In this guide, we’ll explore the multitude of top hikes in Oregon. Whether you’re looking for coastal treks, forest trails, mountain summits, or long-distance thru-hikes, I’ve got you covered!
As a west coast local, I’ve explored most of the top hikes in Oregon. I’ve been on Oregon’s highest snow-capped peak and have gone backpacking in the deep Oregonian forest for a week straight.
Before I share my in-depth Oregon hiking tips and trails with you, be sure to bookmark my picks for the best things to do in Oregon!
Table of Contents
- 23 Best Hikes In Oregon
- Mount Hood
- Oregon Coast Trail
- Pacific Crest Trail
- Columbia River Gorge
- Three Sisters Loop Trail
- Multnomah Falls
- Garfield Peak Trail
- Misery Ridge and River Trail
- Trail of Ten Falls
- Mount Jefferson
- Clatsop Loop Trail via Indian Beach-Ecola
- Paulina Lakeshore Loop
- Steens Mountain
- McKenzie River Trail
- Cape Falcon Trail
- Watchman Peak Trail
- Mirror Lake
- Koosah and Sahalie Falls Trail
- Mount Adams
- Angel’s Rest
- Latourell Falls Loop Trail
- Ramona Falls Trail
- Gold Butte Fire Lookout
- FAQs About Hikes in Oregon
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23 Best Hikes In Oregon
Scale Oregon’s highest peak, located less than 2 hours from Portland.
Hike to the ceiling of Oregon with an alpine ascent up Mount Hood. This Cascade Mountain hike is by far my favorite hike in Oregon but does require technical mountaineering skills and equipment.
The 11,249-foot summit may not initially seem like much of a challenge compared to higher mountain hikes in Washington, but there is more than 5,000 feet of elevation gain in 3.2 miles on the ascent. This is a feat only successfully tackled by climbers with utmost endurance.
The hike starts from the Timberline Lodge outside of Government Camp, Oregon. Climbing Mount Hood is most often done in a grueling day hike but hikers can also car camp at the trailhead or stay at the lodge.
👉 My Favorite Gear: You must have an ice axe, crampons, and mountaineering boots when climbing Mount Hood. I’ve climbed Hood with the Black Diamond Raven Ice Axe, Black Diamond Contact Strap Crampons, and the La Sportiva Nepal Cube GTX Boots.
Oregon Coast Trail
Embark on an epic long-distance hike along the entire Oregon coast.
The Oregon Coast Trail is for more enduring Oregon hikers. This 362-mile thru-hike is no easy feat and takes an average of 3-4 consecutive weeks to complete.
Oregon travelers with less time can instead choose to section hike scenic stretches of the Oregon Coast Trail. Section 1 is a popular section from the Columbia River to Oswald West, as well as section 2 from Oswald West to Cape Lookout.
This trail traverses sandy beach terrain as well as forest stretches, so be sure to be prepared for multiple landscapes by packing the top hiking essentials.
Pacific Crest Trail
Tackle more than 2,600 miles on this thru-hike from California to Washington.
The most popular thru-hike on the west coast, the Pacific Crest Trail is a 2,650-mile multistate trail that stretches from the California border with Mexico to the Washington border with Canada.
The Oregon portion of the Pacific Crest Trail is 455.2 miles across the entirety of the state from north to south (or vice versa depending on which way you depart). Hiking this long Oregon trail bit by bit is my favorite way to explore the scenic route.
Columbia River Gorge
Choose from one of many hikes in this nationally-protected area and camp right along the Columbia River.
The sheer number of hikes in the Columbia River Gorge is enough to keep an eager hiker occupied for weeks at a time. Top trails include Multnomah Falls, Dog Mountain Trail, Eagle Creek, and Cape Horn Loop Trail.
I highly recommend camping on the cliff of the 80-mile gorge itself, a “Grand Canyon of the Pacific Northwest.” Memaloose State Park is one of the top Oregon campsites right on the river.
Three Sisters Loop Trail
A lesser-traveled backpacking trip that summits three Cascade volcanoes along the way.
The Three Sisters Volcanoes loop starts at the Lava Camp Lake Trailhead, travels 48.1 miles, and ends full circle back at Lava Camp.
This long but scenic hike past grasslands, basaltic rock, and lava beds is best tackled in a 2 or 3-day backpacking adventure. With only 5,800 feet of elevation gain, this multi-day excursion isn’t as strenuous as one would expect for 7,000-foot volcano climbs.
The best time to visit Oregon to hike the Three Sisters Volcanoes is in the late summer when the chances of snowmelt are the greatest.
Portland’s most popular hike displays one of the most breathtaking waterfalls in the state.
