A coastal state in America’s Pacific Northwest, Oregon is famed for its pristine wildlife and gorgeous landscapes. Its rich natural beauty and diversity has led to dozens, if not hundreds, of trails and hikes being mapped out over the years, all of which are enjoyed the by thriving nature-loving community of the state. Because of how gorgeous the forests, mountains, farms, and beaches of Oregon are, travelers have come from near and far to get a taste of what the state has to offer. But with so many breathtaking places to see, where do you start? Here are some of the best hikes that Oregon has to offer. Photo: jkraft5/Fotolia
»Elk Meadows and Sahalie Falls Trailhead
»Umbrella and Sahalie Falls Trailhead
»Neakahnie Mountain Trail
»McKenzie River National Recreation Trail
15 Best Hikes in Oregon
- Elk Meadows and Sahalie Falls Trailhead, Photo: Courtesy of Jan - Fotolia.com
- Umbrella and Sahalie Falls Trailhead, Photo: Courtesy of Krzysztof Wiktor - Fotolia.com
- Neakahnie Mountain Trail, Photo: Courtesy of westwindgraphics - Fotolia.com
- McKenzie River National Recreation Trail, Photo: Courtesy of estivillml - Fotolia.com
- Klickitat Trail, Photo: Courtesy of randimal - Fotolia.com
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of jkraft5 - Fotolia.com
Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail
Go on a quick getaway into the serenity that only nature can provide at the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. On this fantastic trail, visitors can explore the wildlife on the bike path or walk in silence through the hiking trails. Picnicking and stops to the viewpoint for a gaze at over 12 miles of great vistas are also great ideas while on this trail.
Salmon River Trail
Travel the old mossy paths of the Salmon River Trail to enjoy the unique, wild and scenic surroundings of the Salmon River. Enjoy a leisurely trek through the gentle terrain and enjoy some wild fishing at the river while you’re at it.
Banks-Vernonia State Trail
Known as the first “rails-to-trails” state park in the state of Oregon, the Banks-Vernonia State Trail allows visitors to explore the abandoned railroad bed that threads through the 21-mile stretch connecting the cities of Banks and Vernonia. It features an 8-foot wide hiking and bicycle trail as well as a four-foot wide horse trails.
Opal Creek Trailhead
Traverse the Opal Creek Trailhead to enjoy the best of the creek’s wilderness and to spend some quality time alone or with friends and family at the recreation area. Apart from fantastic hiking, the area has great lake and pond fishing opportunities as well as horseback riding, camping, and nature viewing.
A designated National Recreation Trail, the Fall Creek Trail is a hiker-only route that allows all visitors to bask in the cool air of the valley while reveling in gorgeous streamside vegetation. Camping is available in the Bedrock Campground and is easily accessible through a route of level ground, log bridges and gentle streams.
Middle Fork Willamette
Starting at the Timponogas Campground and ending by the Sand Prairie Campground of the Willamette National Forest, the Middle Fork National Recreation Trail is a stunning multi-use trail. Moderately strenuous, the trail features a segment of the historic Oregon Central Military Wagon Road for a unique blend of nature and history.
Oregon Redwoods Trail
Soak up the majestic atmosphere of the Redwood trees of the Chetco Ranger District at the Oregon Redwoods Trail. Truly marvelous, this trail provides a moderate day hike opportunity to visitors and loops through the northern range of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.
Sweet Creek Trail
The Sweet Creek Trail navigates the gentle and serene waters of Sweet Creek. On the trail, hikers will come across 11 elegant waterfalls framed by a natural formation of ferns and mossy rocks. At the same time, they will travel under the cooling canopy of towering big leaf maples, alders, and Douglas-fir trees.
Drift Creek Falls Trail
Located in the Siuslaw National Forests, the Drift Creek Falls Trailhead is a great place to bring the family for a quick day hike. With an easy to intermediate difficulty level, kids and adults alike will undoubtedly get a lot out of breathing in the fresh air and simply reveling in the beauty of the nature around them.
From easy hikes along guided trails to equestrian and bike trails, Forest Park magnificently merges the outdoors with history. The trail, and subsequently the park as a whole, is home to a glorious eco system of flora and fauna. Enjoy the 30-mile trail while walking through substantial undergrowth and under a massive tree canopy.
Old Growth Trails
Open to hikers only, the Old Growth Trails travel through a breathtaking Douglas-fir forest. Hikers can set off on the hour-long hike while allowing the quiet beauty to envelope them at every step.
Abiqua Falls Trailhead
5.3 miles long with an elevation gain of 1,505 feet, the Abiqua Falls Trailhead is a difficult hike that culminates at what could possibly be the most beautiful waterfalls in Oregon: the Abiqua Falls. With a steep and slick route, this trail is perfect for the more seasoned hikers out there looking for a new challenge.
Located in the Willamette National Forest, the Stahlman Point trail traverses a younger Douglas-fir forest and allows visitors occasional glimpses at the picturesque Detroit Reservoir. Make sure to stop and observe the wonder of nature through the many Osprey nests in the area and the Ospreys soaring through the sky.
Saddle Mountain State Natural Area
Cherished for its magnificent hiking trails, gorgeous wildflowers, and one-of-a-kind scenery, the Saddle Mountain State Natural Area features a 2.5-mile hike to the summit and a short 0.16-mile side trail to explore the wilderness. Make use of the picnic area and the seasonal campground for a complete experience.
Beacon Rock Hike
Featuring one of the most prominent and distinct geological landmarks in the Columbia River Gorge, the Beacon Rock Hike is a 1.8-mile loop that is moderate in difficulty and full of trailside beauty. The 848-foot Beacon Rock is one of the tallest monoliths in the country and is the main draw of the hike.
Buck Point Hike
Starting at the Eagle Creek Trailhead and ending at Buck Point, the Buck Point Hike is 1.8-mile trail loop open year-round, and it is the perfect place to enjoy the vistas of the Western Gorge. Consider staying overnight at one of the campsites for a night under the stars.
Fairy Falls Hike
There’s something ethereal about the Fairy Falls Hike. One of the most popular hikes in the area, the trail head passes several waterfalls before culminating at a resting area by Fairy Falls. Every step is rewarding and allows you to fully appreciate nature.
Steamboat Mountain Hike
A 1.6-mile hoke with a 575-foot elevation gain, the Steamboat Mountain Hike is relatively easy and is the perfect introduction to hiking for beginners. The trail climbs the Steamboat Mountain’s east wall and offers the best views of Steamboat Mountain and the nearby quarry.
Valley of the Giants Loop Hike
Walk amongst giants within the 51 acres of land protected by the North Fork Siletz River at the Valley of the Giants Loop Hike. The humongous Douglas-firs in the area are truly a magnificent site and bring an inexplicable feeling of wonder, as many of the trees are close to 500 years old.
Rocky Top Hike
Hike to a prominent summit in the Old Cascade on the Rocky Top Hike. The trail will take you through a lovely meadow powdered with a gorgeous array of flowers during the summer season. Thickets of huckleberry and white rhododendron also litter the trail, which also offers fantastic views of several volcanoes like Mount Hood, Battle Ax, Three Sisters, and Mount Jefferson.