There’s no doubt that the hiking in Oregon is spectacular. And if you ask us, it has some of the best hiking in our country (#NotAtAllBiased).
From enchanting coastal vistas to foggy majestic peaks and everything in between, Oregon’s hiking scene is freaking epic! I’ve been hiking the State most of my life but my list is never-ending.
I’ve listed here all of my favorites, some classics, and some I’m making a priority to do this year.
Best Hikes in Oregon
As per usual, we made a handy dandy map for your convenience, we hope it helps you better plan your Oregon hikes. We have everything sectioned off in four areas—Near Portland, the Coast, Central, and Eastern.
We will be adding more hikes to our list as we hike our beloved state more each year!
Coastal Hikes in Oregon
1. Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor
Numerous hikes varying in length and difficulty
If you’re looking for an epic adventure on the Oregon coast, then Samuel H. Boardman has you covered. Many of the viewpoints only take a short walk from the parking lot, so have your camera ready.
The corridor spans 12-miles across the rugged coastline and is decorated with isolated beaches, massive sea stacks, and peaceful forests. It will be rather difficult navigating some of the trails but that’s what makes it such a unique adventure.
Indian Sands Trail
Sam H Boardman Natural Bridges
Some paths are a simple strut close to the beach, like the Lone Ranch South Trail, but others require exploring to find those hidden gems. The natural bridges nestled between lush forests and craggy barriers offer some of the corridor’s best vistas.
Although much of the coastal trail is not overbearing in terms of difficulty, the natural bridges certainly do not fall into that category.
Whether you’re searching for a quiet stroll on a deserted beach or study some of Oregon’s otherworldly geologic formations, Samuel H. Boardman does not disappoint.
The seaside vistas in Ecola State Park have captured the hearts of explorers for hundreds of years and its beautiful trails are among the best on the Oregon coast.
Hike through pristine forests and poke your head out to glorious views of the Pacific Ocean. The trails offer lots of magical cliff-side views overlooking secluded beaches as the waves crash against the shores.
Ecola State Park – One of the best hikes in Oregon
Towering rock formations soar out of the water and mesmerizing tide pools add a peaceful allure. Keep your eyes peeled for tons of wildlife on land and sea such as deer, elk, or whales.
All the hiking paths in Ecola State Park are rated with at least moderate difficulty and some trekking experience is recommended. If you’re up for the climb towards the cliffs, you’ll see why pioneers fell in love with this dreamlike scenery.
Distance: 2.8 miles Type of Trail: Out & Back Difficulty: Moderate
This relatively short hike rewards you with a dramatic vista overlooking the Pacific Coast. Your head will be in the clouds when reaching the summit and the end provides a challenging rock scramble.
The path is decorated with aromatic salals, coast fawn lilies, and other blooming wildflowers during springtime. As you amble through the switchbacks, you’ll gain miraculous views of the cliffs perched over the Oregon coast.
Be advised that the trail often becomes muddy and is littered with roots that can trip you up.
4. God’s Thumb via the Knoll
Distance: 4.4 miles Type of Trail: Out & Back Difficulty: Moderate
Sturdy, slip-resistant trekking shoes are a must on this journey to the basalt formation popularly nicknamed God’s Thumb. Start from the Roads End Trailhead and venture down a grassy path along the ridge.
View from God’s Thumb hike near Lincoln, Oregon
The route meanders through tranquil forests and meadows while giving you a beautiful vantage of the rocky shore below. Before reaching the top of The Thumb, admire the jagged sea stacks and sheltered coves.
The grassy hillsides offer majestic views of the Salmon River Estuary along the path’s sharp drop-offs.
Be careful when on the trail in rainy conditions as it can become quite muddy and extremely steep around The Thumb. But the aerial views of the crashing waves, isolated beach, and scattered rocks are a magnificent sight to behold.
Distance: 5.1 miles Type of Trail: Loop Difficulty: Moderate
Summit the highest mountain along the lush Oregon coast while being surrounded by beautiful Douglas Firs and wildflowers. Inexperienced hikers may feel short of breath in the early stages of the looped route, but the bulk of the climb is along the first mile.
