31 Best Hikes Near Portland (in 2023)
When you think of Portland, you probably picture skyscrapers, bars, and the city attractions in Portland. But there are actually tons of hikes near Portland as well!
As a west coast local and avid hiker, I’ve explored most Portland peaks, walking paths, and forest trails and have devised this guide to fill you in on my picks for the best hikes near Portland, Oregon.
Table of Contents
- 31 Best Hikes Near Portland
- Mount Hood
- Powell Butte Loop Trail
- Multnomah Falls
- Trail of Ten Falls Loop
- Angel’s Rest Lookout
- Mount Tabor
- Hoyt Arboretum Trails
- Wildwood Trail
- Washington Park Loop
- Lost Lake Trail
- Dry Creek Falls
- Tryon Creek
- Tom, Dick, and Harry Mountain
- Lower Macleay Park to Pittock Mansion
- Forest Park Ridge Trail
- Warrior Point
- Cape Horn
- Kings Mountain
- The 4T Trail
- Council Crest via Marquam Trail
- Springwater Corridor Trail
- Audubon Society of Portland Bird Sanctuary
- Cannon Trail
- Eastbank Esplanade Loop Trail
- Smith and Bybee Wetlands Trail
- Beacon Rock
- Salmon River Trail
- Elk Rock Island
- Latourell Falls
- Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge
- Dogwood Wild Cherry Loop Trail
- FAQs About Hiking Trails Near Portland
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31 Best Hikes Near Portland
Oregon’s highest mountain peak is also one of the hardest hikes in the state but with incredible views of the Cascade Mountains.
🥾 Expert | 6.4 miles | Google Maps | Mount Hood Website | Distance from Portland: 1 ½ hours | Cost: $5 parking
Stand on the roof of Oregon, the 11,249-foot glaciated prism of Mount Hood. This is by far the most intense hike in the state, requiring climbers to know basic mountaineering skills and how to operate winter equipment.
The trail climbs 5,249 feet from its start at Timberline Lodge in only 3.2 miles on the ascent. This is by no means an easy or beginner trail but offers the most rewarding views in the state.
Fill out a free permit at the trailhead before you embark on a fun Cascade Mountain adventure. Hikers who lack technical skills also have fun snowshoeing and skiing down the mountain.
👉 Pro Tip: I used this ice axe and pair of crampons on my ascent of Mt. Hood.
Powell Butte Loop Trail
A dormant volcano hike just outside of Downtown Portland is the best place for a morning hike with your four-legged friend.
🥾 Moderate | 5.9 miles | Google Maps | Powell Butte Loop Trail Website | Distance from Portland: 20 minutes | Cost: free
Tall grasslands, wood canopy forests, mossy stairs, and seasonal cascades define the Powell Butte Loop Trail just outside of Portland. This is one of the best hiking trails outside of town for a morning walk with your dog, as long as they stay on a leash.
The butte itself is a million-year-old volcano and encompasses sweeping summit views of Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams, and Mount Rainier, all top Washington hikes.
Oregon’s most popular waterfall resides only one hour outside of town, plummeting hundreds of feet through hillside ferns and other mossy foliage.
🥾 Moderate | 2.6 miles | Google Maps | Multnomah Falls Website | Distance from Portland: 30 minutes | Cost: free, $2 in the summer
Portland’s most scenic hike, Multnomah Falls, unapologetically spills 680 feet down mossy cliffs to crystal pools below. A scenic viewing bridge transects the cascade, resulting in an illusion of two separate waterfalls and a postcard view of the landmark.
Multnomah Falls is only 30 minutes-1 hour outside of Portland (depending on what district you’re in), and is free of charge during the non-summer peak months. Permits are required in the summer to mitigate huge tourist crowds and cost $2 per person via Recreation.gov.
Multnomah Falls permits often sell out in the summertime due to high demand. Go with a Portland tour guide to ensure a spot at the falls and check out nearby attractions.
Trail of Ten Falls Loop
This multiple waterfall trail is the ideal hangout spot during a hot summer in northern Oregon.
