7 Best Hikes in Oregon

These are the most scenic hikes in the Beaver State.

Scenic view of landscape against sky during sunset,Smith Rock State Park,U.S.
Smith Rock State Park.

Manuel Haderer / Getty Images

The Pacific Northwest is one of the most scenic parts of the country, with geological features ranging from towering mountains to subterranean caves. So it should come as little surprise that Oregon has some of the best hiking trails in America.

While many people tend to head to the Portland area for hikes, don't sleep on the eastern half of the state, which is home to the stunning Wallowa Mountains. The more you're willing to explore the entire state of Oregon, the more you'll be rewarded with stunning landscapes.

To help inspire your next trekking journey to Oregon, we've rounded up the state's best hiking trails that cover geographic diversity, a range of difficulty levels, and a variety of highlights along the trails, including mountain peaks, lakes, rock slabs, waterfalls, caves, and lush forests.

So without further ado, peruse this list, grab your gear, and hit the trails—the beauty of the Pacific Northwest awaits.

01 of 07

Multnomah Falls

Multnomah Falls waterfall

Anna Gorin / Getty Images

Multnomah Falls, Oregon 97014, USA

This 2.4-mile moderate trail features the showstopping Multnomah Falls, which is easily the most recognizable waterfall in all of Oregon. Multnomah comprises three separate drops that, when added together, create one huge 635-foot waterfall.

The hiking trail brings you right in front of the falls, and you can even get up close thanks to the historic Benson Bridge, built in 1914. But we think the best view is from the bottom, which gives you an epic perspective of the full falls—although any view of these falls is sublime.

Because Multnomah Falls and the bridge are so iconic, they attract many visitors. So, the earlier you get started on the hike, the better in terms of crowds (and therefore in terms of photos!).

02 of 07

East Fork Wallowa River

East Fork Wallowa River, Oregon 97846, USA

The East Fork Wallowa River trail is a challenging 17-mile trek best suited for experienced hikers, but the views you'll see along the way are worth the effort. Highlights include the 9,702-foot Aneroid Mountain, a waterfall, the pristine Roger and Jewett lakes, and the mighty Bonneville Mountain. You might also spot some resilient mountain goats, delicate Alpine buttercups, and adorable pikas. There's a variety of routes to explore on this trail, so consider your options in depth before heading to the Wallowa Lake trailhead. Also, be sure to fill out a wilderness permit at the parking lot before you begin your journey.

03 of 07

McKenzie River Trail

Tamolitch Blue Pool at McKenzie Pass in Oregon

Bartfett / Getty Images

56621 McKenzie Hwy, McKenzie Bridge, OR 97413, USA
Phone +1 541-822-6272

Although it's a rather daunting 26 miles long, McKenzie River Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in all of Oregon. It begins near Clear Lake in the Cascade Mountains and will treat you to sights of rich forests, waterfalls, hot springs, lava fields, and the enchanting Tamolitch Blue Pool. The pool was formed after a volcanic eruption caused water to travel several miles through a lava tube before surfacing, and the result is stunningly blue, crystal-clear water.

If you're looking for a relaxing, natural spa-like experience after a long day of hiking, you can bathe in one of the three hot springs located along this trail. There are also a handful of campgrounds along the trail so that you can take your time and soak in the scenery.

04 of 07

Watchman Peak Trail

A sunset view of crater lake in Oregon.

Posnov / Getty Images

Oregon 97604, USA

If you're not quite ready to take on epic, multi-day hikes through the wilds of Oregon, consider Crater Lake National Park's Watchman Peak Trail, which is only 0.7 miles long. A short saunter through some mountain hemlock and whitebark pine trees will lead to the peak of Watchman, where there is a fire lookout with breathtaking 360-degree views. The lookout was built in 1932 and is still used today by park rangers. Depending on the time of year, you might be able to see blooming alpine flowers such as heartleaf arnica and spreading phlox.

Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07

Misery Ridge Trail Loop

Sunset over Smith Rock State Park and Crooked River in summer seen from Misery Ridge trail, Oregon.

Anna Gorin / Getty Images

Misery Ridge Trail, Oregon 97760, USA

We promise this hike isn't as miserable as the name makes it out to be. It's a 3.7-mile loop that begins at the Smith Rock State Park welcome center. It passes by the Morning Glory Wall, where you might see some climbers ascending, the Dihedral sheer rock faces, and the Christian Brothers mega rock slab. You'll also be able to see Smith Rock State Park's iconic sight, the Monkey Face, which is a 350-foot rock column that allegedly resembles the face of a monkey. (We're not quite sure if we see it, to be honest, but it's an impressive sight nonetheless.) A bonus for history lovers: you'll be traversing the same path as early American pioneers on this spectacular trail. 

06 of 07

Trail of Ten Falls

This beautiful 177 foot waterfalls is along the canyon rim in Silver Falls Park, Oregon.

svetlana57 / Getty Images

Oregon, USA
Phone +1 800-551-6949

Head to Oregon's largest state park, Silver Falls, to experience this 7.8-mile moderate trail that features—you guessed it—10 sparkling waterfalls. Aside from all the breathtaking cascades, you'll also see towering Douglas firs, turkey tails (the fungus, not the Thanksgiving main course), a swamp, and several meadows. Due to its many highlights, this tends to be a crowded trail, so be advised you'll likely have company. While Oregon is typically a dog-friendly state, dogs are not allowed on this trail due to all the waterfalls, so you'll have to leave your furry friends at home.

07 of 07

Angel's Rest Trailhead

View from the summit of Angel's rest

Bethany House / Getty Images

47505 Historic Columbia River Hwy, Corbett, OR 97019, USA

We might've saved the best for last, as this hike has arguably the most spectacular panoramic view of any trail in Oregon. It's a 4.8-mile, moderately difficult (and somewhat vertical) trail that passes by two waterfalls, Andesite pillars, and snowberry shrubs as it heads to the summit of Angel's Rest. From there, you'll have an extraordinary view—you'll be able to see Beacon Rock, Silver Star Mountain, Cape Horn, and the Columbia River.

Angel's Rest was formed roughly a million years ago by a lava flow emitted by the Larch Mountain volcano. The trailhead is conveniently located about 45 minutes from Portland, making it a popular day trip from the city. This is one of the most popular trails in Oregon, and it's pretty family-friendly, so don't expect solace here, especially during warm weather.

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7 Best Hikes in Oregon