Benches provide convenient resting places along the well-maintained trail and feature remarkable seaside vistas through the forest.
Humbug Mountain Trail in Oregon
Recently, the trees have been cleared from the path’s highest point to provide breathtaking views of the coastline. Make sure to bring plenty of water and be prepared to challenge your knees on the steep decline.
6. Cascade Head Trail
Distance: 6.3 miles Type of Trail: Out & Back Difficulty: Moderate
One of the most beautiful Oregon hikes along the coast, the Cascade Head Trail is a paradise for wildlife enthusiasts. An abundance of elk and butterflies can be spotted throughout the landscape and look closely for whales along the coast.
Bring plenty of bug spray since this Oregon hiking trail is notorious for mosquitoes.
The path winds through the verdant forest and requires a steep climb atop lots of steps. Eventually, the trail traverses through meadows preserved by the local Nature Conservancy.
After climbing across steep switchbacks, you’re greeted with coastal vistas and a backdrop of rolling hills. A jaw-dropping view when hiking underneath sunny skies!
7. Multi-Day Oregon Hike: The Oregon Coast Trail
Stretching across roughly 400-miles of rugged coastal beauty, the Oregon Coast Trail is the epitome of adventurous beach destinations. Many hikers conquer portions of the trail throughout the year but only the daring attempt to go all the way.
From the Columbia River on the northern side of the coast to the California border just outside of Brookings, there is no shortage of life-changing experiences. The scenery ranges from sandy shores and jagged cliffs to temperate forests and charming seaside towns.
Oregon Coast Trail, Oregon
Thru-hikers need to remember that portions of the journey venture along paved roads and onto private property. It is important to stay on designated routes when they are clearly marked on your travels. Ferries can make portions of the expedition easier letting you bypass numerous bodies of water.
Make sure you pay careful attention when exploring the southern sections of the Oregon coast since it is more remote than the northern coast.
Although the invigorating hike is doable throughout the year, you’ll have a much easier time completing it during the summer months of June-September due to drier weather conditions.
Read More About Visiting and Hiking Oregon’s Coast
Fort Stevens State Park: Located in Astoria in northwest Oregon, Fort Stevens State Park is a converted military space and is now one of the largest Oregon coast campgrounds with 500 spaces.
Sunset Bay State Park: Sunset Bay State Park is a beautiful place to camp, with towering cliffs and sandy beaches, and it has sites available by the beach. Choose to stay in a tent, RV, or for something a little fancier, there are a few yurts available to rent.
Adorable Seaside Cottage: This dog-friendly cottage is close to the beach and town in beautiful Cannon Beach. It offers amenities like a gas fireplace and a flat-screen cable TV.
Captain’s Quarters: Located on the southern Oregon Coast in Brookings, Captain’s Quarters is a cute cottage with a hot tub. It is conveniently located close to the beach and downtown.
Oregon Hikes Near Portland
8. Silver Falls State Park
Numerous hikes varying in length and difficulty
Boasting no less than 16 gorgeous hiking paths, Silver Falls State Park is one of the most pristine places to hike in Oregon. Highlighted by the Trail of Ten Falls, this might be the best place in the state to search for cascading waterfalls.
Novice hikers will have plenty of chances to explore the natural beauty of the park. Much of the paths lining the lush forests do not receive a hard rating and can be completed in a day hike.
Silver Falls trail in Oregon
Silver Falls trail in Oregon
The tranquil forest has an abundance of plant life including Douglas firs, cedars, ferns and wildflowers. But the waterfalls are the main attraction in this sliver of paradise.
From the 177-foot South Falls to the serene Twin Falls, Silver Falls State Park has some of the top Oregon hiking trails for a relaxing day in nature.
Distance: 3.3 miles Type of Trail: Out & Back Difficulty: Moderate
This relaxing trail tends to fall on the easier side for seasoned hikers but icy portions during colder months could present a challenge. Bringing along some spiked boots provides a big relief should ice become a factor.
Hiking Tamanawas Falls
Hiking Tamanawas Falls
The trail forks along a peaceful creek offering a soothing atmosphere until you reach the falls. There is an enchanting view of a cave behind the falls but use caution due to slippery rocks. The Tamanawas Falls hike is definitely a favorite hike in Oregon!