🥾 Moderate | 7.4 miles | Google Maps | Trail of Ten Falls Loop Website | Distance from Portland: 30 minutes | Cost: $5 per vehicle
Hike past forest ferns and rushing creeks at the Trail of Ten Falls in Silver Falls State Park. Start at the South Lodge Falls Trailhead and make your way past the largest concentration of waterfalls in Oregon, ranging from 27 to 178 feet.
This Portland area trail is best hiked in the summer, as you can walk behind some of the falls and feel a refreshing cascade mist or take a dip in the waterfall pools. Be sure to bring a bathing suit to this Silver Falls State Park trail and leave the pups at home due to strict state park regulations.
Angel’s Rest Lookout
Views of an outstretched Columbia River Gorge extend for as far as the eye can see atop this lookout area.
🥾 Moderate | 4.5 miles | Google Maps | Angel’s Rest Lookout Website | Distance from Portland: 30 minutes | Cost: free
You’ll want to spend some time in the Columbia River Gorge for a true Portland experience. Angel’s Rest Lookout winds past a waterfall, leads to a footpath over a creek, and finally brings hikers to one of the best views of the Columbia River.
With only 1,476 feet of elevation gain, Angel’s Rest isn’t too hard but still gives trekkers a good morning workout. Be sure to arrive at the trailhead before noon to snag a parking spot at this popular hike.
One of the easiest hikes near Portland for a view of the entire cosmopolitan city.
🥾 Easy | 1.9 miles | Google Maps | Mount Tabor Website | Distance from Portland: 10 minutes | Cost: free
Hike to the top of an extinct volcano at the doorstep of Downtown Portland. Mount Tabor is a hike that requires minimal effort but a maximum amount of 360-degree views of Portland. Only a short hike is required from the Lincoln Street Trailhead, past historic reservoirs, picnic areas, and a dog park.
Multiple bench viewing areas are offered along the route for hikers who need a rest. Mount Tabor is the best option to escape the urban environment of Portland without venturing too far.
Hoyt Arboretum Trails
Choose between a variety of hikes among native Oregonian flora at the most popular arboretum in town.
🥾 Easy-Moderate | 0.3-2.7 miles | Google Maps | Hoyt Arboretum Website | Distance from Portland: 7 minutes | Cost: $8 per day per vehicle
Washington Park’s Hoyt Arboretum offers many tree canopy-covered hiking trails throughout the hills of Portland. Pick up a map at the visitor center and choose the best long or short trail to fit your fitness needs.
The Fir Trail is a short, 0.5-mile path that skirts along a dark spruce forest while the Maple, Hawthorn, and Walnut Loop Trail is a longer 2-mile path for hikers who want more of a challenge.
Modify this huge Forest Park trail to fit your hiking needs, whether that’s a brisk cruise or an all-day adventure.
🥾 Moderate | 2.3 miles | Google Maps | Wildwood Trail Website | Distance from Portland: 15 minutes | Cost: free
This Forest Park hike is 30.2 miles in total but Portland hikers tend to break it up into smaller, more doable segments. The most popular segments of this Washington Park hike are from the Vietnam Memorial to Lower Macleay Park (6 miles), Lower Macleay Park to Firelane 1 (6 miles), and from the Trillium Trail to Springville Road (8 miles).
Washington Park Loop
The most popular park in Portland offers an easy trail with very little elevation gain, suitable for the whole family.
🥾 Easy | 3.9 miles | Google Maps | Washington Park Website | Distance from Portland: 5 minutes | Cost: $2/hour parking fee
One of the easier hikes near Portland, the Washington Park Loop Trail starts at the Sacajawea Statue Trailhead and takes hikers through spruce forests to the ending Hoyt Arboretum Trailhead.
With only 585 feet of elevation gain, this hike is highly suitable for the whole family, even toddlers and grandparents! The Washington Park Loop is open from 5 am-10 pm daily and allows dogs on leashes.
Lost Lake Trail
Hike around the perimeter of Lost Lake in Mt. Hood National Forest with views of the glaciated giant the entire way.
