Oregon, a state known for its diverse landscapes and stunning natural beauty, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. This Pacific Northwest gem offers an array of hiking trails that take you through lush forests, along rugged coastlines, past serene lakes, and up to majestic mountain peaks.
Whether you’re a seasoned hiker seeking a challenging trek or a beginner looking for a leisurely stroll, Oregon’s trails cater to all abilities and preferences. In this article, we’ll explore the 15 best Oregon hiking trails, each offering a unique adventure and a chance to immerse yourself in Oregon’s breathtaking wilderness.
15. Broken Top to No Name Lake Trail
The hiking trail from Broken Top to No Name Lake in Oregon is an adventurous route that offers breathtaking views. This 5.5-mile out-and-back trail, located near Bend, Oregon, is generally considered a challenging route that takes an average of approximately 3 hours to complete. The trail gains elevation quickly and leads hikers to the rim’s edge before continuing towards Broken Top.
The journey offers beautiful views of Broken Top and South Sister, making it an exceptionally great hike. The trail isn’t marked, and the best way to get there is to follow the path along the glacial lake, leading to unbeatable mountain views. It is also suitable for backpacking, with the total distance to Broken Top Mountain and No Name Lake being about 13 miles.
14. Trail of Ten Falls
The Trail of Ten Falls is an enchanting 7.4-mile loop trail located near Mehama, Oregon. This moderately challenging route takes an average of about 3 hours to complete, revealing ten spectacular waterfalls along the way.
Nestled within Silver Falls State Park, just an hour and a half from Portland, it’s an accessible adventure for many. The trail offers breathtaking views, winding through lush rainforest and even providing opportunities to walk behind four of the waterfalls, offering a truly immersive experience. With an elevation gain of 800 feet on paved paths, it’s not particularly demanding in terms of altitude, making it suitable for a variety of fitness levels.
Whether you choose to take all day (and pack a lunch) or opt for a shorter loop, the Trail of Ten Falls promises a memorable hiking experience.
13. Sahalie and Koosah Falls Loop
The Sahalie and Koosah Falls Loop is a captivating 2.4 to 2.9-mile loop trail located near Camp Sherman, Oregon. This trail is generally considered moderately challenging, taking an average of 1 hour to complete. The trail is nestled within the Willamette National Forest, offering stunning views of two major waterfalls along the McKenzie River. With an elevation gain of about 380 feet, the hike is not particularly strenuous, making it accessible for many.
As part of the 26-mile-long McKenzie River trail, you can experience the beauty of Sahalie and Koosah Falls from both sides of the river. Whether you’re in search of a quick and easy hike or are keen on immersing yourself in the beauty of Oregon’s natural landscapes, the Sahalie and Koosah Falls Loop offers a rewarding experience.
12. The Knoll Trail
The Knoll Trail is a captivating 2.8-mile loop trail located near Lincoln City, Oregon. This trail is generally considered moderately challenging and takes an average of 1 to 2 hours to complete.
The trail begins just beyond the road, taking hikers through beautiful fields and forests. You might even see some wildlife along the way! The trail leads up from an elk-frequented ridge to a basalt formation known locally as The Thumb (or God’s Thumb), offering sweeping views of the coast. With a 600 feet elevation gain, it offers both a fun workout and a rewarding hiking experience. Whether you’re looking for a quick hike or an adventurous one, the Knoll Trail is a great choice.
11. Wahkeena Falls Loop
The Wahkeena Falls Loop is a captivating 5.1-mile loop trail located near Corbett, Oregon. Generally considered moderately challenging, it takes an average of 3 hours and 11 minutes to complete. The trail offers a variety of scenic views, including the stunning Wahkeena Falls, Ecola Falls, and Multnomah Falls. With an elevation gain of 1600 feet, the hike is a bit strenuous but very rewarding.
Along the trail, you’ll experience lush scenery, Columbia River views, glimpses of waterfalls, and charming historic stonework. The Wahkeena Falls Loop offers an enriching experience of Oregon’s natural landscapes—if you’re up for a challenge!
10. Misery Ridge
The Misery Ridge Trail is a challenging yet rewarding 6.2-mile loop trail located near Terrebonne, Oregon. The trail is steep, quickly climbing nearly 1000 feet over a series of switchbacks. It takes an average of 2-3 hours to complete and is best hiked from March to November 3. As you traverse this trail, you’ll meet climbers on Picnic Lunch Wall after a few miles and pass the base of the iconic Monkey Face formation.
The reward for your efforts is a spectacular panoramic view of Smith Rock State Park and the surrounding area. If you’re a seasoned hiker, Misery Ridge offers a unique hiking experience that encapsulates the immense beauty of Oregon.
9. Natural Bridges Viewpoint Trail
The Natural Bridges Viewpoint Trail is an engaging 0.6-mile out-and-back trail located near Brookings, Oregon. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 14 minutes to complete.
The trail offers breathtaking views of the Natural Bridges, a series of picturesque sea arches visible from the viewpoint south of the trailhead. With virtually no elevation gain, this hike is accessible for all levels of hikers. A short walk from the parking area brings you to the first viewpoint, but you can also explore further downhill for closer views.
As part of the Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, the trail provides a unique experience of Oregon’s stunning coastal landscapes.
