Our Picks For The 10 Best Hikes Near Portland Oregon 2022

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Written By John @ The Portlandist

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Thanks to its mountainous geography, mild climate and abundance of precipitation, the Portland area is a year-round hiker’s paradise. From gentle urban trails to challenging elevations, Portland offers dozens of excellent trekking options for hikers of all physical abilities and experience levels. In the list below, we’ve narrowed the choices down to the 10 best hikes near Portland for you to tackle in 2022. Along the way, you can expect to experience lush forests, colorful wildflowers, thundering waterfalls and stunning views. 

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The Best Hikes in Portland Oregon

Below is our picks for the top 10 best Hikes Near Portland Oregon. To snap directly to a specific location, please click the corresponding link in the list below.

  1. Council Crest
  2. Trail of Ten Loops
  3. Angel’s Rest
  4. Eagle creek to punch bowl falls
  5. Mount Tabor loop
  6. Lower Macleay to Pittock Mansion
  7. Powell Butte Loop
  8. Tryon Creek
  9. Trillium Lake Loop Trail
  10. Washington Park Loop

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10. Council Crest

Hikes Council Crest Hikes jpg

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Getting there: Marquam Nature Park is located in Portland’s Southwest Hills neighborhood at SW Marquam Street and Sam Jackson Park Road.

The Council Crest hike provides a tranquil refuge from urban life within the Portland city limits. The trail leads through the lush forest of Marquam Nature Park, starting at the Marquam Nature Park Shelter Trailhead, where you can view the mosaic installed by local artist Lynn Takata in 2013. After passing through the canopy of big-leaf maples in Marquam Gulch, you’ll encounter several switchbacks and cross a footbridge before entering a dense stand of cedars, Douglas firs, hemlocks and maples.

You’ll ultimately arrive at the Council Crest summit, one of the highest points within the city, which once housed a bustling amusement park and trolley stop. Pause at the modest viewing area to look out over the Tualatin Valley, downtown Portland and even across the state line to Vancouver, Washington. If the weather is clear, you’ll also be able to spot Mount Hood to the east, Mount Jefferson to the south and Mount St. Helens. Mount Rainier and Mount Adams to the north.

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9. Trail Of Ten Loops

Hikes Trail Of Ten Loop Hikes Jpg

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Getting there: Take I-5 south to Exit 271 for Woodburn and Silverton. Turn left on Highway 214 (which becomes Mt. Hood Avenue) and continue for 2.6 miles. Turn right on Highway 99E in Woodburn, go 1.1 miles and turn left for Highway 214, Mt. Angel, and Silverton. After just under 7 miles, stay left toward Silverton and Silver Falls. In 4.2 miles, turn right on C Street and then left on Water Street. Stay on this road for 16.2 miles into Silver Falls State Park, bypassing the parking area for North Falls to turn right for South Falls. In .2 miles, you’ll pay the $5 day use fee at the toll booth and arrive at the main parking area.

Silver Falls State Park is Oregon’s largest state park at 9,000 acres, and this spectacular hike takes you past 10 waterfalls along with unforgettable canyon views. Starting at the South Falls Trailhead, you’ll traverse the route in a counterclockwise direction, first passing through the majestic canopy of old-growth forest packed with Douglas firs and hemlocks. Your first waterfall sighting will be the 65-foot Upper North Falls, which tumbles over a basalt cliff created by ancient volcanic flows. Next, you’ll reach one of the taller waterfalls in the park: 165-foot North Falls, with its impressive grotto tucked in behind the cascade. 

Next up is Twin Falls, its flow divided in two by a large chunk of rock in the center of the stream. Keep going to reach Winter Falls, which—as its name suggests—reaches peak flow in the winter and spring but slows to a trickle during the summer. The next stretch of trail features a rapid-fire parade of waterfalls, including Middle North Falls, Lower North Falls and the two tiers of Double Falls, the park’s highest waterfall at 178 feet. You’ll pass Lower South Falls before arriving at South Falls, one of the most-photographed waterfalls in the state with its dramatic single drop and 177-foot total height. The trail takes you behind the waterfall for a unique perspective on the powerful flow before returning you to the South Falls Lodge, nature store and trailhead.

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8. Angel’s Rest

Hikes Angels rest hikes jpg

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Getting there: From Portland, head east on I-84 to Exit 28 for Bridal Veil. After .4 miles, turn right on the Historic Highway to reach Angels Rest Trailhead parking area. 