Distance: 6.1 miles Type of Trail: Out & Back Difficulty: Moderate
The first couple miles of this trail through Mount Hood National Forest is a steady uphill climb along steep switchbacks. However, once the path flattens out, there are fantastic views of both Mount Hood and Mount Adams.
Bald Mountain Hike in Oregon
As you approach a befuddling four-way intersection of trails, the route to Bald Mountain is marked by the sign to Muddy Fork off the Timberline Trail. Hop over the fallen trees and continue to trek upwards through the open woodlands to approach the top of the mountain.
The final ascent gives you a fabulous view overlooking the Muddy Fork Valley as Mount Hood stands front and center.
11. Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain Trail
Distance: 9.0 miles Type of Trail: Out & Back Difficulty: Moderate
This easily accessible hike is a true Oregon favorite due to its picturesque scenery of Mount Hood standing above Mirror Lake. The trail begins just off U.S. Highway 26 near Mt. Hood Skibowl and can get quite crowded during peak season.
Views from Tom Dick and Harry Mountain
You might be lucky and spot a cute chipmunk.
Mirror Lake provides a peaceful resting spot to soak up the astonishing views of Mount Hood in all its glory. For more scenic vistas without the crowds, keep trekking through the wilderness to reach the summit of Tom Dick and Harry Mountain.
Distance: 7.2 miles Type of Trail: Loop Difficulty: Hard
This challenging Oregon hike in Beacon Rock State Park was made for seasoned trekkers. With an elevation gain of over 2,200-feet, this is one of the grandest adventures you can have in the Columbia Gorge.
The path takes you to scenic waterfalls, pristine forests, sharp cliffs and heart-racing mountaintop views. You’ll gain splendid views of Hamilton Mountain and the snow-capped peaks of Mount Hood and Mount Adams.
Hamilton Mountain Trail
Wildflowers dot the Douglas fir-lined forest during springtime and the foliage is spectacular during the fall. The mist from the cascading Rodney Falls, Hardy Falls, and the Pool of the Winds are refreshing spots to cool off.
The uphill switchbacks lead to further cliff-side edges with perfect vantages overlooking the Columbia River.
13. Multnomah Falls to Wahkeena Falls Loop
Distance: 9.0 miles Type of Trail: Loop Difficulty: Hard
With breathtaking views of the Columbia River Gorge’s tallest waterfall (and several others), this is among the best hikes in Oregon to chase waterfalls.
Have your camera from the very beginning as the loop starts at the Multnomah Falls Lodge near the famous landmark. The route gains plenty of elevation before venturing to Devil’s Rest and Angels Rest.
There are still remnants of the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire, but the landscape remains peaceful with flowing creeks and gorgeous wildflowers. Hikers are advised to tread with caution due to dangerous conditions caused by the fire.
Falling tree limbs, unstable rocks and overgrowth could potentially make this trail unsafe for inexperienced hikers. Nevertheless, the numerous waterfalls you pass still makes this one of the most magical hikes in Oregon.
Make sure you start at the crack of dawn to avoid the hordes of crowds at this popular site.
Distance: 16.4 miles Type of Trail: Out & Back Difficulty: Hard
Thanks to recent property changes, the only accessible starting point for this incredible Oregon hike is at the Bonneville Trailhead (technically in Washington!).
Don’t let the first six to seven miles of uneventful terrain fool you, this is for serious hikers only! Once you reach the rugged Heartbreak Ridge, there is no messing around.
This will be a grueling task for even the savviest of hikers and takes total focus to conquer.
Table Mountain Trail
The vistas of the gorge are immaculate, but you’ll be drenched in sweat climbing this brutally steep trail. Take plenty of breaks to catch your breath and enjoy the cliff-side scenery.
The remainder of the trail meanders through the forest until reaching a rocky incline towards the summit of Table Mountain. Enjoy the jaw-dropping views of Mount Hood and the pristine wilderness of the Columbia Gorge but be extremely cautious above the 800-foot vertical drop from the mountaintop.