Multnomah Falls is perhaps the most popular hike in Oregon. One of the coolest hiking trails in Portland, Multnomah Falls is only 30 minutes-1 hour outside of the big city (depending on where you are).
The falls are free to visit during the off-season months but require a $2 permit if visiting in the summer that can be purchased from Recreation.gov. Visit these falls early in the morning to skip unwanted tourist crowds.
Garfield Peak Trail
A Crater Lake National Park trail with sweeping views of the mesmerizing caldera.
Hike around the perimeter of the deepest lake in the U.S. on the Garfield Peak Trail. The Crater Lake Caldera is highly revered as the top national park in Oregon and the Garfield Peak Trail is the best way to experience the grandeur of the deep blue lake in all its glory.
The 1,076 feet of elevation gain on this 3.5-mile trail means it’s no walk in the park. Get a good workout on Crater Lake’s most photogenic trail before you wind down with an ice-cold beverage from the Crater Lake Lodge.
Misery Ridge and River Trail
Hike high above the Crooked River on a thin trail in Smith Rock State Park.
Visit Central Oregon’s high desert with a trip to Smith Rock State Park. The Misery Ridge Trail provides sweet sweeping views of the snaking Crooked River below.
The steepness of the ridge and river trail is not suited for novice hikers. Additionally, the thin ridge climbing deters dogs off-leash, small children, and individuals prone to vertigo.
Trail of Ten Falls
An Oregon hike that winds past a commune of waterfalls in Silver Falls State Park.
Why hike to just one waterfall when you could hike to 10 pooling cascades in Silver Falls State Park? This moderate hike is my go-to location in the summer months when the Portland humidity is too much to bear.
Loop hikers can approach the falls from either side to see the falls, ranging from 27-178 feet. Bring a bathing suit and dip in one of the waterfall pools at the Trail of Ten Falls.
📚 Related Reading: Oregon Packing List
One of the best hikes in Oregon for an endurance workout in the Cascades.
The Mount Jefferson hike via Pamelia Lake is one long, hard, and remote day hike. At just over 20 miles round-trip and 7,109 feet of elevation gain, Mount Jefferson requires some serious physical fitness and excursion planning skills.
Mouth Jefferson is quite a pleasant overnight camping adventure. Permits for both day hikes and overnight camping trips are required and can be found here.
👉 My Favorite Gear: I’m a diehard Big Agnes tent fan. I camped on Mount Jefferson with the Fly Creek HV UL 2 Tent, a lightweight 2-person tent that weighs only 2 pounds, 4 ounces.
Clatsop Loop Trail via Indian Beach-Ecola
The most popular trail in Cannon Beach takes hikers on an aerial trail above the Pacific Ocean.
The Clatsop Loop Trail is the best beach trail at Cannon Beach. Hike among the mossy ferns above the coastline on the Clatsop Loop Trail with panoramic views of the ocean.
Starting at Indian Beach, this short, 2.8-mile hike follows the old Lewis and Clark expedition in Ecola State Park. This is the perfect quick morning hike that allows dogs if kept on a leash.
Paulina Lakeshore Loop
A brisk hike around an alpine lake with natural hot springs along the trail.
The Paulina Lakeshore Loop is one of my favorite hikes in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Hike around the perimeter of this alpine lake with views of the looming volcano in the distance the entire time.
Bring your bathing suit and stop at the Newberry natural hot springs along the way, ranging from 90-115 degrees right on the Paulina lakeshore.
A short hike with big payoff views in southern Oregon.
Steens Mountain is one of the quickest ways to get to a high viewpoint in Princeton, Oregon. It typically only takes half an hour to complete and has volcanic views of basaltic mountains and an alpine lake from the Steens Mountain summit.
McKenzie River Trail
Follow the winding McKenzie River in Willamette National Forest on a multi-day adventure.
Oregon’s famed Willamette National Forest is home to hundreds of hiking trails, with the McKenzie River Trail as one of my favorites.
The long, 24.1 miles of the trail may intimidate hikers at first but the 700 feet of elevation gain means it’s relatively flat and moderately rated. Pass by two crashing waterfalls and lava lake beds on this versatile river trail.
Cape Falcon Trail
An Oswald West State Park trail with views of the Pacific Ocean.
The Cape Falcon Trail in Oswald West State Park is a local Oregon favorite. This loop trail has panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean as it winds its way through the coastal grasslands. The well-maintained trail is easy to follow so there’s no need to download an offline map!
Watchman Peak Trail
One of the most popular trails in Crater Lake is suitable for the whole family.