This trek takes hikers to the precipice of Angels Rest, a dramatic exposed bluff at the western end of the Columbia River Gorge. The rock formation was created over the course of millennia by the lava flowing from Larch Mountain, part of the Boring Lava Field. The ascent is moderate, making it appropriate for hikers of most age and experience levels, and the switchbacks take you through some lovely scenery, offering glimpses of Coopey Falls, Beacon Rock and Silver Star Mountain. At the summit, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking 270-degree views of the Columbia River below.

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7. Eagles Creek To Punch Bowl Falls

Hikes Eagle creek to punch bowl falls Hikes

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Getting there: From Portland, take I-84 east to Exit 41 for the Eagle Creek Recreation Area. Turn right at the stop sign and stay on Fire Road 240/Fire Road 241 (Eagle Creek Lane). After a half-mile, you’ll pass a footbridge before arriving at the parking lot for the Eagle Creek Trailhead. 

This family-friendly hike provides a generous sampling of the Columbia River Gorge scenery, including three significant waterfalls, towering basalt cliffs and plenty of old-growth forest, despite the devastating effects of 2017’s Eagle Creek Fire, which rendered the trail unusable for nearly four years. The path has since reopened, thanks to a massive restoration effort by the Pacific Crest Trail Association, and is again welcoming visitors to its fern-festooned paths. 

Along the route, you’ll pass a massive fossilized tree stump, impressive basalt cliffs that rise above the trail and the sprays of the 100-foot Sorenson Falls and 82-foot Metlako Falls before reaching the hike’s big prize: the social-media friendly overlook at Punch Bowl Falls, with its ring of water gushing into a stunning pool below. Be sure to remain within the guardrails at all times, as multiple explorers have been injured in an effort to secure a better view or stage a more impressive photo.

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6. Mount Tabor Loop

Hikes Mount Tabor loop Hikes Jpg

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Getting there: To reach the Lincoln Street Trailhead, take Division Street to 52nd Avenue, where you’ll turn left and reach Lincoln Street after two blocks. On-street parking is available on the left.

This gentle loop takes you on a brief tour of Mount Tabor Park, a 197-acre space anchored by the extinct volcano of the same name. Encompassing both paved and dirt trails, the hike passes the park’s three historic reservoirs, which were once used to contain drinking water for Portland’s residents but have since been converted to scenic attractions only. The modest elevation gain includes a pass over Poison Oak Hill, one of several defunct volcanic cones along the path, as well as a section of trail shaded by enormous Douglas firs. At the summit, you’re likely to encounter a host of cyclists, joggers and bird watchers along the circular driveway, which is closed to vehicular traffic. Mount Hood is visible to the east, and on the second half of the loop, you’ll see the statue of York, an enslaved man who assisted the Lewis and Clark Expedition, as well as the amphitheater and basketball court that were built in the former volcanic caldera. 

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5. Lower Macleay to Pittock Mansion

Hikes Lower Macleay to Pittock Mansion hikes jpg

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Getting there: From I-405 in downtown Portland, take exit 3 to Route 30 west. Take the first exit for Vaughn Street and turn left onto NW 27th Avenue. Take a right on NW Upshur Street and continue .3 miles to the park. After you cross 29th Avenue, parking is available on the right side of the street or along the circle in Macleay Park.

This scenic hike offers a small sampling of the 80 miles of trails that wind through Forest Park, a 5,000-acre temperate rainforest and one of the largest natural forested urban parks in the nation. You’ll start on a paved path at the end of NW Upshur Street, passing under the nearly 120-year-old Balch Gulch Bridge. Continue up Lower Macleay Trail along Balch Creek and over a stone footbridge to the Stone Overlook, where you can pause to watch the water meander over the rocks before continuing onto a dirt trail. Depending on the season, you’re likely to see pink and white trillium, magenta salmonberry and yellow violets blooming along the way. 

At the junction with Wildwood Trail, you’ll see the iconic Stone House, built in 1930 by the City of Portland as a refuge for hikers. After sustaining extensive damage from a storm in the 1960s, the city opted not to repair the structure, and it has since been slowly reclaimed by nature, with ferns, moss and lichens growing over the crumbling stone walls. Continuing on the tree-shaded rolling hills of the Wildwood Trail for another 1.5 miles will deliver you to the Pittock Mansion, another Portland landmark. The estate was built in 1914 for publisher Henry Pittock, and the property’s elevation offers scenic views of the city skyline as well as Mount Hood to the east. When you’re ready, return to the Lower Macleay trailhead via the same route.

