On the Trail of Nature: 47 Hiking Escapes in Oregon

Stopping at the ocean while hiking in oregon

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Hiking in Oregon is an unparalleled adventure that should be on everyone’s bucket list. With its diverse landscapes, from the iconic Pacific coastline to lush forests, cascading waterfalls, and towering mountains, the state offers a breathtaking tapestry for outdoorsy folks.

Each trail unfolds a unique story, showcasing the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Whether it’s exploring the enchanting Columbia River Gorge or summitting the beautiful Mount Hood, Oregon’s trails promise unforgettable experiences.


Hiking in Oregon: Basic Overview

As I grew up in Washington and had the opportunity to live all over the country, I have been blessed with Oregon being my neighboring state for a lot of my life. After about 3 hours of driving from the Seattle area, I was able to jump out of the car (when it wasn’t moving), throw my hiking boots on, and set out on the trail. Other times, I had a 45-pound pack and was starting a 40+ mile backpacking trip.

One of the best things about hiking in Oregon is that it is suitable for everyone. If you are used to doing more urban walks/hikes, you will be able to find shorter trails with lower elevations. If you are used to eating Heather’s Choice meals out of a bag after backpacking 10 miles in a day, there are more than enough options.

Sign when entering oregon

Leave No Trace (Pack it in, Pack it out)

As outdoor adventuring becomes increasingly popular and more areas become crowded… the issue becomes more people typically means more garbage.

Respecting the outdoors and practicing mindfulness while exploring the state’s diverse terrains ensures that future generations can enjoy the same unspoiled environments. Adhering to “leave no trace” principles, helps to minimize the impact on ecosystems, wildlife, and vegetation. This approach fosters a sustainable relationship between outdoor enthusiasts and the environment.

Hiking in Oregon next to lupine wildflowers

What does this look like? Stick to the main trail. Pick up your garbage. Don’t go stomping in the middle of wildflower meadows for your “perfect” Instagram photo.

Let’s work together to keep it clean so we can keep hiking in Oregon!

Leave No Trace

Help preserve the pristine beauty and ecological balance of natural landscapes.

Required Permits for Hiking in Oregon

Not all trails will require permits, but these are the top three that you will more than likely come across. Always check the trail beforehand to make sure your vehicle is safe where it is parked.

Oregon State Parks Pass ($30)
Northwest Forest Pass ($30)
The America the Beautiful Pass ($80)


47 Stunning Hikes in Oregon

If you are getting ready to embark on a thrilling Oregon adventure – this is the place for you! In the next section of this post, we have provided a short write-up of important details of 47 incredible hikes across the state. From the coast to the mountains to the desert areas, we’ll uncover the beauty of each trail. Offering insights into the distance, difficulty levels, elevations, permits that may be required, and more.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a newcomer to the trails, this guide will help you be more equipped for your trip.

1. Trail of Ten Falls

Length: 7.4 miles
Permit: $5 Day-Use Pass
Elevation: 1,190 feet
Time Duration: ~ 3.5 hours
Trail Type: Loop
Dog-Friendly: No
Difficulty: Moderately challenging
Best Time to Hike: May-October

2. Mirror Lake Loop Trail

Length: 4.2 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 672 feet
Time Duration: ~ 2 hours
Trail Type: Loop
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Moderate
Best Time to Hike: May-October

3. Dog Mountain Trail

Length: 6.5 miles
Permit: Fee at the entrance (per car). America the Beautiful Pass is accepted here. Tip: There is a limited number of spots, so arrive early.
Elevation: 2,988 feet
Time Duration: ~ 5 hours
Trail Type: Loop
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Hard
Best Time to Hike: March-November

Waterfall in Oregon during a hike in oregon

4. Tom, Dick & Harry Mountain Trail via Mirror Lake

Length: 8.2 miles
Permit: NW Forest Pass / America the Beautiful Pass or pre-purchased day pass
Elevation: 1,715 feet
Time Duration: ~ 4 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Hard
Best Time to Hike: May – October