8. Gold Butte Fire Lookout
The Gold Butte Fire Lookout trail is a moderately challenging route located in the Willamette National Forest. The trail is approximately half a mile from the parking area, leading to a steep trail that takes an average of 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete. Perfect for hiking, snowshoeing, and walking, the trail offers a rewarding experience of a historic and remote lookout with panoramic views up and down the Oregon Cascades.
The hike starts on a road before turning onto a proper trail, which switchbacks uphill to the lookout’s perch. This trail’s isolation at the end of a secured access road ensures a peaceful and immersive outdoor experience.
7. Iron Mountain/Cone Peak Trail
The Iron Mountain/Cone Peak Trail in Oregon offers a richly rewarding hiking experience. The trail, spanning approximately 7.1 miles, loops around Iron Mountain and includes views of the Cone Meadows. The hike begins at the Tombstone Pass Trailhead and features an elevation gain of about 1700 feet.
This trail takes hikers through shaded forest paths and wildflower-dense open hillsides, culminating at a comfortable viewing platform atop Iron Mountain. The upper portions of this trail present extensive views of the Old Cascades. Hikers also have the option of adding the 1.4-mile round trip with 800 feet of elevation, which circles Iron Mountain.
With over 300 species of wildflowers, this trail is one of the most beautiful in the country.
6. Angel’s Rest
Angel’s Rest is a popular hiking trail located near Corbett, Oregon, promising a workout with a rewarding view. This 4.5-mile out-and-back trail is considered challenging, taking an average of 2 hours and 51 minutes to complete.
The trail begins near river level and ascends through a lush forest before culminating at an exposed blufftop, Angel’s Rest, which offers panoramic views of the Columbia River Gorge. This 4.8-mile hike gains 1,500 feet in elevation as it climbs over boulders and through trees. Despite suffering from a 2017 fire, the trail is beginning to recover and remains a beloved choice for hikers seeking a good workout and spectacular views.
5. Neahkahnie Mountain Trail
The Neahkahnie Mountain Trail, located near Nehalem, Oregon, is an exciting hiking adventure that offers breathtaking views and an invigorating workout. The trail stretches over 3 miles, with a moderate to steep climb, gaining approximately 900 feet in elevation. It can be done as either a loop or an out-and-back from either the North or South trailhead, both located off Route 1014.
It passes through majestic old-growth forests around Necarney Creek and leads to a clifftop view that surely won’t disappoint. The trail features about 14 switchbacks, which gain about 725 feet of elevation in one mile from the trailhead to the Neahkahnie viewpoint.
4. Cleetwood Cove Trail
The Cleetwood Cove Trail, located near Crater Lake in Oregon, is a unique hiking trail that offers the only legal access to the shoreline of the iconic Crater Lake. This 2.1-mile out-and-back trail is moderately challenging, as it includes a steep and strenuous descent and ascent. The trail drops about 700 feet in elevation through a series of switchbacks over 1.1 miles.
Despite its challenge, the journey is worth it as hikers are rewarded with the opportunity to swim in the pristine, cool waters of Crater Lake. There’s ample parking at the trailhead on East Rim Drive, and the path is well-shaded, making it a comfortable hike even during warmer days.
3. Mirror Lake Loop
The Mirror Lake Loop is a scenic trail located in the Mt. Hood National Forest. This 4.2-mile circular route is known for its stunning views of Mount Hood reflected in the calm waters of the glacial Mirror Lake.
The hike begins at the Mirror Lake Trailhead and ascends through a tranquil forest of fir trees, with a moderate elevation gain of 560 feet. The first part of the trail climbs steadily, but it’s well-maintained and has only minor inclines, making it suitable for hikers of all skill levels. To complete a loop around the lake adds an extra mile to your journey. With its picturesque views and accessible trail, the Mirror Lake Loop is a must-visit for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts.
2. Tamanawas Falls Trail
The Tamanawas Falls Trail, located near Mount Hood, is a popular 3.4-mile out-and-back hike that offers a beautiful mix of forested paths and stunning waterfall views. The trail meanders along Cold Spring Creek, making it an ideal destination to cool off during hot summer days.
The highlight of the trail is the Tamanawas Falls, a broad curtain where the creek thunders over a 110-foot lava cliff. The trail is considered moderately challenging, with an elevation gain of 560 feet, but it’s well-marked, making it suitable for families and hikers of an appropriate skill level. Situated on the east slope of Mt. Hood and right off Highway 35, the Tamanawas Falls Trail is undoubtedly one of the best hikes in the Mt. Hood area.
1. Oneonta Gorge Trail
The Oneonta Gorge Trail, located in the Columbia River Gorge area near Portland, Oregon, offers a unique and scenic hiking experience. This trail is not your typical hike; rather than a well-marked path, hikers navigate by walking up the creek bed, maneuvering over a large log jam, and making their way through a verdant slot canyon. The journey, although short at just 0.8 miles round trip, can be moderately difficult due to the obstacles along the way.
The trail ends at the base of Lower Oneonta Falls, a breathtaking sight where water cascades 100 feet into a pool. The lush moss, thick ferns, and basalt cliffs that line the gorge make this hike unexpectedly magical. Please note that the best time to hike the Oneonta Gorge Trail is from August to October.