15. Summit Mount Hood
Distance: 7 miles Type of Trail: Out & Back Difficulty: Hard
Nothing beats climbing to the top of Mount Hood and standing at the tallest point in Oregon. Towering above at an elevation of 11,240-feet, this majestic mountain is one of the state’s most recognizable landmarks.
Thousands of explorers attempt to summit Mount Hood and it ranks among the most visited peaks in the United States.
The beautiful volcano is covered with glaciers and technical equipment is required to make a safe climb to the summit. Make sure to take the proper crampons, axes, ropes and any other equipment needed for a smooth journey.
Anyone for summiting this beaut?
It is critical to take every safety precaution necessary since medical services are scarce along the ascent. Hikers are advised to register at a nearby lodge to inform others when you are expected to return from your trip.
The climb requires lots of technical skills but reaching the peak is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have in Oregon.
16. Multi-Day Oregon Hike: Timberline Trail
One of the most legendary backpacking adventures in Oregon, the Timberline Trail provides an exciting journey around Mount Hood. The 40-mile loop is a rigorous challenge and only for veteran hikers but shows off the Cascade Range at its best.
Trekkers will witness cascading waterfalls, volcanic formations, sumptuous forests, and the intimidating presence of Oregon’s tallest peak.
Steep ascents, lingering snow, challenging river crossings, and pesky bugs are among the challenges awaiting you once on the trail. There have been numerous washouts along the trail and that is always something for hikers to be aware of.
Since Mount Hood is such an iconic mountain in Oregon, don’t expect this to be one of the quieter Oregon hikes. But the views of many of the greatest Cascade Mountains make it all worth it.
Normally, hikers complete this route in four days and the Timberline Lodge provides a popular base location to begin. Camping is easily accessible throughout the trail and you’ll even find some campsites scattered along the loop.
Ainsworth State Park: Ainsworth Campground is located right in Ainsworth State Park, at the western end of the Columbia River Gorge. There are about 40 full-hookup spots you can reserve along with six walk-in tent sites.
Trillium Lake Campground: Trillium Lake Campground sits next to beautiful Trillium Lake at an elevation of 3,600 feet, and offers dozens of single and double sites for tents and RVs.
Tiny Forest Cabin: This tiny forest cabin is close to Portland while still being secluded and peaceful. The loft bedroom has a skylight so you can see the trees from the comfort of the cozy bed.
Central Oregon Hikes
17. Proxy Falls Loop Trail
Distance: 1.6 miles Type of Trail: Loop Difficulty: Easy
This is one of the best hikes in Oregon for those just looking for a peaceful stroll to enjoy nature. Hikers of all skill levels can enjoy lush forests and mesmerizing waterfalls along this easy stretch of terrain.
Proxy Falls is one of Oregon’s best hikes
It’s possible to gain a closer vantage of the greenery surrounding the falls but there is a slight scramble from the base of the Lower Falls. Overall, the loop is incredibly easy to navigate and is the perfect Oregon hike when you’re pressed for time.
Distance: 5.3 miles Type of Trail: Loop Difficulty: Easy
This relaxing hike along the Deschutes River is the perfect outing for an enjoyable day with cooler temperatures. Also, the flexibility of the path is a great introduction for novice trekkers.
Rolling hills rise above the river and springtime wildflowers can often be spotted along the landscape. There is lots of overgrowth on the trail which can potentially hide unsettling critters like ticks and rattlesnakes.
Deschutes River Trail hike in Oregon
You will notice some scorched areas in the lower Deschutes Canyon due to a fire that hit the region in 2018. Despite the damage caused by the fire, the waterfront path still offers remarkable scenery of basalt cliffs, native wildlife, and remnants of early western settlements.
Distance: 3.4 miles Type of Trail: Out & Back Difficulty: Moderate
This short Oregon hike is simply a must-do when visiting the hypnotizing hues of Crater Lake. The steep climb offers jaw-dropping vistas of the massive lake and fantastic views of the nearby Cascade peaks.
If you’re short on time, this is among the best hikes in Oregon for an unforgettable trip.
Garfield Peak Trail
The hike begins at Rim Village and the panoramas of the rim only get better the higher you go. Ascend a series of switchbacks along and admire the beautiful vegetation before reaching Garfield Peak on the south rim.