🥾 Easy | 3.1 miles | Google Maps | Lost Lake Trail Website | Distance from Portland: 1 hour, 45 minutes | Cost: $9
The Lost Lake Trail is the perfect hike for Oregon visitors who rent a car. Take a scenic drive to the Mount Hood National Forest for a photogenic hike at the base of Oregon’s highest mountain.
Skirt around the perimeter of Lost Lake on this easy national forest trail, stopping at a picnic table along the way for a quick snack or to relax with a good book as Mt. Hood glistens in the distance. On a clear day, you may even spot mountaineers trudging their way up the 5,000 feet of elevation gain.
👉 Pro Tip: Rent a car from Discover Cars to get from Portland to the Mt. Hood National Forest as easily as possible.
Dry Creek Falls
Dense forest gives way to a crashing cascade, roaring with thunderous falls despite its name.
🥾 Hard | 4.4 miles | Google Maps | Dry Creek Falls Website | Distance from Portland: 45 minutes | Cost: $5 parking
Visit this misnomer waterfall in the late spring or early summer for a chance to witness its crashing cascade. This 74-foot waterfall plunges over a basaltic cliff wall and is a Portland hotspot in the summer months.
A short 2.2-mile hike starts at the Bridge of the Gods Trailhead and intersects with the Pacific Crest Trail, the longest trail on the west coast. The Dry Creek Falls trail is suitable for beginners and experiences its fair share of summertime swimmers in the waterfall pools.
A short ride outside of the city brings hikers, bikers, and equestrians to a forest canyon trail, booming with springtime wildflowers.
🥾 Moderate | 3.5 miles | Google Maps | Tryon Creek Website | Distance from Portland: 13 minutes | Cost: free
Downtown Portland is surrounded by Pacific Northwest forest-covered hiking trails like Tryon Creek. The park boasts 8 miles of hiking trails, including 3.5 miles of equestrian trails and a 3-mile bicycle path.
This short hike is the perfect place to escape from the big city on a lunch break or for a sunrise hike. I recommend visiting Tryon Creek in the springtime when the flower-filled canyon comes to life in vibrant palette hues of pinks, purples, yellows, and whites.
Tom, Dick, and Harry Mountain
This hard Mt. Hood National Forest mountain summit is the perfect training hike for visitors hoping to try their luck on the neighboring Mt. Hood peak.
🥾 Hard | 9 miles | Google Maps | Harry Mountain Website | Distance from Portland: 1 hour | Cost: $5 per vehicle
Venture only 1 hour outside Portland and enter a whole new realm of alpine mountain forests and mirrored turquoise lakes. Tom, Dick, and Harry Mountain via the Mirror Lake Trailhead is a 9-mile out-and-back trail near Government Camp, Oregon at the foot of Mount Hood.
With less than 2,000 feet of elevation gain, this mountain trail isn’t the hardest in the area but it still gives hikers a good kick in the rear end. A birds-eye view of the high-altitude Washington Cascades is visible from the Tom, Dick, and Harry Mountain summit, one of the main reasons to hike this mountain.
🛎️ Need a Hotel? Check out the Timberline Lodge in case you’re too tired to drive an hour back to Portland after hiking the hard Tom, Dick, and Harry Mountain. And, if you also need a place in Portland, check out my Portland accommodation guide.
Lower Macleay Park to Pittock Mansion
Visit Washington Park’s famous mansion on foot via a steep climb with incredible views of the city.
🥾 Moderate | 5 miles | Google Maps | Pittock Mansion Website | Distance from Portland: 10 minutes | Cost: $8 daily parking
Take the scenic route to one of the most popular landmarks in Downtown Portland, Pittock Mansion. A hard but not impossible climb through the shaded forest is pleasant year-round and the scenic mossy bridges along the way make perfect social media photos.
Forest Park’s temperate rainforest leads to one of the best views in town. Lace up the waterproof hiking shoes, bring a rain jacket just in case, and enjoy an afternoon of exercise just outside of the city center.
Forest Park Ridge Trail
A moderate trail with only a slight elevation gain near Portland, this hike is the best place to photograph St. John’s Bridge.