Crater Lake National Park, one of the top national parks in the U.S., is home to an array of alpine Cascade trails, with Watchman Peak as one of my favorites.
With only 400 feet of elevation gain, this is one of the best hiking trails in the state park for visitors short on time. It typically takes less than an hour to complete and offers aerial views of one of the coolest lakes in the U.S.
👉 My Favorite Gear: Crater Lake experiences high snow levels well into mid-summer. I hiked all over Oregon in my Gore-tex Salomon X Ultra hiking boots and successfully stayed dry on even the snowiest trails.
A reflective alpine lake adventure in the Eagle Cap Wilderness.
Venture into the Eagle Cap Wilderness to hike Mirror Lake, one of the coolest hikes in Oregon in the summertime. The 19.6-mile adventure is mostly explored by fit trail runners but backpacking the mountain trail is another popular option.
Not much beats camping in the backcountry next to an alpine lake in Oregon. The Eagle Cap Wilderness provides the perfect remote experience for hikers who prefer to get lost in the forest to busy weekend trail crowds.
Koosah and Sahalie Falls Trail
A wheelchair-accessible trail laden with wildlife right on the McKenzie River.
The Koosah and Sahalie Falls Trail is one of the best hikes in Oregon during the hot summer months. Pass by two waterfalls on the McKenzie River right off Highway 126. The Sahalie Falls Viewpoint is paved and wheelchair and stroller accessible.
Keep an eye out for wildlife too, as deer and ground squirrels are frequently seen in this area!
One of the hardest hikes in the Pacific Northwest, located in Washington right over the border.
Although technically just over the Oregon-Washington border, Mount Adams is still an excellent challenging hike to consider if you’re in Oregon. Mount Adams stands at a proud 12,276 feet. At almost 7,000 feet of elevation gain in 13.2 round-trip miles, Mount Adams is not to be taken lightly.
This strenuous hike rewards hikers who put in serious effort with 360-degree views of most of the major Cascade Mountain peaks. The South Climb Trail is the most popular in the summer months. Experienced mountaineers try their luck on the high-altitude peak in the heart of winter, but I wouldn’t recommend this to novice hikers.
👉 Pro Tip: I recommend renting a car to get to some of the more remote Oregon hikes like Mount Adams. I rented a Subaru by using the Discover Cars search engine when I was in Oregon and it was the best way to get to the trailheads.
Catch views of the distant Downtown Portland on this Columbia River Gorge hike.
360-degree views of the Columbia River Gorge can be found all along the Angel’s Rest Trail in Shepperd’s Dell State Natural Area. With almost 1,500 feet of elevation gain, this trail isn’t the easiest but the views of Portland from the top make it worth the struggle.
The best time to visit Portland to hike Angel’s Rest is in the late summer months. There may be bigger tourist crowds at this time but the chances of getting rained on are less than half that of the other seasons.
Latourell Falls Loop Trail
A short waterfall hike just outside of Downtown Portland.
The short Latourell Falls Loop Trail in Guy W. Talbot State Park is a great option for travelers exploring eastern Oregon. The Latourell Falls Loop Trail is only a few minutes from downtown Portland and is one of the best things to do in Portland to escape the big city smog.
Explore the third-tallest waterfall on a relatively short trail in the Columbia River Gorge for a refreshing cool down from the summer heat.
Ramona Falls Trail
Discover almost complete isolation on this waterfall trail in the Mount Hood Wilderness.
The Mount Hood Wilderness is scenic from every angle. Venture down the lesser-traveled path on the Ramona Falls Trail, only an hour and a half outside of Portland!
Be prepared to cross rivers on the Ramona Falls Trail by either hiking in Gore-tex boots or getting your toes wet. The incline of the trail is incredibly gradual, making the Ramona Falls Trail doable for hikers of all fitness levels.
Gold Butte Fire Lookout
A central Oregon trail in the Willamette National Forest that’s great for a quick trail run.
Hike the moderate Gold Butte Fire Lookout Trail in the Willamette National Forest near Detroit, Oregon. The road to the lookout is rocky but 4-wheel drive is not required. Sweeping vistas of the nearby Cascade Mountains await on the Gold Butte Fire Lookout!
FAQs About Hikes in Oregon
What is Oregon’s most popular trail?
Does Oregon have good hiking?
What is the best time of year to go hiking in Oregon?
The best time of year to embark on a cool Oregon hike is in the late summer when the sun is out and shining and the chances of an unexpected rainstorm are very low. Most of the best hikes in Oregon also experience colorful wildflower blooms at this time.
Thanks for reading my guide on the coolest hikes in Oregon! Check out our guide on where to stay in Portland to be close to top Oregon hiking trails.
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