5. Three Sisters Loop

Length: 47.5 miles
Permit: Permit required for all overnight states and day use at some trailheads
Elevation: 7,034 feet
Time Duration: Multi-day
Trail Type: Loop
Dog-Friendly: Yes
Difficulty: Hard
Best Time to Hike: June – October

6. Battle Ax Mountain

Length: 5.8 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 1,751 feet
Time Duration: ~ 3.5 hours
Trail Type: Loop
Dog-Friendly: No
Difficulty: Moderately challenging
Best Time to Hike: May-October

7. Mount Thielsen Trail

Length: 9.5 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 3,657 feet
Time Duration: ~ 5 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: No
Difficulty: Hard
Best Time to Hike: July – December

Hiking in Oregon at Smith Rock

8. Table Mountain Trail via Pacific Crest Trail

Length: 15.3 miles
Permit: Northwest Forest Pass
Elevation: 4,215 feet
Time Duration: ~ 9 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Hard
Best Time to Hike: March – October

9. Misery Ridge Trail

Length: 2.6 miles
Permit: Smith Rock State Park Day Pass
Elevation: 1,138 feet
Time Duration: ~ 2 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Not sure
Difficulty: Hard
Best Time to Hike: March – October

10. Timberline Trail Around Mount Hood

Length: 42 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 9,852 feet
Time Duration: Multi-day
Trail Type: Loop
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty:
Best Time to Hike: Year-round, backpacking recommended June-October

Hiking at Crater Lake in Oregon

11. Haystack Rock

Length: 4.3 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 16 feet
Time Duration: ~ 1.25 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Easy
Best Time to Hike: Open year-around

12. The Thumb via the Knoll

Length: 3.9 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 971 feet
Time Duration: ~ 2 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Moderate
Best Time to Hike: April – November

13. Summit Mount Hood from Timberline

Length: 6.7 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 5,308 feet
Time Duration:
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: No
Difficulty: Hard
Best Time to Hike: April – October

14. Painted Canyon Loop

Length: 8.8 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 1,210 feet
Time Duration: ~ 3.5 hours
Trail Type: Loop
Dog-Friendly: No
Difficulty: Hard
Best Time to Hike: February – October

Hiking in Oregon on Mt Hood, with trail signs

15. Talon, Rokbar, Heritage, Big Bark, Lost Dream Loop

Length: 9.6 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 462 ft
Time Duration: ~ 3.5 hours
Trail Type: Loop
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Moderate/difficult
Best Time to Hike: December – October

16. Maxwell Lake

Length: 7.6 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 2,388 feet
Time Duration: ~ 4.5 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, off-leash in some areas
Difficulty: Hard
Best Time to Hike: June – August

17. The Misery Ridge Trail

Length: 2.6 miles
Permit: Smith Rock State Park Day-Use Parking Fee
Elevation: 1,138 feet
Time Duration: ~ 2 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Unknown
Difficulty: Moderate
Best Time to Hike: March – October

18. Cleetwood Cove Trail

Length: 2.1 miles
Permit: Crater Lake National Park Fee
Elevation: 610 feet
Time Duration: ~ 1 hour
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: No
Difficulty: Moderate
Best Time to Hike: June – October

19. Trail of Ten Falls

Length: 7.4 miles
Permit: Silver Falls $5 pass (can be purchased at many trailheads/booths)
Elevation: 1,190 feet
Time Duration: ~ 3.5 hours
Trail Type: Loop
Dog-Friendly: No
Difficulty: Moderate
Best Time to Hike: May – October

Mt Hood view

20. Tumalo Falls vis Tumalo Creek Trail

Length: 6.4 miles
Permit: Deschutes National Forest
Elevation: 557 feet
Time Duration: ~ 2.5 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, off-leash in some areas
Difficulty: Easy
Best Time to Hike: Open year-round

21. Multnomah Falls

Length: 2.6 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 813 feet
Time Duration: ~ 1.5 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Easy
Best Time to Hike: Open year-round

