Portland isn’t just about cool coffee shops and vintage stores, you know. It’s also a big draw if you love hiking, thanks to its proximity to scenic spots like the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood National Forest. So, slip on those hardy shoes and prepare to explore the most beautiful nooks in Oregon.
Whether you want to take snaps of beautiful rock formations or just enjoy an easy, enjoyable trek across pleasingly flat terrain, Rooster Rock is the place to go. Child and family friendly Portland is conveniently close by, and the hike is a great way to take in the Columbia River Gorge.
If you’re after the best hikes near Portland, Wahclella Falls needs to be on your list. The hike itself is relatively flat, rewarding you with the sparkling sight of cascading waterfalls. The easy nature of the terrain makes it a top choice for families, and the fact it’s so close to Portland means you can head over for an after-work adventure.
The easiest waterfall hike in the whole of the Columbia River Gorge, this also gets you up close and personal to the shimmering falls, which you can walk behind. Located close to Portland, the route is pretty short and flat, but you can always make it a bigger trek by incorporating other hikes in the region.
You’ll want to bring the camera to capture the ravishing lake reflection when you venture on this hike. Mirror Lake is a glacial body of water within the forests of Mount Hood, and a big hit with families. Decked out with picnic tables and toilets, it’s a child-friendly destination that dazzles. The trail’s close proximity to Mount Hood, also means great hotels and accommodations are close by.
Eager to see the best of the Columbia River Gorge? The stony summit of Angel’s Rest, a bluff with year-round access, provides spectacular, 270-degree views of the gorge. Classified by many as moderate in terms of difficulty, it’s also one of the most satisfying hikes in all of Oregon. The Columbia River Gorge also has great overnight accommodations, in case you don’t feel like roughing it in the great outdoors.
Dodge the peak season crowds by tackling Tamanawas Falls during the winter. By strapping on the snow shoes, you can enjoy the snowy wonderland around these parts. The frozen waterfall, magical and gleaming, like something from a fantasy movie, is one of the highlights. It proves that winter hikes are as satisfying as those taken in the warmer months.
Dramatic views of the Columbia River Gorge await at Munra Point, whose exposed summit provides a breathtaking panorama of the region. This one’s for experienced hikers only, as it’s a difficult trek and conditions on the rocky terrain can certainly get hazardous when wet. But as difficult hikes near Portland go, it’s a doozy. With plenty of lodges and cabins nearby, you’re sure to find somewhere nice to rest and relax after your hike.
Rock of Ages Loop
One of the most distinctive rock formations near Portland, the Rock of Ages is just one highlight of this very difficult hike. It stretches for miles and miles of rugged terrain, with waterfalls and scenic views to admire along the way. And, glimpsing that rock arch for the first time will bring a real sense of achievement.
Find the Best Hiking Near Portland
Itching to see the great outdoors around Portland, Oregon? Bring your hiking gear and get set to experience some of the sought-after trails on the list.