While most of us that have been to Portland know that the area provides an excellent food scene, one of the best things about Portland is its closeness to several famous major hiking trails. In fact, the fantastic hiking trails that surround Portland are one of the major reasons why Portland attracts so many tourists.
Some of the best hiking trails can be found by driving just an hour or two away from Portland. While the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire still has a few of Portland’s trails closed in the Columbia River Gorge area, there is still some hope if you want to hike around this area. Several of the trails that are accessible by the Historic Columbia River Highway are attainable again if you’re driving to them. So, now, with the re-opening of the Historic Columbia River Highway, you can hike plenty of famous trails that let you see how beautiful the Pacific Northwest can be.
The Portland area attracts many tourists, and some of them eventually stay because of the natural beauty found in the area. After all, Portland offers several towering waterfalls, gorgeous forests, attractive lakes, and beautiful coastal ranges that offer plenty of great sights of the Pacific Ocean.
To help you plan your next Portland, Oregon day trip, we’ve created a list of our favorite hikes that are within two hours of the famous city. You’ll also be able to tell how difficult the hikes are since we’ve rated them from 1 to 10. 1 measures the easiest hikes, and 10 measures the most difficult hikes. That way, you can plan out whether you want an easy or more difficult hike before you arrive.
If you’ve ever driven on US-26 west, you’ve probably seen the old railroad that decorates the highway on your way to the coastline. Remnants of a long-ago railroad, the Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad, adds a bit of mystique to the 6-mile hike that starts at Beaver Slide Road, and follows those tracks along the Salmonberry River.
Although this trail is currently unauthorized, many people still trek along it and enjoy the eerie, spooky feeling offered by the old railroad. Also, you’ll be close to Beaverton, so you can grab a nice bit to eat once you’re done with your hike.
Distance: 57 miles from Portland.
Trail of Ten Loops
Silver Falls State Park houses one of the most beautiful waterfalls around. If you love seeing waterfalls, then you won’t want to miss The Trail of Ten Loops. You’ll have a 1,100 elevation gain that will bring you plenty of nice views from the top. Plus, you’ll get a view of ten different waterfalls, which means this hike is one of the most gorgeous you’ll witness in Oregon.
This is a great place to go if you want to hike with your pup or your child because there are some shorter trail options that you’ll find around. However, the best option for sight-seeing is to complete the 8.7 trail in one day of hiking. Once you’re done, you’ve got plenty of restaurants nearby to grab a great bite of food, like Guacamole’s Market. And, if you want to get some shopping done, an outlet mall is nearby.
Distance: Just over an hour from Portland.
If you are interested in hiking around Oregon’s Coastal Range, then this is one of the best hikes if you don’t want to go for miles and miles. Cape Falcon is a great option if you aren’t bringing your dog or child with you. You’ll find a nice 4.8 mile hike in Oswald State Park which begins at Arch Cape and takes you through Cape Falcon.
On this hike, you’ll be able to see the jagged beauty of the Oregon coast in all of its glory. Once you reach the end of your hike, you’ll see a gorgeous view of Neahkahnie Mountain as well as an overview of the town of Manzanita. On your way home, you can take a detour to Cannon Beach if you want to enjoy some great food.
Distance: About an hour and a half from Portland
The difficulty score on this Ramona Falls hike takes into account the fact you might get wet when crossing the river. Other than that, you’ll get one of the best views of waterfalls around and plenty of site seeing into the Mount Hood Wilderness. Although our difficulty score factors in the wet river cross, this isn’t the easiest hike out there, and it’s better if you leave children and dogs at home.
Make sure you come prepared to get wet when you cross the Sandy River. Also, once you’re done, you have the option to grab some great food at the Skyway Bar & Grill if you are in the mood for a great hamburger.
Distance: About an hour from Portland.