🥾 Moderate | 4 miles | Google Maps | Forest Park Ridge Trail Website | Distance from Portland: 15 minutes | Cost: free
Hike with a picturesque view of St. John’s Bridge as you make your way down the Forest Park Ridge Trail. This is the best way to view the famous bridge, one of the most iconic on the west coast along with the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge.
The pedestrian-only trail begins at Bridge Avenue and follows a steep stair bridge to a scenic viewpoint with 360-degree views of the Cascade Mountains in the background.
A coastal trail along Sauvie Island to a landmark Columbia River lighthouse.
🥾 Easy | 6 miles | Google Maps | Distance from Portland: 40 minutes | Cost: $10 daily parking
An easy, relatively flat trail brings hikers to the northern tip of Sauvie Island. The coastal trail leads right past the Warrior Rock Lighthouse right on the Columbia River.
This wildlife refuge is devoid of busy crowds and you can even head over to Warrior Point Beach afterward and let your pup run wild or enjoy watching the smooth sailing of passing boats on the Columbia River.
🥾 Always Forget Something for Your Hikes? Check out our handy checklist for hiking.
Hike a moderate trail to one of the best views of the Columbia River Gorge.
🥾 Moderate | 6.4 miles | Google Maps | Cape Horn Website | Distance from Portland: 40 minutes | Cost: free
Cape Horn takes hikers to a breathtaking viewpoint of the Columbia River Gorge and the Cape Horn Falls in the heart of dense Oregon forest. With only 1,300 feet of elevation gain, the Cape Horn hike is suited for intermediate to advanced-level hikers.
The upper portion of the loop can either be done 2.6 or 5.2 miles and the lower section that’s 4 miles long. Play with the distance according to your mood of the day and enjoy the river views.
A trail best suited for hikers who like a challenge with rewarding summit views of both the snow-capped Cascades and the Pacific Ocean.
🥾 Hard | 4.4 miles | Google Maps | Kings Mountain Website | Distance from Portland: 50 minutes | Cost: free
A quick, just over 2-mile trek leads to a 3,226-foot peak known as Kings Mountain. Views of the towering Mount Hood in the east and the Pacific Ocean in the west dominate from the summit.
A springtime hike reveals blooming wildflowers of mountain lupine, Indian thistle, Columbia lily, and other vibrant mountain flowers. Swimming holes along the Wilson River are also great places to cool off from the hot summer sun along the King Mountain trail.
The 4T Trail
This most unusual hike involves four different modes of transportation, giving hikers a unique Portland sightseeing experience.
🥾 Moderate | 10 miles | Google Maps | The 4T Trail Website | Distance from Portland: 10 minutes | Cost: $7 tram
Mix things up with four different modes of transportation on the 4T Trail. Trail, Tram, Trolley, and train make for a multi-mode adventure in Downtown Portland.
First, hike from the Oregon Zoo to the 1,073-foot Council Crest Park then downhill to the Portland Aerial Tram. After a brisk descent with amazing views of the city, board the Portland Streetcar trolley to Downtown Portland then the MAX light rail train back to the start of the hike loop.
The 4T Trail is an all-day adventure, so pack a big enough water bottle and plenty of snacks before your trip!
Council Crest via Marquam Trail
An urban Portland trail with a panoramic sight of the downtown city skyline.
🥾 Moderate | 3.5 miles | Google Maps | Marquam Trail Website | Distance from Portland: 9 minutes | Cost: free
Trek through Portland’s West Hills from the Marquam Nature Park to Portland’s highest point on this city trail. Views of the downtown skyline and the background snow-capped Cascade Mountains are visible on a clear day.
This urban trail is just within Portland’s city limits and winds its way through dense forest, up steep dirt trails, and past beautifully pink spring tree flower blooms. Birding is also popular in this area, so make sure to pack your binoculars and keep an eye out for owls, birds of prey, and other Pacific Northwest natives.
Springwater Corridor Trail
A paved trail in the middle of town is perfect for trail runners and dog walkers.
