If you live in Oregon or are just visiting, get outside. It can be easy to neutralize to the beauty of one's surroundings. We work all week and sometimes at times feel like we can barely get off the couch on the weekends. However, we have recently made a point to go hiking every weekend despite our long 'to do' list and have not regretted it. We can lay down money for expensive plane tickets, wake up early to spend our day in airports and cramped planes (don't get us wrong, the payoff of those long travel days can be huge), but the beauty of Oregon is in our backyard.
We have complied a list of our 5 favorite hikes in Oregon so far. These are tried and tested, leading to some of our most memorable days in the Pacific Northwest. Use this list if you are just visiting or live in the Pacific Northwest. In no particular order, here they are. Get outside and explore!
Angel's Rest Hike
Another weekend is another opportunity to hit the trails in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge.
Angel’s Rest is a 4.8 mile round trip trail with 1450 elevation gain. Moderate difficulty, this trail can be hiked year long. A popular spot, you will pass friendly hikers. The popularity of this hike is largely form the perspective of the Columbia River. The precipice, Angel’s rest, is a relatively short hike with easy ascent. In addition, the drive from the trailhead from downtown Portland is only 45 minutes.
If you need a little added exercise, Devils’ Rest is only 850 above Angel’s Rest.
Angel's Rest Hike is not only a popular hike in the summer, but in the winter as well. Minutes from the city, this is where you will find locals on a rainy Sunday with their dogs and kids. No umbrellas, just rain coats. This is the Pacific Northwest!
Explore Oregon and this stunning Columbia River Gorge waterfall. The hike is currently open to the Ponytail Falls. Leave the freeway and enter the woods in just a few steps! Although the majority of trails between Rooster Rock State Park and Hood River are closed from fire damage, this short hike is beautiful. Care must be taken with loose rocks. Although family friendly, the majority of families carry their small children. After viewing the Horsetail Falls immediately off the highway, switchbacks with rocks walls lead to the Ponytail Falls. A cavernous area behind the lava flow allows visitors the chance to view their waterfall from underneath.
The main trails continue to the Oneonta Canyon although currently closed. If visitors wish to view the canyon, it is still viewable from the road with nearby road shoulder to park.
Trail of Ten Falls
Oregon waterfalls never get old.
Silver Falls State Park is a treasure of Oregon. The property is over 9,200 acres. The Trail of Ten Falls is absolutely spectacular and offers hikers the opportunity to walk up to and behind waterfalls (10 of them, go figure!). The hike can be taken in either direction or as a loop. Several of the falls you will be able to hike behind. We packed a lunch and at it behind the North Falls!
A moderate 7.8 mile hike gains 1300 feet elevation to a high point of 1590 feet. If you are not up for a full hike, park at the South Falls and walk down the path. We took our mother when she was visiting for a quick but memorable trip behind the gorgeous South Falls.
Located in Oregon’s largest State Park, this trail is well-trafficked by fellow hikers. Dogs are no allowed on the Canyon Trail portion of the hike (where the majority of waterfalls are encountered). The South Falls Lodge offers a cafeteria, clean restrooms and parking will be plentiful. We particularly enjoy the Italian sodas after a long hike.
We got off a plane from India, picked up our life’s belongings in Colorado, and drove halfway across the country to Oregon. A week after starting my dream job, I knew we had to explore the Oregon coast. Before we were even unpacked, we were off to Lincoln City for the first beach hike of our lives.
Not regrettably, we chose Cascade Head. Accessed by three trailheads, a lower trail open year-round and two Forest Service trailheads that are closed from January to mid-July, the views of the Coast are spectacular. We chose the Lower Conservancy Trail, a 4.2 miles moderate difficulty trail with 1,200 feet of elevation gain. The trip to Hart's Cove is 5.4 miles, also a moderate hike with 900 foot elevation loss. Stay tuned! That hike coming soon.
Latourell Falls is a waterfall along one of Oregon’s playgrounds, the Columbia River Gorge. The Lower Latourell Falls are easily accessed from the Trailhead and a short further are the Upper Latourell Falls. The entire loop is 2.4 miles with an elevation gain of 625 feet. An easy hike, this can easily be completed in under an hour (more if you want to take in the abundant photo opportunities). Only a short drive from Portland, Oregon this trip can easily be done in a morning.
The trail is open year round and is both family and canine friendly. Lower Latourell Falls is a 224 foot waterfall single plunge system over a lip of basalt. The Upper Latourell Falls is a two-tiered system and equally as beautiful although less dramatic given the shorter drop. Although beautiful in all seasons, the water flows becomes low in the summers.
We visited in November during a chilly but clear day. Waterfall mist may freeze in winter making conditions more treacherous.
Open 6 am to 10 pm. Dogs are welcome on a leash. Entrance Fee: none.