Nestled on the northwest-pacific region, Oregon is one of the most beautiful places on the west coast to explore. Best of all, it’s one gorgeous spot that’s perfect to explore via its well-trodden trails. You’re going to be spoilt for choice with all the best hikes in Oregon dotted all across the state.
You see, the west coast of the United States is such a stunning place, with the northwest region around Oregon and Washington being absolute gems! It’s rugged coastline and dramatic cliffs make it a must-see spot when road tripping the west coast. Though, the coastline isn’t the only thing that Oregon brings to the table when it comes to gorgeous spots to see.
Head inland, even slightly, and you’re in for a treat of; vast national parks, glacial valleys and huge mountain ranges that make this state so special. It’s so diverse and totally unique!
This is exactly why I wanted to share some of the best hikes in Oregon to hop on whilst you’re in the state. To make things easier, I’ve popped in some easier (if you’re not used to strenuous) hikes but also a heap of sweat-inducing, tough hikes that are perfect for the pros! Hopefully, this way, you’ll find a fair few that fit the bill for your own trip.
With that in mind, take a little look at some of the best hikes in Oregon. Have the best time exploring the state.
1.) Silver Falls Trails, Silver Falls State Park
Silver Falls is filled with a mix of easy to hard trails that’s perfect for any visitor to the state park. best of all, they’re totally gorgeous and the area includes some of the best hikes in Oregon for anyone wishing to find waterfalls and spot local wildlife!
Now, to set some context, there are over ten waterfalls in Silver Falls, which is ideal for any eager hiker. No matter your age or ability level, there is a hike here that is perfect for you.
If you’re feeling like a challenge, join the Trail of Ten Falls is just shy of 9-miles long and, you guessed it, takes in plenty of the areas iconic falls. Although moderate in intensity, you can easily make this a shorter and easier hike but only hiking part of the loop trail if you’re not feeling like a beast of a hike.
Oh, also, be sure to wear some good-gripped hiking boots as you’ll be passing lots of soggy spots along the trail.
To help you along your way (and navigate the hiking trails), download the free state parks PDF detailing all the trails. It’s super helpful.
2.) Abiqua Falls Trail, Santiam State Forest
This is widely renowned as being one of the best hikes in Oregon that you can’t miss! Well, saying that, be sure to double-check the Santiam Forest website as the destructive wildfires have closed this trail since 2020. As areas are made safe, the government will be opening specific routes; but double-check to see if it’s open before you set out.
Once you get the go-ahead from local government, the hike is fairly short at 2.5 miles each way, yet the going is pretty strenuous. Though, your efforts are sure to pay off once you reach the absolutely gorgeous falls, which stand over 92 feet tall! It’s stunning.
This is a great place to spend an afternoon chilling, picnicking and simply enjoying the beauty of nature of this area.
3.) Smith Rock Trails, Smith Rock State Park
Hiking in Smith Rock State Park is nothing short of a spectacular experience. This classic western landscape has been used as the backdrop for many western flicks because of its iconic spots.
Best of all, there’s a number of trails and hikes to choose from; meaning you can cover lots of ground and really explore Smith Rock Park.
If you are looking for an easy-paced walk, a stroll along the Canyon Trail will offer you beautiful river views, while the Misery Ridge Loop is much steeper and more challenging (and should only be for the more seasoned hikers).
Plus, the park is located a mere 20 minutes from Bend, Oregon. Be sure to make a stop through town to visit the High Desert Museum, where you will find a number of exhibits explaining the history of the area. Though, skip this if you just wanna get out and explore!
4.) Latourell Falls Trail, Guy W. Talbot State Park
This is a fairly short, easy hike that leads you on a spectacularly wooded trail over picturesque bridges to the base of Latourell Falls, a 249-foot tall cascading waterfall!
The trail is less than three miles overall and takes you on a loop to see this incredible area of Oregon that’s totally unspoilt.
Now, for me, this hike is especially stunning in the spring when the water is gushing at its fullest volume but the wildflowers are starting to bloom! Saying that, if you suffer from hayfever you’ll hate this time!
A short drive away from Portland, it’s one of the best hikes in Oregon for a little jaunt from the city, especially at sunrise before most other hikers arrive.
