Oregon is a beautiful state with some incredibly diverse scenery. Can you say “hiker’s paradise?” As hard as it was to narrow down the top hikes in Oregon, we’ve picked our top five surrounding the Portland area with the help of Travel Oregon.
1. Best hike for kids: Sweet Creek Falls Trail (near Mapleton/ Central Oregon Coast)
The next time you’re driving the Oregon Coast Scenic Highway and want to take a side trip with the kids, follow the Siuslaw River, near Florence, to Sweet Creek Falls. The trailhead is easy to find and the trail is mostly flat. I love this trail because of its numerous waterfalls. Kids of all ages will be impressed with waterfalls around every bend. In the summer, take off your shoes and wade in the cool water. This is a kid favorite!
2. Best hike for a scenic view: The Watchman Peak Trail at Crater Lake National Park (Southern Oregon)
Everyone’s bucket list should include Crater Lake. If you are a hiker and want to find one of the best views in the National Park, follow the Watchman Peak Trail to the top. The trail is steep, but not terribly long and there are places to rest along the way. At the top of trail you’ll find an active fire lookout tower and a spectacular view of the lake.
3. Best Oregon Coast hike: Cape Perpetua (Yachats, Central Coast)Thor’s Well at Cape Perpetua
Picking a best hike on the Oregon Coast is similar to picking a favorite color of M&Ms (by the way, blue is the best). The coast hike that stands out to me as iconic is Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. You can explore tide pools, watch for whales, enjoy the power of a winter storm, hunt for agates and floats in the most natural setting.
4. Best historic hike: Fort Stevens (Astoria, North Coast)
Built near the end of the Civil War to guard the Columbia River from rogue Confederate ships, Fort Stevens is now an 11 square-mile state park that is rich in history. You can explore everything from a military museum to the shipwreck of the Peter Iredale and also watch Civil War re-enactments. This is a must for history buffs of all ages.
5. Best hike in Portland area: Eagle Creek Trail (Columbia River Gorge)Punchbowl Falls in springtime
If you love waterfalls and have ever wanted to hike behind a 120 foot waterfall, this is the trail for you. In addition to Tunnel Falls, you will pass numerous waterfalls like 30’ Punchbowl Falls. Expect a 12 mile roundtrip hike if you want to visit Tunnel Falls. The trail is not for those with fear of heights.
The only thing that could ruin this hikers’ paradise? Blistery, sweaty feet… Yuck. Next time you hit the trails in Oregon, make sure you have on your Swiftwick socks! The PURSUIT will be your new compass. Shop local and find a Swiftwick dealer near you in Oregon.