Once you reach the summit, you’ll be greeted with brilliant views of Phantom Ship, The Watchman, Wizard Island and other notable Crater Lake landmarks.
Distance: 4.6 miles Type of Trail: Out & Back Difficulty: Moderate
This trail may lack the distance of other Oregon hikes but packs a serious punch in terms of remarkable scenery. Dramatic vistas of dense forests and snow-lined mountaintops surround the path for a day of nonstop adventure.
Triangulation Peak—Not super popular but beautiful! When the mountains aren’t playing hide and seek behind clouds that is.
Mount Jefferson, Mount Washington and Three Fingered Jack are three majestic peaks within short distance from the trail and clear skies present fantastic vistas of each. Finding Boca Cave is a bit of a scavenger hunt and requires some craftiness to locate.
Once you locate the hidden cave on the steep trail, the view perfectly encircles the craggy peak in the distance.
21. Tumalo Falls via Tumalo Creek Trail
Distance: 6.5 miles Type of Trail: Out & Back Difficulty: Moderate
Arrive early to beat the crowds on this beautiful Oregon hike along the serene Tumalo Creek. Located near the Three Sisters Wilderness, the magical Tumalo Falls is proudly on display right when you start the trek.
The falls plunge over the basalt cliffs and the creek peacefully flows downstream adjacent to the path. Upwards of seven waterfalls in total can be spotted on this route depending on how far you go.
Elevation gain is moderate, but the trail provides just enough of a climb to slightly lift your heart rate. The path continues to wander through the dense spruce and pine forests while hopping over logs to beautiful viewpoints along the river.
Distance: 19.5 miles Type of Trail: Out & Back Difficulty: Moderate
Those seeking a tranquil backpacking adventure through the forest will love the sounds of nature along this gorgeous trail. Although the trek is on the longer side, the terrain does not present a tremendous challenge for avid hikers.
This can be a wonderful journey for average or beginning hikers to make their first long expedition without pushing the limits. Snow-capped peaks tower above Sparks Lake and Lava Lake for beautiful vistas along the trail.
South Sister, Broken Top and Mount Bachelor are three nearby peaks that your breath away with each passing glance.
Sparks Lake Trail hike in Oregon
If you don’t have much time, explore the nearby Ray Atkeson Memorial Trail for a quick promenade. The 2.3-mile loop hugs the shores of Sparks Lake, provides plenty of wildlife sightings and breathtaking views of soaring mountaintops.
This accessible Oregon hiking trail was named after famous Oregon landscape photographer Ray Atkeson. One of his most notable pictures was a superb vista of the lake with South Sister towering in the backdrop.
23. Misery Ridge and Summit Trail Loop
Distance: 5.5 miles Type of Trail: Loop Difficulty: Hard
One of the best hikes in Oregon for rock climbing enthusiasts, Misery Ridge challenges your endurance. The beginning stages of the hike are along a sharp incline, but it gradually flattens throughout the trail.
Trekking poles and spiked boots can come in handy when trying to manage potentially unstable terrain.
The Misery Ridge Trail is one of the most popular hikes in Oregon
If you’re feeling winded, catch your breath and take the time to admire the peculiar rock formations in the park. The summit provides stellar views of features like the Monument Area and winding Crooked River.
Catch a peek of the famous 350-foot Monkey Face and see if determined rock climbers are attempting to reach the top.
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24. Paulina Peak Trail
Distance: 6.1 miles Type of Trail: Out & Back Difficulty: Hard
Stretching from the azure-blue waters of Paulina Lake to fertile coniferous forests, this beautiful hike offers some of the top views of any Oregon hike. It is a sturdy climb to the Paulina Peak summit area, but the panoramas of the Cascades are worth the ascent.
Paulina Peak Summit is a great hike in Oregon
Venture along the Crater Rim Trail through a peaceful stretch of pines and hemlocks decorating the forest. Once you reach the Newberry Caldera rim, there are spectacular views of the lake from above and the craggy cliffs of the mountain peak.
Check out the fascinating volcanic features of the Big Obsidian Flow before taking in the sweeping 360-degree views. While the hike is beautiful and totally worth it, you can technically drive up to the summit in summer.
