers here, and not just the mascot of the university. Beavers build dams throughout the waterways (much to the chagrin of the water managers trying to keep water flowing). You are welcome to watch the beavers but don’t pet or feed them. They have sharp teeth and can carry disease.
- Any fishing requires a license from the state wildlife department. You can purchase it online and carry it with you. Be sure you get an out-of-state or non-resident license.
- Regardless of how you choose to get around, this is a bicycle-friendly community, and you’ll be sharing the road with vehicles and bikes. This is called “Active Transportation” in Corvallis. You can review the laws, rules, and a map of bicycle lanes on the city’s website.
- Homelessness is an ongoing issue in Corvallis, and the city does allow some “safe places” for the homeless to sleep without police interference. That could mean you’ll see them in front of city hall. You are under no obligation to give anyone money or food. Should you be inclined to do so, please donate to a homeless shelter instead.
- Free parking is available downtown, with some three-hour time-limit street spots or free parking lots. If you’re visiting during an OSU game day, traffic will be intense as 40,000 people come through Corvallis. Street closures and parking restrictions might apply.
So... How Safe Is Corvallis Really?
Corvallis follows a trend that many mid-sized cities see in Oregon – low violent crime rates and absurd theft rates.
The violent crime rate is 40% lower than the state average and nearly 50% lower than the national average.
On top of that, 90% of crimes involve people who know each other.
Almost half happens in private homes.
Oregon has a huge problem with car thefts, but in Corvallis, that number is about two per week.
Thefts are 114% higher than the national average.
I’ve seen numbers like this across the state.
In Corvallis, the highest theft categories are car break-ins, car accessory thefts, shoplifting and bicycle theft.
There’s another category called “other” that covers things stolen from yards or campsites – essentially anything that doesn’t fit into the defined categories.
As noted above, that theft risk doesn’t go so far as to impact the pickpocket risk, but it’s smart to know that people capable of theft are around looking for opportunities.
You can reduce this risk with easy steps – lock your car doors every time you park, don’t leave personal items inside, and park near security cameras or in a garage when possible.
Corvallis is a safe place to visit beyond that, and you’ll find plenty of things to keep you busy.
How Does Corvallis Compare?
|New York City
|Buenos Aires (Argentina)
To get through Customs and Border Patrol at the airport or port of entry, international travelers must obtain either a visa or a visa waiver. You can check your eligibility for a visa waiver by visiting the U.S. State Department website. Make sure your passport is valid for at least another six months.
You'll use U.S. Dollar currency while you're here. Credit cards are widely accepted. Check with your bank to see if you'll have to pay a foreign transaction fee. Exchange currency at the airport or at your home bank, which has the lowest fees.
Pack a mix of quick-drying tops, sweaters, and a good rain jacket. Rain is common, but it rarely gets super cold. Comfortable shoes are essential, especially if you plan on exploring the outdoors. Hiking boots or waterproof shoes are ideal. Bring bug spray. Even with overcast skies, you still need sunscreen.
The closest options are Eugene Airport (EUG), 42 miles away, and Portland International Airport (PDX), 81 miles away. Don't get that confused with Portland International Jetport across the country in Maine.
When weather could disrupt the travel experience, purchasing protection is prudent. Seek coverage for medical expenses if uninsured abroad too. Ensure rental car insurance safeguards you in the event of any accidents, breakdowns, or roadside assistance needs.
Corvallis Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Oregon - Safety by City