As fall season arrives, it’s actually the perfect time to get outdoors. It’s not too hot or too cold, fall foliage is all around to behold, and touristy areas tend to clear up as kids go back to school and people go back to their day to day lives. But autumn is also actually a key time for hikers to plan some of the most amazing trips, and what better way to start planning than to check out some of the best hikes in Oregon?
We’ve talked about where you should go in the U.S. to see the gorgeous color changes that come with fall, but we can’t just casually mull over the beauty that is known to be seen in the Pacific Northwest. Specifically in the state of Oregon, picking any of these hiking trails could mean magnificent panoramic views of mountains, impressively breath-taking waterfalls, and/or vast overlooks of the Pacific Ocean.
So if you’re trying to figure out where you want to go in the Pacific Northwest, grab your hiking boots and start looking for the best hiking trails in Oregon by checking out the list below!
Best Hikes in Oregon: 18 Pacific Northwest Trails to Hit Before Winter
1. Multnomah Falls Hike
This 2.4-mile round trip hike will take you through three separate drops that make up Multnomah Falls (upper, main, and lower falls). You’ll cross the incredible Benson Bridge to catch picturesque views of the entire area, before intaking the vast views of the Columbia River Gorge.
2. Broken Top Trail
With its trailhead in Bend, Oregon, this hike is one of the best kept secrets in the area and actually requires a permit in order to access the trail. The path leads to the beautiful No Name Lake, where you can also observe the magnitude of the Cascade Range.
3. Clatsop Loop Trail
A great family-friendly hike, take the kids and head to Ecola State Park to explore the old-growth forests along the Oregon Coast. You’ll also get some history along the way, passing the remains of a concrete World Was II observation bunker.
4. Mirror Lake Trail
Near Portland, you’ll explore Mount Hood National Forest on this trail to get to Tom, Dick, & Harry Mountain. Starting at the Mirror Lake trailhead, you’ll embark on a 7.7-mile path through six winding switchbacks to get to Mirror Lake Creek, and continue on to get to the crags of the mountain.
5. Deschutes River Canyon Trail
This 5.3-mile relaxing loop trail is perfect for fall season. You’ll still get to intake the remarkable scenery of basalt cliffs and colorful wildflowers, even as the easy hike leads you through some areas in the lower Deschutes Canyon that were scorched by a fire that hit back in 2018.
6. The Misery Ridge Trail
This Central Oregon hike is located in Smith Rock State Park and is for more expert hikers looking for a challenge. With an elevation gain of 1,800 feet, you can guarantee that this 5.5-mile hike will be difficult. But the scenic landscape views make the trials you’ll face on this trail totally worth it.
7. Cleetwood Cove Trail
In Crater Lake National Park, this trail will take you to Crater Lake which is the deepest lake in the country and the ninth deepest lake in the world! Check out the vantage points on Wizard Island to behold the best views of the entire landscape after making a 1.6-mile round trip hike.
8. Trail of Ten Falls
Located in Silver Falls State Park, this trail is about 30 minutes from the city of Salem and is one of the best waterfall hikes in Oregon. This hike is exactly what its name implies, taking you through ten refreshing waterfalls all within its 7.8-mile length.
9. Three Sisters Loop
Made for the expert hikers, this difficult trail is a whopping 46 miles long. Taking you through the incredible views of Bend’s alpine wilderness, the hike offers views of Central Oregon’s spectacular volcanic landscape. Its 7,050 foot elevation gain is no joke, but is also worth it for those who are looking for a backpacking adventure.
10. Mckenzie River Trail
Located between the cities of Bend and Eugene, this 26-mile trail will take you through Willamette National Forest, passing by the gorgeous bodies of water, Clear Lake and Blue Pool. During your hike, you can take a dip in one of the few hot springs and/or pass by the Koosah Falls and Sahalie Falls.
11. Black Butte Trail
Just outside of the city of Sisters, this 3.9-mile trail will take you around one of the more well-known peaks in Oregon named Black Butte. The peak is known for its signature symmetrical cone shape, setting it apart from other volcanoes in the Cascade Range.
12. Tillamook Head Traverse
Near the famous city of Cannon Beach, this hike historically signifies the farthest point reached by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Although it’s only 3.6 miles long, it’s a pretty moderate journey, meaning that you might not want to start out with this trail if you’re just a beginner.
13. Eagle Creek Trail
As one of the most popular trails in the Columbia River Gorge, this hike might be easier to visit in the fall. During the summer, it can get pretty crowded, which can be dangerous for a cliffside hike. Nevertheless, you’ll want to embark on this hike if you don’t want to miss out on finding some of the larger waterfalls in the state.
14. The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)
The Pacific Crest Trail is famously a long distance trail that is 2,653 miles long, running from Southern California to Washington. The part that you would hike in Oregon is actually the shortest section of the trail where you’ll stay between 5,000-7,000 feet of elevation, and many can actually make a day trip out of it. But because of the trail’s extensive length, you also can opt for a journey longer than just a day hike.
15. Timberline Trail
If you’re looking to go backpacking, this is one of the most legendary adventures in Oregon. Made for veteran hikers, this 40-mile loop trail takes you around Mt. Hood, passing waterfalls, volcanic formations, and forests.
16. Natural Bridges Viewpoint Trail
This easy hike is under a mile long and is part of the extensively rugged Oregon Coast Trail. Although you’ll have a quick and easy journey, the trail leads to some of the best coastal views in the state, with the rocky coastline leading through old-growth forests into the powerful waters of the Pacific.
17. Eagle Cap
Located in Eastern Oregon, you’ll find the pride and joy of the Wallowa Mountains. If you choose to take on this difficult 38-mile trail, you’ll be accompanied by alpine meadows and granite peaks as you backpack through the mountainous landscapes.
18. The Rogue River Trail
In Southern Oregon, you’ll find this moderately busy trail that cuts through Rogue River Wild and Scenic and the Rogue River Wilderness. You can hike, run, camp, fish, and/or backpack during your adventure, and you’ll also see a waterfall along the way.
Have you ever taken on one of the best hikes in Oregon? Share your adventures with us on our Wide Open Roads Facebook!