Distance: 12.2 miles Type of Trail: Out & Back Difficulty: Hard
Adrenaline junkies will be in heaven along this adventurous Oregon hike. South Sister’s extreme endeavor takes you to the summit of the state’s third-highest mountain and unforgettable views.
South Sister is a GRIND—but totally worth it.
Although it’s a non-technical climb, the route gains nearly 5,000-feet of elevation and puts your endurance to the test. The beginning parts of the trek wander through the forest before reaching the base of the mountain.
Trekking poles will come in handy when facing loose rocks or icy conditions along the trail.
The otherworldly vistas are some of the most spectacular anywhere in Oregon, especially on a clear day. Not only will you spot numerous peaks in either direction, but also a crater nestled along the mountain.
26. Broken Top Trail to No Name Lake and Bend Glacier
Distance: 15.2 miles Type of Trail: Out & Back Difficulty: Hard
The Three Sisters Wilderness shows off its rugged beauty on this majestic hike to the highly eroded Broken Top. Much of the terrain in the area is brutal on cars and it is recommended to start the hike at Todd Lake when you’re without a high clearance vehicle.
From the trailhead, you’re greeted with subalpine forest views and jagged peaks rising above you. Loose rocks are scattered along the trail before ambling past a creek crossing.
Broken Top Hike in Oregon
After going through the scramble, the sharp pinnacles of Broken Top and the turquoise waters of No Name Lake are the perfect spot to relax. Don’t forget to make the extra half-mile climb to the top and catch breathtaking vistas of the nearby mountains.
27. McKenzie River National Recreational Trail
Distance: 24.1 miles Type of Trail: Point to Point Difficulty: Hard
A popular route among avid bikers, this lengthy route takes you across a multitude of natural landmarks. The hike is normally split into two or three days and the flat terrain makes it easier on the knees.
Much of the trek traverses through the forest but you’ll also pass lava fields and tumbling waterfalls. The crystalline waters of Clear Lake and Blue Pool are two of the star attractions decorating the path.
Blue Pool in Oregon
Since this is one of the lengthier Oregon hiking trails on our list, you’ll be happy to know there are wonderful camping options available. There is also a shuttle service on various points of the route should you need it.
The volcanic landscapes of the Three Sisters Wilderness offer one of the most exhilarating hikes in Oregon. This nearly 50-mile loop gives you spectacular views of lava fields, shimmering lakes, alpine meadows, and snow-lined peaks.
One of the best features of this trek is the endless options to wander off the main route to create your own adventure. Stroll through spruce and pine forests, craggy riverbeds, tumbling streams, and just about any landscape you can imagine.
The wilderness surrounding the three towering peaks are literally a buffet of natural wonders.
Three Sister Trail
Crowds are a hit or miss depending on which side excursion you decide to explore but peak season can often get busy. August and September provide fabulous weather on the trail but that usually attracts nature lovers.
There are lots of switchbacks that avoid brutally steep climbs but be prepared for lots of rugged terrain. Camping options are limited, and you’ll need a permit before beginning your hike, but this one of the best hikes in Oregon for a life-changing experience.
29. Multi-Day Oregon Hike: Pacific Crest Trail
The Pacific Crest Trail is one of the most iconic hiking routes in the United States and much of it stretches through the Oregon wilderness. During your trip to Oregon, hopping along this famous trail will be a rewarding trek you’ll never forget.
The Pacific Crest Trail traverses through the central part of the state and takes hikers through verdant forests and beside cascading waterfalls. Don’t be surprised to spot tons of wildlife like deer, mountain lions, bears, or even rattlesnakes.
Pacific Crest Trail
There are lots of beautiful hiking trails in Oregon forking off the PCT like the waterfalls of Cascade Locks or the near 9,000-foot Diamond Peak. Visit numerous sparkling alpine lakes such as Waldo Lake or the otherworldly volcanic formations of Belknap Crater.
If you’re attempting to complete a large stretch of the PCT, there are several hiker-friendly towns that are great to restock on supplies.
Read More About Visiting and Hiking in Central Oregon
Bend-Sunriver RV Campground: This friendly campground can be found on the Little Deschutes River, and offers cabins, cottages, and yurts to rent as well as RV and tent sites.
