OREGON HIKING

/OREGON HIKING

Oregons Best Hiking Spots

We consider Oregon to be an outdoor lovers paradise. Boasting numerous state parks, desert lands, mountain ranges, a picture perfect coast and so much more, there is never a shortage of things to do or see. While we do get our fair share of rain and inclement weather throughout the year, we recommend checking out these 10 hikes no matter the season. With thousands of miles of trails scattered throughout the state, you are never far away from your next adventure.

Eagle Creek

The Eagle Creek hike passes through forest, waterfalls, and sheer cliffs of basalt. Its spectacular views and waterfalls make it one of the most popular trails in the Columbia. Sheer cliffs have no handrails on parts of this trail, so this hike is not suitable for children or those afraid of heights, despite its gentle overall grade. Its iconic Punch Bowl Falls, about 2 miles up the trail, spills 100 feet into a blue-green pool set in a large grotto.

Punch Bowl Falls

Trailkeepers of Oregon crews have been constructing short trails here on what used to be private land but saw regular infiltrations by the local youth in the summer. These 102 acres on the West Fork Hood River became a Hood River county park in 2016 after an initial acquisition by the Western Rivers Conservancy. You’ll enjoy an oak woodland, wildflower meadows, and a couple of waterfalls in a picturesque gorge. The hike ends at the confluence of the East and West Forks of the Hood River. You can return via the short but leafy Dogwood Trail. Please note – the far more famous and much photographed waterfall on Eagle Creek in the Columbia Gorge is spelled as two words: Punch Bowl Falls.

Spencer’s Butte

Spencer Butte Trail is a 1.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Eugene, Oregon that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September. Spencer Butte, which dominates Eugene’s southern skyline, may seem simple on the face of it, but there are a few hazards to be aware of if you want to get the city’s best views. If you are doing the loop, it’s best to take the West Trail first, but this steep rocky path is very slick when wet, sometimes necessitating a scramble here and there.

Cascade Head Trail

This is one of the truly amazing places on the Oregon Coast. It has spectacular views and his home to an endangered species of butterfly and at least two rare plants. The hike has recently been extended when the trailhead was moved south to Knight Park. Flower picking, hunting, camping, fires, bicycles, and dogs have been banned. The easy, upper trailhead to the headland meadows is closed six months of the year (see Harts Cove Hike) to protect threatened Oregon silverspot butterfly caterpillars.

Neahkahnie

The Oregon Coast Trail crosses Neahkahnie Mountain from Short Sand Beach and descends to Manzanita. This hike, mostly within the boundaries of Oswald West State Park, takes you from the majestic old growth around Necarney Creek to the cliff top views of the Devil’s Cauldron; then you cross meadows frequented by elk to hike up Neahkahnie Mountain to a spectacular viewpoint. You’ll descend to the South Neahkahnie Mountain Trailhead. From there, there’s a mile and a half of road walking, including a mile and a quarter along the shoulder of busy Highway 101, but the scenic views make the loop worthwhile. A shorter version of this loop, which knocks 2.6 miles off the total, begins at the North Neahkahnie Mountain Trailhead.

Gold Butte Fire Lookout

Gold Butte Fire Lookout is a real gem in the Willamette National Forest. At 4618 feet elevation, the nearby Cascade Mountain views are nothing short of spectacular! At the summit, sits a L-4 Ground Structure Type Fire Lookout that was built in1934 to be used as a Fire Lookout. Additionally, during WWII it was used as an early warning station for enemy aircraft. Overall the hike up to the summit is fairly easy and free of hazards. It’s not too long or strenuous at all. The mountain views are amazing. Something cool about this spot is that the Fire Lookout can be rented in the summer via the US Forest Service.

Fort To Sea Trail

The Fort To Sea Trail wends its way through the woods south of Fort Clatsop to Sunset Beach on the Pacific Ocean, covering land that once was home to the Clatsop Indians who helped the Corps. The Fort To Sea Trail starts from the Visitor Center at Fort Clatsop. While the Fort to Sea Trail is navigable in any weather, please note that rain can make the trail slick in some places and muddy in others. Also, while the abundant wildlife that you might see, such as deer, elk or eagles, or bear, bobcats or beaver, might be shy, domesticated animals, such as cows, you can encounter in the pastures on the south side of U.S. 101 might not be. Finally, a one-way trip requires pickup at one end of the trail. A cab or wait car should be arranged.

Saddle Mountain

Saddle Mountain State Natural Area is cherished for its hiking trails, wildflowers and breathtaking scenery. A small, seasonal campground, day-use picnic area, a two and a half mile trail to the summit and a short .16 mile side trail are the humble offerings at Saddle Mountain. If the trail’s natural beauty and wildflowers aren’t enough to entice you to the top, the panoramic view from the 3,290-foot summit will. On a clear day you can see the sweep of the Columbia River as it enters the sea, miles of Pacific shoreline- and on the eastern horizon, the Cascade Mountains in Oregon and Washington.

Latourell Falls Loop Trail

Another excellent moderate hike in Oregon is the Latourell Falls Loop Trail, which is in Guy W. Talbot State Park and about two miles long. This is a popular route for nature trips, hikers with dogs, and birdwatchers between May and September. It’s easy to access this trail from Portland, and it’s extremely photogenic!

Trail of Ten Falls

The Trail of Ten Falls is one of the best waterfall hikes in the state, and it’s a moderate 7+ mile hike in a loop. The trail is in Silver Falls State Park and near the Oregon town of Silverton. Yes, there are actually 10 waterfalls in this state park, and it’s a great family-friendly option that’s heavily trafficked. The falls range in height from about 27 feet to 178 feet, and there are additional parts of the park that are ideal for picnicking and biking. Start your hike at the South Falls Lodge Trailhead parking lot and go towards the Rim Trail. Hikers of all skill lovers will enjoy this trail, and you can make this hike shorter by just going out a shorter distance and backtracking from there.

WEATHER REPORT

  • Spring

HIGH 57 °F 14 °C
LOW  30 °F –1 °C
  • Summer

HIGH 81 °F 27 °C
LOW  48 °F 09 °C
  • Fall

HIGH 62 °F 17 °C
LOW  32 °F 00 °C
  • Winter

HIGH 40 °F 17 °C
LOW  23 °F –5 °C