Looking for the best hikes in Oregon?
Oregon is one of the most beautiful states in the entire country. A nature-lover’s paradise, it is home to a diverse range of landscapes, wildlife, and natural beauty. As a result, it is also home to a diverse range of hiking trails!
If you’re looking to get out there and explore the nature of the Pacific Northwest, a visit to Oregon is your best bet. With a plethora of options spanning the entire state, even including one that spans its entire coastline, you’re sure to find something that fits your needs. With so many options, how will you choose? What exactly are the best hikes in Oregon? We’ve broken it down for you.
So, pack your backpacks, lace up your hiking boots, and lets get hiking!
The Best Hikes in Oregon
Mirror Lake Loop Trail
Located in the Mount Hood National Forest, this 4.4-mile loop is rated as moderate. Because of its easily accessible location right on Highway 26, this is one of the most popular hikes in Oregon. This hike will take you through dense mountain forests and reward you with views of the surrounding landscape, including mountains, valleys, and eventually Mount Hood and Mirror Lake themselves.
This is one of the best hikes in Oregon because it provides one of the best views of Mount Hood. You can expect to see its reflection in Mirror Lake, hence the name, and be awed when you’re seeing double of one of the most famous mountains in the United States. There’s also a trail that encircles the lake, so be sure to take your time to take in all the views.
The best time to hike this trail is in the spring or summer so you can enjoy all the flowers in bloom – a nature-lover’s paradise indeed.
Trail of Ten Falls
Located in the Silver Falls State Park, this is one of the most popular hikes in the state. The Trail of Ten Falls is known as one of the best hikes in Oregon for waterfall enthusiasts, and yes, it does take you past ten cascading waterfalls. This 7.8-mile loop is a moderate hike and will take you through the entire state park. With access to a lot of offshoot trails, as well, you’ll have a plethora of options to explore this “crown jewel” of Oregon’s state parks.
During this hike, you’ll climb a total of 1300 feet and marvel at waterfalls ranging in height from 27 feet tall to 178 feet tall. You can even walk behind some of the falls, making for a magical experience you won’t soon forget – and an easy way to cool off in the summer! Just be aware of slippery rock behind the falls.
Opal Creek Trail
This hike is one of Oregon’s most iconic and is located in the Opal Creek Wilderness and National Recreation Area. This out-and-back trail is 6.9 miles total and is rated as moderate. Known as one of the most beautiful hikes in Oregon, this will take you through a lush forest of cedar trees and over a bridge before you reach the magnificent opal pool.
Since this trail is the location of an abandoned mining operation, you’ll also pass by the historic town of Jawbone Flats, so be sure to explore and learn a little about the land you’re walking on!
Plus, if you’re looking to take a relaxing dip in the natural pools, you can find some swimming areas a little off the main trail. Take a dip, have a snack if you brought one, and be sure to take your time, marveling at the waterfalls along the way.
Oregon Coast Trail
One of the best coastal hikes in Oregon, this trail lives up to its name. Starting at the California border and spanning almost the entire coast of the state, this trail is 425 miles total. If you decide to hike this entire trail, you’re in for the most authentic Oregon experience possible. Even if you only do part of it, it will be an experience you’ll never forget. So, feel free to make it your own!
You’ll see everything this state has to offer: beautiful coastline, small towns, public beaches, and even several state parks. With attractions like Cape Kiwanda, Pistol River, Cannon Beach, and Thor’s Well, you’ll be in awe of Oregon’s natural and diverse beauty.
Since this hike may take you a while, familiarize yourself with places to camp along the way, and be prepared to meet small-town locals with amazing stories to tell.
If you’re looking to see as much of this beautiful state as possible, this trail is certainly your one-stop shop, making it one of the best hikes in Oregon.
Angel’s Rest Trail
Located in Columbia River Gorge, this out-and-back trail is 4.8 miles round trip and is rated as moderate. Starting from the historic Columbia River Highway, it’s easy to see why this trail is so popular.
The main attraction of this hike in Oregon is obviously the Angel’s Rest Lookout, which provides amazing views across the beautiful Columbia River Gorge, including Beacon Rock, Silverstar Mountain, and other natural landmarks, at an elevation of 1640 feet. Pro tip: get there for sunrise to really experience the magic.
Aside from the Angel’s Rest Lookout, you’ll also pass waterfalls at Coopey Creek along this trail, so don’t just rush along hoping to get to the end as fast as possible. This trail provides you with something to see at every turn. Nature lovers and bird watchers will especially take joy in all the wildlife and vegetation this hike has to offer.
These are just six of the best hikes in Oregon, but of course there are many more! These should serve to get you started, no matter what kind of trail you’re looking for, and there’s always even more to explore.
Whether you opt to hike the entire Oregon Coast Trail or take a quick jaunt to the iconic Mirror Lake, you’ll marvel at the scenery and the natural beauty of the state of Oregon. Clearly, this is one of the most beautiful states in the country, so be sure not to miss out on the chance to hike through it.