Tumalo State Park Campground: This beautiful campground is on the banks of the Deschutes River. There are full hookup sites, lots of tent sites, and a couple of pet-friendly yurts.
Hummingbird Cottage: Hummingbird Cottage is an adorable craftsman style Bungalow in a quiet part of Bend that is close to breweries, hikes, and more.
Tall Pines A-Frame: This cute A-Frame in La Pine sits on an acre of Ponderosa Pine and has a full kitchen, bathroom, and two bedrooms.
East Oregon Hiking Trails
30. Painted Hills
Numerous hikes varying in length and difficulty
Prepare to be amazed when wandering the colorful trails of the Painted Hills area. Several short paths offer incredible views of the dazzling assortment of colors decorating the rolling hills. The nearby John Day Fossil Beds and rugged canyons complete this beautiful canvas of natural wonders.
The Painted Hills is an unearthly hiking area in Oregon.
Carroll Rim Trail is a fantastic place to start to admire the hues of orange, red and yellow smeared on the rocks. To get a closer glimpse of the colors, take the Painted Cove Trail for an easy hike.
Regardless of the specific hike you choose, have your camera ready to capture lots of photos of this unique treasure.
Distance: 4.1 miles Type of Trail: Out & Back Difficulty: Easy
Nestled near the Jordan Valley, you’ll be living in serenity walking along this easy path in the eastern Oregon desert. There is little elevation gain and the terrain is suitable for all skill levels.
Leslie Gulch Trail hike in Oregon
You will not find any shade cover and it is critical to bring lots of water, sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses for the hike. Make sure to watch out for snakes since you’ll be in prime rattler country.
Craggy rock formations surround the landscape and there are several exciting rock-climbing spots if you look close enough.
32. Wildhorse Lake Trail from Steens Summit Road
Distance: 2.5 miles Type of Trail: Out & Back Difficulty: Moderate
Although on the shorter end, this phenomenal Oregon hike lives up to the hype with its dramatic scenery. The 2.5-mile trail gains over 1,000-feet in elevation and will make you work for it to reach the spectacular alpine vistas.
Steep switchbacks and sharp drops make the terrain a more daring endeavor than at first glance. Also, loose rocks present another potential hazard if not paying close attention.
Wildhorse Lake Trail
The rocky landscapes around Wildhorse Lake reveal the glacial erosion that has shaped the area over millions of years. Towering above the lake, you’ll gain a jaw-dropping aerial view of Alvord Desert and the neighboring jagged peaks.
33. Strawberry Lake and Little Strawberry Lake Trail
Distance: 6.2 miles Type of Trail: Out & Back Difficulty: Moderate
You’ll reach the heavenly Strawberry Lake in just over a mile along the path and the beautiful surroundings of firs and pines. Continue past the shores of Strawberry Lake to see Strawberry Falls cascading against a rocky wall.
The trail makes a bit of a climb before reaching the shimmering Little Strawberry Lake. This peaceful spot is ideal for taking in the scenery and scanning the area for deer, mountain goats, and other wildlife.
Although the landscape is breathtaking during the summer, mosquitoes are brutal in the Strawberry Wilderness this time of year and repellent is a must.
Distance: 16.9 miles Type of Trail: Out & Back Difficulty: Moderate
The alpine scenery of the Wallowa Mountains is second to none and this adventurous journey is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Oregon. Despite the long route, the landscape is not a dreadful climb for average trekkers.
The picturesque Mirror Lake is a popular stopping point for day hikers and those deciding to camp overnight. If your goal is to reach the summit of Eagle Cap, then take your time to soak up the majestic views surrounding the lake.
Beautiful scenery at Eagle Cap Wilderness
The remainder of the trail to the peak of Eagle Cap is a tougher challenge but the panoramas are simply out of this world. Snow-capped peaks, forested valleys and deep-blue lakes complete the dreamlike 360 views from the top of the near 10,000-foot mountain.
Distance: 9.0 miles Type of Trail: Loop Difficulty: Hard
Make sure you’re up for the challenge when taking on this incredible Oregon hiking trail through the Owyhee Wilderness. Not for the faint of heart, this journey will truly test your wits as a hiker.