In case you need it, here is the Google Maps link to the trailhead. Have fun!
Oh, also, don’t forget to check out the nearby Crown Point State Scenic Corridor along the historic Columbia River Highway. It’s got some great views.
5.) Watchman’s Peak Trail, Crater Lake
Crater Lake National Park is one of the most iconic locations in Oregon. This is the deepest lake in America, having been formed thousands of years ago when the peak of a volcano collapsed into itself after a violent eruption.
Yes, there are many different hiking trails around Crater Lake to choose from, but if you can only do one, make it the Watchman’s Peak Trail. It’s one of the best hikes in Oregon for views.
It is short but steep (about 2 miles round trip), but with panoramic views of the lake, you might not even notice the incline! I joke, it can be pretty tough but not quite as hard as some of the other hikes nearby.
There is also a working fire tower at the summit, which is a nice place to chill and relax before beginning your descent.
Oh, and if you’re heading over on the weekend, do consider that the trail can get quite busy, so plan accordingly.
6.) Angels Rest, Shepperd’s Dell State Natural Area
Hiking in the Columbia River Gorge is nothing short of a once in a lifetime experience.
The beauty here is absolutely overwhelming, as the sheer rock walls frame the powerful Columbia River below. Angels Rest is one of the more popular trails.
This strenuous hike is approximately 4.5 miles long round-trip, though the tough climb to the top is more than well worth it. Here, you will be treated to one of the best panoramic views of the gorge. Be sure to plan to spend some time up at the top, soaking in the majestic scenery.
Oh, and make sure you’ve planned for some rest and recuperation after – your calf muscles will be on fire!
7.) Multnomah-Wahkeena Loop Hike, Columbia River Gorge
This is easily the more popular hikes in the Columbia River Gorge and one of the best hikes in Oregon, too!
Approximately five miles in length, it is fairly moderate in some areas that are perfect if you love waterfalls but don’t want a tough hike to see them.
Now, for me, the absolute star of this hike is Multnomah Falls, which stands a whopping 620 feet tall! It’s totally beautiful in the fall months when the foliage is at its peak.
8.) Opal Creek Trail, Opal Creek Wilderness
Now, before setting out on this hike, be sure to check the government website for updates on when it will reopen. There have been closures due to the Beachie Creek Fire Closures and you most-certainly must check before heading out. After all, no one wants a hiker heading on an unsafe trail.
If open and raring to go, the Opal Creek Trail is a little over 6 miles out and back, and is tough for beginners but easy for pros! Along the way, you’ll have the chance to see the shimmering opal pool for which the hike is named.
9.) McKenzie River Trail, Willamette National Forest
This is an awesome hike for those who want to visit the plethora of geographical features that Oregon has to offer in one concentrated area.
Not only will you find the stunning waterfalls, you will also have the opportunity to explore the beautiful pools, hot springs and volcanic formations along the route.
Now, the trail is over twenty miles so it’s not the shortest of hikes if you’re squeezed for time. Though you can easily hop on one of the shuttles to take you to areas that specifically interest you. Some might see this as a cheat but I see this as a win if you can’t do it in the space of time you have.
One thing to note, it does bear mentioning that the volcanic rock can be very slippery when wet, so be sure to use caution. Oh, and always check the government website for trail closures (here) before heading out.
10.) Fort Stevens Trails, Fort Stevens State Park
This is an absolute must-do for any history buff who prefers to get out and explore!
There are a number of paths in this state park that spans 11 square miles that will lead you through the history of this former Civil War-era fort. The fort itself was originally erected to protect the Columbia River from Confederate ships, and it served its purpose well.
A testament to this fact can be seen in the wreckage of the Peter Iredale (via the Peter Iredale Trail) that’s one of the shortest hikes (and more of a stroll) ever! Being around one-third of a mile, you can walk this in around 15-minutes (if not less).
Have fun exploring!
11.) Clatsop Loop Trail, Ecola State Park
A relatively easy-to-moderate hike, the Clatsop Loop Trail is around 3-miles in length and takes in some of the best views of Ecola State Park and the unspoilt coastline.
This is the kind of trail you join for the views and you won’t be disappointed. Though, prep well, this is one of the hikes that’ll bless you with soggy feet (so wear good waterproof boots).