One of the best things about the Pacific Northwest is its access to nature, particularly in the form of hiking trails! Now that we are in the middle of summer, it is the perfect time to get out and explore some of our favorite spots. Hiking is one of our favorite activities and whether you want some beautiful vistas, waterfalls, or a good workout, we have you covered! In no particular order, here are some of our favorite hiking trails near Portland.
Silver Falls State Park
Located an hour south of Portland, this state park has something no matter the type of hike you are looking for. With a variety of trails and loops, you can see just one waterfall with a very short walk, 7 waterfalls with the fairly easy 5 mile hike. Or for the full experience you can do the moderate 10 falls trail which is 8 miles.
Columbia Gorge Old Highway
There are so many waterfalls and hikes along the old highway in the Columbia River Gorge. The most famous is Multnomah Falls, which is the tallest waterfall in Oregon. You can do the short paved hike up to the bridge, or the 2.4 mile hike up to the top. There is a ton of elevation gain on this one, so prepare for a workout. There is also a 2.1 Mile hike for Latourell Falls, a .3 mile hike to Bridal Veil Falls, and a quick walk to Starvation creek. Many others are still closed due to the fires in 2017. You can check for updates HERE
Located about 45 minutes from Portland This 4.8 mile roundtrip hike will take you up to top of the hill for some gorgeous views of the gorge. This is a moderately difficult hike due to the elevation gain and switchbacks, but the views are worth it.
If you want views of the mountain, you can’t beat being on the mountain. The bonus of this hike is that it starts in a chair lift! From there there are a large variety of hikes with varying difficulty. You can simply do a quick hike around the wildflower fields, or do a 4 day hike around the entire mountain.
In Town Hikes
Tryon Creek State Natural Area
For a beautiful mossy meander that is right in SW Portland, Tryon Creek is hard to beat. There are several different loops throughout the park, meaning that you can really build your own distance and trajectory. There are also many benches dotted about to sit and contemplate the beauty that surrounds you.
Forest Park is a classic for a reason. There are SO MANY different trails and beautiful areas to visit in the park, so whether you are looking for a flat and mellow stroll or a challenging trail run, you will be able to find it here. Just make sure to have a map handy so you don’t get lost in this huge wilderness area!
Washington Workout Hikes
This hike really has it all: a beautiful waterfall, gorgeous forest scape, and a stunning view of the Gorge from the top. But to do the whole thing you are looking at around 7-8 miles all told, though the elevation gain is a relatively moderate 2,100 ft. Luckily, the trail is mostly shaded on the way up to keep you from sweating it out too badly.
Dog Mountain is just as famous for it’s wildflower fields as it is for being a really solid workout option. At 6.5 miles and elevation gain of 2,800 ft, you will be feeling this one the next day. About a 1/2 mile or so in you will be presented with an option, ‘Difficult or More Difficult’. I personally recommend climbing the steeper route and descending on the more gentle grade to get a good loop in.
Do you have some amazing hiking trails that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments so we can go check them out!