Towering canyon walls, jagged pinnacles, and multi-colored rock formations more than makeup for the tough terrain. With plenty of elevation gain and several rock scrambles, be prepared for an exciting expedition.
Painted Canyon Hike in Oregon
The trail is not clearly marked and is recommended only for experienced hikers who know how to navigate through unfamiliar landscapes. Also, pack clothing suitable for the hot and cold temperatures that impact the desert.
If you’re adequately prepared, this adventure in the Owyhee Canyonlands will dazzle you around every turn with its geologic wonders.
The drive alone to Steens Mountain can be an exhausting challenge but the untouched wilderness of eastern Oregon is worth the ride. Glacial valleys, alpine lakes and aerial views of the Alvord Desert create jaw-dropping vistas from the summit.
Steens Mountain Trail hike in Oregon
Walk further along the ridge to reach other fantastic viewpoints from the East Rim or Kiger Gorge. The craggy basins reveal the geologic power that has transformed the region over thousands of years.
Steens Mountain is the largest fault-block mountain on the continent and is one of the most impressive natural wonders in Oregon.
Watch the weather closely on this trek as conditions can be wildly unpredictable. The summer months July-September provide the best conditions, and this is a wonderful time to see the wildflowers in bloom.
37. Multi-Day Oregon Hike: Owyhee Canyonlands
The secluded wilderness of the Owyhee Canyonlands offers avid hikers some of the best hikes in Oregon. If you’re searching for solitude, this might be the last untouched terrain in the Lower 48 states.
The isolated hiking trails through this arid desert wander through sheer canyon walls, craggy peaks, red-rock formations and raging rapids. It may be lonely but there is no better place in Oregon to connect with Mother Nature.
The Owhyee Canyonlands has some of the best hikes in Oregon
Whether you put your outdoor skills to the test on the Lambert Rocks Trail or saunter to the relaxing Three Forks Hot Springs, you’ll likely have the landscapes all to yourself.
Read More About Visiting and Hiking in East Oregon
Alvord Desert: You can camp out in the Alvord Desert for free – and there’s even a hot spring nearby too! This is hands down one of the coolest spots to go camping in Oregon. Read our guide on camping in the Alvord Desert.
Camping in the Alvord Desert
Wallowa Lake State Park: This campsite is located just south of Wallowa Lake and offers 89 tent sites, lots of RV sites with hookups, and even a few yurts and cabins. Most of the campsite closes in winter though, so plan accordingly.
Rich’s Camp Cabin: Stay in a cute cabin right by a peaceful creek in the Elkhorn Mountains of Eastern Oregon. Rich’s Camp Cabin has everything you need for a comfortable stay.
Eagle Cap Chalets: Stay in a rustic but comfortable cottage at Eagle Cap Chalets on a forested property near Wallowa Lake. There is an outdoor pool and hot tub on-site for guest use.
Some Oregon hiking tips to consider…
Tips for Hiking in Oregon
Note that some of the hikes will require you to have a Northwest Pass ($30) or to purchase a day pass for $5.
Many of the hikes on the list are a bit more than a stroll in the park, to say the least! Good hiking shoes or hiking boots are a must to avoid broken ankles and slips.
Always check the weather, particularly outside of the summer, to make sure the roads to the trailheads are open or the trails themselves are open. Some do close in winter or in adverse weather conditions.
Let’s state the obvious for anyone stubborn out there—Don’t forget a sufficient amount of water, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Maybe even a hat too! (Hey, we’re not trying to be your mom here, we just want you to be able to hike around Oregon more!)
We LOVE camping in Oregon—it’s cheap and easy. But the best part is being able to wake up at our trailhead, or at the least down the road. Consider camping near your hike to cut out the driving. Or even camp along your trail in the designated areas.
It goes without saying, but we need to say it—pack in, pack out! DON’T leave the trail littered for the next person. Particularly those on the multiday treks.
Summers in Oregon are pretty busy, if you have any flexibly in your visit, we suggest coming in shoulder season (April-May) or September-October). Weather is still great and most hikes in Oregon are still open.