🥾 Easy | 21.3 miles | Google Maps | Springwater Corridor Trail Website | Distance from Portland: 20 minutes | Cost: free
The Springwater Corridor Trail is part of a 40-mile network of paved trails that runs throughout Portland. It’s a hotspot for trail runners, dog walkers, and Portland locals who need a break from the office.
Start at either the Sellwood Riverfront Park Trailhead or SE Market & Water Avenue and walk for however long you’d like, that’s the beauty of the Springwater Corridor Trail. There are multiple street crossings required on this trail, however, so keep that in mind if hiking (or walking) with your four-legged friends.
👉 Read Next: Best Things to Do and See in Oregon
Audubon Society of Portland Bird Sanctuary
Get acquainted with local Oregonian birds on this easy trail, a fortress of fowl.
🥾 Easy | 2.7 miles | Google Maps | Portland Bird Sanctuary Website | Distance from Portland: 13 minutes | Cost: free
Four miles of trails transect the 174-acre Audubon Society of Portland Bird Sanctuary. Hikers pass forested wildlife habitats, bird nests, ponds, and wild creeks along this trail before checking out the wildlife interpretive center.
This is one of the most informative hikes near Portland, thanks to the center where visitors can meet injured and healing birds and learn more about the winged aviators. Due to the bird’s keen sense of smell, the Portland Bird Sanctuary asks that dogs stay off the trails.
One of the shortest hikes near Portland with few crowds and no elevation gain.
🥾 Easy | 0.7 miles | Google Maps | Distance from Portland: 17 minutes | Cost: free
The Cannon Trail is perfect for hikers who don’t have a lot of time but are still itching to get outside of Portland. Just a few minutes from the city center, this trail typically takes only 20 minutes to complete and is one of the less crowded Portland hikes. This Forest Park trail is also well suited for kids and dogs.
Eastbank Esplanade Loop Trail
A paved, wheelchair-accessible trail that follows the Willamette River.
🥾 Easy | 2.7 miles | Google Maps | Eastbank Esplanade Loop Trail Website | Distance from Portland: 4 minutes | Cost: free
The paved Eastbank Esplanade Loop Trail is the best way to get to know metropolitan Portland. Follow the Willamette River on this trail of many bridges, including scenic viewpoints of the Hawthorn Bridge, Morrison Bridge, Burnside Bridge, and the Steel Bridge.
This waterfront loop trail is relatively flat and wheelchair-accessible, appealing to visitors of all needs. One of my favorite ways to explore the Eastbank Esplanade Loop Trail is by renting a bike in Downtown Portland and cruising down the trail during a sunny Oregon afternoon.
Smith and Bybee Wetlands Trail
One of the largest urban forests in Portland teeming with wildlife.
🥾 Easy | 1.7 miles | Google Maps | Smith and Bybee Wetlands Trail Website | Distance from Portland: 14 minutes | Cost: free
Hike through wetland territory next to Portland’s Columbia River on the Smith and Bybee Wetlands Trail. This huge urban wetland area spans more than 2,000 acres and encompasses wildlife habitats of native birds and other creepy crawlers, so be sure to bring your bird-identifying chart!
Located in northern Portland on the front porch of Vancouver, and a popular weekend getaway from Seattle, the Smith and Bybee Wetlands Trail is a quiet trail off the beaten tourist path. This wetlands trail is one of the top hikes near Portland for bird enthusiasts and hikers who prefer easier hikes over those with more elevation gain.
A windy way up the scenic Beacon Rock viewpoint is one of the best ways to see the entirety of the Columbia River Gorge.
🥾 Moderate | 1.5 miles | Google Maps | Beacon Rock Website | Distance from Portland: 45 minutes | Cost: free
Beacon Rock State Park is the perfect place in the Columbia River Gorge area for hiking, rock climbing, sailing, and picnicking. The zig-zagging mile trail up Beacon Rock is the park’s biggest draw but waterfall hikes and granite rock climbing routes also appeal to adventure enthusiasts.
The high viewpoint up the 848-foot Beacon Rock delivers 360-degree views of the Columbia River Gorge and even extends to nearby Downtown Portland. The park is open year-round and is a great place to camp without the smog or noise of the big city.