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4. Powell Butte Loop

hikes Powell Butte Loop Hikes jpg

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Getting there: Take I-205 to Exit 19 (Powell Boulevard/Division Street) and go 3.4 miles on Powell Boulevard. Turn right onto SE 162nd Avenue for Powell Butte Nature Park. Head up the hill for .4 miles to reach the parking area and visitor center at 3982 Southeast 162nd Avenue.

The forested trails of Powell Butte Nature Park deliver excellent views of the mountains surrounding the city as well as an exploration of the extinct volcano in Portland. This loop route takes hikers around the park’s perimeter, traversing trails through thick forest onto an expanse of open grassland at the summit. It begins on the Anderegg Trail before joining the Wildhorse Trail, ascending multiple switchbacks through a stand of alders before arriving at the meadow summit painted with thistle, lupine and goldenrod. A mountain finder circle assists visitors with identifying the various peaks visible in clear conditions, which include Mount Scott, Mount Saint Helens, Silver Star Mountain, Three Corner Rock, Mount Adams, Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson.

The return takes you on the South Trail through forests of big-leaf maple, Douglas fir, western red cedar and western hemlock, over a handful of meandering creek crossings and onto the Elderberry Trail, whose rolling hills offer a glimpse of Kelly Butte before ultimately delivering you back to your starting point. 

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3. Tryon Creek

Hikes Tryon Creek Hikes jpg

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Getting there: Take I-5 south to Exit 297 and turn right on Terwilliger Boulevard. Make another right over the Terwilliger Bridge toward Lewis & Clark College. Stay left at the intersection with Boones Ferry Road, keep left on Terwilliger Boulevard and continue straight through the roundabout. Turn right into Tryon Creek State Park and use the parking areas near the Nature House.

As the only state park in metro Portland, Tryon Creek State Natural Area features 658 acres of dense forest, 8 miles of hiking trails, 3.5 miles of equestrian trails and a 3-mile bicycle trail. This 5.7-mile loop circumnavigates the park and is framed on either side by a century-old canopy of Douglas fir, cedar, maple and yew trees where coyotes, deer, foxes, flying squirrels, skunks and even the Pacific giant salamander make their homes. 

The trail’s gently rolling hills carry you over the Red Fox Bridge across Tryon Creek before eventually joining the Iron Mountain Trail, a former logging road that was once used for charcoal production in the region. You’ll pass through an apple orchard before returning to dense evergreen stands and then up a bluff overlooking the creek. Near the Hemlock Trail junction, you’ll spot a seasonal pool beneath a massive cottonwood tree and then head over the Bunk Bridge across Park Creek. After several more miles of undulating trails through cedars and maples, you’ll eventually reach your starting point.

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2. Trillium Lake Loop Trail

Hikes Trillium Lake Loop Trail Hikes jpg

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Getting there: Take Highway 26 east through Sandy to Government Camp, roughly 31 miles. Turn right for Trillium Lake and stay left on the paved road (Fire Road 2656) toward Trillium Lake Campground. Turn right toward the day use area and pay the $5 fee to park.  

This easy hike features stunning scenery, with the snow-capped peak of Mount Hood rising above the evergreens and reflecting in the shimmering waters of Little Trillium Lake. The trail takes you around the lake, which will likely be crowded with paddle boarders, boaters and swimmers in the warmer months. A series of boardwalks leads you into multiple expanses of spruce, fir and hemlock trees that briefly open into fields dotted with thimbleberry bushes and subalpine daisies. You’ll cross several sedge marshes before reaching Pond Lily Inlet, marked by bright yellow water lilies. Pass the amphitheater and boat launch and you’ll be back to your starting point.

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1. Washington Park Loop

Hikes Washington Park Loop Hikes jpg

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Getting there: Take I-405 north and take Exit 2A. Keep left and turn left onto Taylor Street, left on 15th Avenue, right on Salmon Street, right on King Street and left onto Park Place. Go right at Lewis and Clark Circle and park on the left side of the road, which will cost you $2 per hour or $8 per day. 

This 410-acre crown jewel of the city is home to the Oregon Zoo, World Forestry Center, Portland Children’s Museum, Hoyt Arboretum, International Rose Test Garden and Portland Japanese Garden. Clocking in at just under four miles, this easy loop hike takes you past multiple monuments, flawlessly-manicured lawns and gardens, shimmering reflecting pools and flowing fountains. The trek includes both paved and dirt trails and modest elevation changes, and with so many landmarks and activity options along the way, it’s an ideal jaunt for families and tourists of all ages. 

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Our Final Thoughts: The Best Hikes in Portland Oregon

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