22. Clatsop Loop Trail from Indian Beach

Length: 2.9 miles
Permit: Ecola State Park Fee
Elevation: 784 feet
Time Duration: ~1.5 hours
Trail Type: Loop
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Easy
Best Time to Hike: Open year-round

23. Angel’s Rest

Length: 4.5 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 1,489 feet
Time Duration: ~ 3 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Moderate
Best Time to Hike: March – October

Beach in Oregon

24. Eagle Cap via West Fork Trail

Length: 35.2 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 7,568 feet
Time Duration: Multi-day
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Hard
Best Time to Hike: May – October

25. South Sister Trail

Length: 11.6 miles
Permit: Northwest Forest Pass
Elevation: 4,986 feet
Time Duration: ~ 8 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Hard
Best Time to Hike: June – October

26. Marion Falls and Gatch Falls

Length: 4.1 miles
Permit: Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Day or Overnight Pass
Elevation: 849 feet
Time Duration: ~ 2 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: No
Difficulty: Moderate
Best Time to Hike: April – September

27. Gold Butte Fire Lookout

Length: 2.5 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 751 feet
Time Duration: ~ 1.5 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Moderate
Best Time to Hike: April – October

28. Oneonta Gorge

Length: 5.8 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 1,699 feet
Time Duration: ~ 3.5 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Moderate
Best Time to Hike: March – October

Hiking in Oregon and a waterfall

29. Elk Mountain Loop Trail

Length: 8.6 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 2,670 feet
Time Duration: ~ 5 hours
Trail Type: Loop
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Hard
Best Time to Hike: March – September

30. Devil’s Rest Loop

Length: 8.3 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 2,896 feet
Time Duration: ~ 5.5 hours
Trail Type: Loop
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Hard
Best Time to Hike: Open year-round

31. McNeil Point Trail

Length: 8.5 mile
Permit: Mount Hood National Forest
Elevation: 2,657 feet
Time Duration: ~ 9 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Hard
Best Time to Hike: May – November

32. Iron Mountain Trail

Length: 1.8 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 226 feet
Time Duration: ~ 45 minutes
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Easy
Best Time to Hike: January – November

33. Crescent Beach Trail from Tillamook Rock Lighthouse

Length: 2.3 miles
Permit: Ecola State Park Fee
Elevation: 538 feet
Time Duration: ~ 1 hour
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Easy
Best Time to Hike: May – September

34. Laurance Lake High Ridge Hike

Length: 6.6 miles
Permit: Northwest Forest Pass or $5 Day-Use Fee in Campground
Elevation: 1,194 feet
Time Duration: ~ 3 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Moderate
Best Time to Hike: May – October

Hiking South Sister Trail in Oregon

35. Natural Bridges Viewpoint Trail

Length: 0.6 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 59 feet
Time Duration: ~ 15 minutes
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Easy
Best Time to Hike: May – September

36. Upper Wilson River Trail

Length: 6.7 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 1,154 feet
Time Duration: ~ 3 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Moderate
Best Time to Hike: March – September

37. The Watchman Peak Trail

Length: 1.7 miles
Permit: Crater Lake National Park or Annual Park Pass
Elevation: 400 feet
Time Duration: ~ 1 hour
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: No
Difficulty: Easy
Best Time to Hike: June – October

38. Cape Falcon Trail

Length: 4.5 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 580 feet
Time Duration: ~ 2 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Easy
Best Time to Hike: May – October

39. Tamolitch Blue Pool via the McKenzie River Trail

Length: 3.9 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 351 feet
Time Duration: ~ 1.5 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Easy
Best Time to Hike: Open year-round

Buck Lake hiking in Oregon

40. Green Lakes Trail

Length: 9.1 miles
Permit: Three Sisters Wilderness Permit
Elevation: 1,174 feet
Time Duration: ~ 3.5 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes
Difficulty: Moderate
Best Time to Hike: June – October

41. Paulina Peak Trail

Length: 6.2 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 1,610 feet
Time Duration: ~ 3.5 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Moderate
Best Time to Hike: June – October

