View of a climber during winter season in Mount Hood, one of the hikes in Oregon

23 Best Hikes in Oregon (in 2023)

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!

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23 Best Hikes In Oregon

Mount Hood

Scale Oregon’s highest peak, located less than 2 hours from Portland.

Mountaineers climbing Mount Hood during winter season
Mountaineers on a snow-packed Mount Hood in the early spring

🥾 Expert | 6.4 miles | Google Maps | Mount Hood Website | Drive Time from Portland: 1 hour, 40 minutes | Cost: free, climbing permit required in 2024

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.

A man admiring the view in Oregon Coast Trail
Hiking along the Oregon coast

🥾 Hard | 362 miles | Google Maps | Oregon Coast Trail Website | Cost: free

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 Pacific Crest Trail marker signage in Mt. Hood National Forest
A PCT trail marker in Mt. Hood National Forest

🥾 Strenuous | 2,650 miles | Google Maps | Pacific Coast Trail Website| Cost: free, permit needed when entering Canada

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.

View of a bridge over the Columbia River Gorge
A view of the quintessential Cascade Mountain from the Columbia River Gorge

🥾 Easy-Moderate | 2-7 miles | Google Maps | Columbia River Gorge Website | Drive Time from Portland: 20 minutes | Cost: $5 per car

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.

Scenic view at the Three Sisters Loop Trail in Oregon
The Three Sisters Loop Trail winds past isolated alpine lakes

🥾 Hard | 48.1 miles | Google Maps | Three Sisters Volcano Website | Drive Time from Eugene: 20 minutes | Cost: $5 per vehicle

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.

Multnomah Falls

Portland’s most popular hike displays one of the most breathtaking waterfalls in the state.

Close up view of the Multnomah Falls in Oregon
A close-up of the falls
Aerial view at the top of Multnomah Falls
Continuing on the path above the falls to the high aerial viewpoint

🥾 Moderate | 2.6 miles | Google Maps | Multnomah Falls Website | Drive Time from Portland: 35 minutes | Cost: free, $2 in the summer

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 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.

Overlooking view at the Garfield Peak Trail during sunset
The sunset over Crater Lake as seen from the trail

🥾 Moderate | 3.5 miles | Google Maps | Garfield Peak Trail Website | Drive Time from Klamath Falls: 1 hour | Cost: $30 per vehicle 

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.

Overlooking view of the Crooked River in Oregon
A view of the Crooked River from Misery Ridge

🥾 Hard | 3.5 miles | Google Maps | Misery Ridge and River Trail Website | Drive Time from Eugene: 2 hours, 40 minutes | Cost: $5 parking

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.

A rainbow over the Trail of Ten Falls in Oregon
A rainbow over the falls

🥾 Moderate | 7.4 miles | Google Maps | Trail of Ten Falls Website | Drive Time from Salem: 35 minutes | Cost: $5 state park fee

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

Mount Jefferson

One of the best hikes in Oregon for an endurance workout in the Cascades.

Mount Jefferson covered with snow during winter season
A snow-covered Mount Jefferson

🥾 Hard | 20.3 miles | Google Maps | Mount Jefferson Website | Drive Time from Salem: 2 ½ hours | Cost: $6 overnight fee

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.

Colorful sky over Cannon Beach during sunrise
Soft cotton candy skies over Cannon Beach during sunrise

🥾 Moderate | 2.8 miles | Google Maps | Clatsop Loop Website | Drive Time from Portland: 1 ½ hours | Cost: $5 per day

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.

A Paulina Lakeshore Loop signage at the trail
A forest trail marker helps keep hikers on the path

🥾 Moderate | 7.5 miles | Google Maps | Paulina Lakeshore Loop Website | Drive Time from Eugene: 2 ½ hours | Cost: $5 day pass

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. 

Steens Mountain

A short hike with big payoff views in southern Oregon.

Overlooking view at the summit of Steens Mountain
A panoramic view from the Steens Mountain summit

🥾 Moderate | 0.9 miles | Google Maps | Steens Mountain Website | Drive Time from Bend: 4 hours | Cost: free

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.

Scenic view from a pool at the McKenzie River Trail
A pool along the McKenzie River Trail

🥾Difficult | 24.1 miles | Google Maps | McKenzie River Trail Website | Drive Time from Eugene: 1 hour | Cost: free

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.

View of the Smuggler’s Cove in Oregon
Smuggler’s Cove

🥾 Moderate | 4.5 miles | Google Maps | Cape Falcon Trail Website | Drive Time from Cannon Beach: 13 minutes  | Cost: free

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.

Aerial view of the Wizard Island and the blue water that surrounds it
A photo of Wizard Island taken from the trail

🥾 Moderate | 1.7 miles | Google Maps | Watchman Peak Trail Website | Drive Time from Klamath Falls: 1 hour | Cost: $30 per vehicle 

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. 

Mirror Lake

A reflective alpine lake adventure in the Eagle Cap Wilderness.

The Mount Hood reflection on the Mirror Lake
A reflection of Mount Hood over Mirror Lake

🥾 Moderate | 4.2 miles | Google Maps | Mirror Lake Website | Drive Time from Mount Hood Village: 13 minutes | Cost: $5 day pass

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.

Close up view of the Koosah Falls in Oregon
Koosah Falls

🥾 Moderate | 2.9 miles | Google Maps | Koosah and Sahalie Falls Trail Website | Drive Time from Salem: 1 hour, 45 minutes | Cost: free

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!

Mount Adams

One of the hardest hikes in the Pacific Northwest, located in Washington right over the border.

Mountaineers climbing the summit of Mount Adams
Mountaineers climbing the glacier up to the Mount Adams summit

🥾 Difficult |12 miles | Google Maps | Mount Adams Website | Drive Time from Portland: 1 ½ hours | Cost: free permits required

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. 

Angel’s Rest

Catch views of the distant Downtown Portland on this Columbia River Gorge hike.

Overlooking view of Columbia River from Oregon
The overlook of the Columbia River

🥾 Challenging | 4.5 miles | Google Maps | Angel’s Rest Website | Drive Time from Portland: 30 minutes | Cost: free

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.

Scenic view of the Latourell Falls in Oregon
The mesmerizing falls

🥾 Moderate | 2 miles | Google Maps | Latourell Falls Loop Trail Website | Drive Time from Portland: 35 minutes | Cost: free

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.

Scenic view from the Ramona Falls in Oregon
The Ramona Falls are unique, to say the least

🥾 Moderate | 7.1 miles | Google Maps | Ramona Falls Trail Website | Drive Time from Mount Hood Village: 15 minutes | Cost: $5 day pass

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.

Clear blue sky over the lookout tower in Gold Butte Fire Lookout
The lookout tower

🥾 Moderate | 2.5 miles | Google Maps | Gold Butte Fire Lookout Website | Drive Time from Salem: 3 hours | Cost: free

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?

The Oregon Coast Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, Multnomah Falls, the Trail of Ten Falls, and Mount Hood are the most popular hikes in Oregon. 

Does Oregon have good hiking?

Oregon has good hiking trails lining the entire state from north to south. These include scenic hikes along the Oregon coast like Clatsop Loop on Cannon Beach and forested hikes like Mirror Lake.

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.

What is the most difficult hike in Oregon?

The Pacific Crest Trail, the Oregon Trail, Mount Adams, and Mount Hood are the most difficult hikes in Oregon. These trails are either more than 20 miles long or have more than 6,000 feet of elevation gain. 


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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