Salmon River Trail
Challenge yourself to a long multi-day hike or stop at the first camp to fish for salmon from the aptly named Salmon River.
🥾 Hard | 25.9 miles | Google Maps | Salmon River Trail Website | Distance from Portland: 1 hour | Cost: $5/day
Travel through a neon green moss forest alongside the Salmon River on this multi-day adventure. Hikers with strong trail legs love the challenge of tackling all 25.9 miles of the trail in a single day, but camping overnight on the Salmon River Trail is more enjoyable for novice hikers.
Most trail visitors bring their fishing gear, set up camp at the first campsite just east of Wolf Creek, and spend the day catching their dinner, a local Chinook or Coho salmon.
Elk Rock Island
A quick hike in Portland is accessible during low tide.
🥾 Easy | 1 miles | Google Maps | Elk Rock Island Website | Distance from Portland: 13 minutes | Cost: free
Oregon is full of surprises, including floating islands just outside of the city center. Elk Rock Island is one of the best hikes near Portland to do in a time crunch or on a lunch break thanks to its central location and short hiking trail.
Accessible via SE 19th Avenue and Sparrow Street during low tide, the hidden gem includes ideal views of the Willamette River but is notoriously muddy, so be sure to bring water shoes!
👉 Pro Tip: There have been reports of poison oak on the trail. Remember the saying “leaves of three, let them be” to avoid stepping in the itchy mess.
One of the best hikes near Portland on a hot summer day.
🥾 Moderate | 2 miles | Google Maps | Latourell Falls Website | Distance from Portland: 35 minutes | Cost: free
A popular hike through Guy W. Talbot State Park to Upper Latourell Falls leads to the third-highest waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge, right off the Historic Columbia River Highway.
The Latourell Falls trail is one of the best waterfall hikes near Portland on a hot summer day thanks to its refreshing cascade pool and tree shade along the way.
Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge
An easy hike of just over a mile each way with plenty of wildlife spotting opportunities.
🥾 Easy | 3.1 miles | Google Maps | Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge Website | Distance from Portland: 13 minutes | Cost: free
Take the local transportation or rideshare from Portland’s city center to the east bank of the Willamette River to visit the Evergreens of the Pacific Northwest. Another hotspot for birdwatching, the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge rewards hikers with opportunities for spotting nesting Ospreys and woodpeckers.
Oregon’s first Migratory Bird Park houses a diverse array of ecosystems ranging from marsh, meadow, wetland, and riparian forest. This easy, 3.1-mile trail is one of the best hikes near Portland to view over 200 species of birds and free-range wildlife like mule deer, beaver, and raccoons.
Dogwood Wild Cherry Loop Trail
Local transportation can take you right to the trailhead of this loop trail, saving you time and money.
🥾 Easy | 3.8 miles | Google Maps | Distance from Portland: 15 minutes | Cost: free
Oregon’s Forest Park is one of the best places to explore right outside of the big city limits for easy hiking trails. This 3.8-mile loop trail can be completed in a little more than an hour, saving you plenty of time to explore other top Oregon attractions.
FAQs About Hiking Trails Near Portland
Is Portland Oregon good for hiking?
There are so many cool hikes surrounding Portland like Mount Hood, the Powell Butte Loop Trail, Multnomah Falls, and the Trail of Ten Falls.
What is the best time of year to hike in Portland Oregon?
Summer is the best time of year to hike in Portland Oregon. The trails are the driest at this time, meaning that top hiking trails like Angel’s Rest Lookout and Mount Tabor are free of mud.
How many hiking trails are there in Portland?
There are more than 80 hiking trails in Portland, Oregon. From longer, more strenuous hikes to shorter, easier walks in the park, Portland offers hiking trails for all fitness levels. Some top Portland trails include the Wildwood Trail and the Hoyt Arboretum Trails.
What is the best mountain in Portland?
The Cascade Mountains are the best and most popular mountains in Portland. Of these, Mount Hood is the highest mountain with the most attempted climbs each year to its 11,249-foot summit.
Thanks for reading my guide on the best hikes near Portland! While you’re in the area, be sure to also check out the top things to do in Seattle!
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