42. John Dellenback Dunes Trail

Length: 5.5 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 308 feet
Time Duration: ~ 2 hours
Trail Type: Loop
Dog-Friendly: Yes (Beach closed to dogs March – September)
Difficulty: Moderate
Best Time to Hike: Open year-round

43. Steens Mountain Gorges Loop Trail

Length: 25.2 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 4,603 feet
Time Duration: Multi-day
Trail Type: Loop
Dog-Friendly: Yes
Difficulty: Hard
Best Time to Hike: June – September

Costal hiking in Oregon

44. Elk Flats Trail and Devil’s Cauldron Overlook

Length: 2.9 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 580 feet
Time Duration: ~ 1.5 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: No
Difficulty: Easy
Best Time to Hike: April – November

45. Lower Cascade Head Trail

Length: 4.1 miles
Permit: No
Elevation: 1,108 feet
Time Duration: ~ 2.5 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: No
Difficulty: Moderate
Best Time to Hike: March – October

46. Drift Creek Suspension Bridge & Waterfall

Length: 3.1 miles
Permit: Recreation Pass
Elevation: 518 feet
Time Duration: ~ 1.5 hours
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Moderate
Best Time to Hike: Open year-round

47. Salal Hill Trail

Length: 0.7 miles
Permit: Yaquina Head charges fee based on vehicle type
Elevation: 160 feet
Time Duration: ~ 25 min
Trail Type: Out & back
Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash
Difficulty: Easy
Best Time to Hike: June – October

Beautiful meadow on Timberline Trail

Where to Stay in Oregon

Oregon offers many diverse landscapes from coastlines to lush forests and majestic mountains. After an exhilarating day on the trails or a relaxing day on the beach, Oregon offers accommodations to cater to every preference.

Cozy cabins that are nestled in the woods, charming bed and breakfasts, or boutique hotels in vibrant towns await. Whether you prefer the tranquility of nature or the comforts of a town, Oregon’s hiking experiences seamlessly blend outdoor adventure with cozy states, ensuring a memorable and rejuvenating getaway.

My top recommended sites for finding the perfect place to stay:
Vrbo
Tripadvisor
Hostelworld
Airbnb
BookOutdoors


Hiking in Oregon Packing List

🍃 Sunscreen – Important for any type of day, any time of the year. Opt-in for eco-friendly brands!

🍃 Comfortable Hiking Boots – Wouldn’t recommend breaking these in on a long hike. Make sure your toes aren’t rubbing against the tip of the boot

🍃 First Aid Kit – Always important to have on you no matter the length of the trip

🍃 Electrical Tape – You would be surprised with how many things you can fix with this tape

🍃 Winter Hiking – Spikes, extra clothes, emergency blanket

🍃 Fire Starter – A cheap and easy fire starter is to use an old pill bottle, grab some cotton balls, and cover them in Vaseline. (Bonus tip, bring a lighter too)

🍃Dog Tips – Check each hike’s requirements, extra poop bags, and leash. Be mindful of other dogs on trails and don’t assume you can pet all dogs. Respect the owner by asking.

Taped up toes from backpacking

Check out my related posts:
59 Gifts for Outdoorsy Girls | Gifts to Buy + Not to Buy (all personally tested)
Snowy Escapes: Your Guide to Winter Wonderlands in Washington State


47 Best Oregon Hikes Wrapped Up

(pun not intended from wrapped-up toes in the photo above)

Earlier we covered the importance of “leave no trace”. Embracing these principles contributes to the conservation of Oregon’s breathtaking landscapes, promoting responsible outdoor recreation, and environmental stewardship.

Hiking in Oregon is a magical way to explore the state. The diverse ecosystems, wildlife encounters, and the serenity of nature create a profound connection with the outdoors. Hiking in Oregon is not just a physical journey but a soul-stirring exploration, making it an absolute must for any adventurer.

Oh, and you are hiking in the PNW… so be prepared to get wet with rain or waterfalls. 😊

Happy Trails,
Mindful PNW Travels