The Ultimate Hikers Guide to Portland: Top 6 Nearby Hikes

Trees in Forest Park in Portland, Oregon. Photo Credit: Unsplash

The Best Hikes In and Around Portland

At the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers, in between the Tualatin and Cascade mountain ranges, Portland is an outdoor lovers paradise. From volcanic peaks to river gorges, some of Mother Nature’s most spectacular shows are within easy reach, making for dozens of hiking options. Unfortunately, the Eagle Creek Fire from November 2017 means that many of our favorites east of town remain closed, but there are still myriad options for hikers. Here, we’re sharing the best hikes near Portland.

Forest Park

This is the largest urban wilderness park in the U.S., sprawling 5,000 acres within Portland city limits. Just a 10-minute drive from Woodlark Hotel, Forest Park has 70 miles of trails winding through its dense woodlands, and is home to elk, flying squirrels, bobcats, hairy woodpeckers, owls and newts.

Trail of Ten Falls

The name says it all. Count the waterfalls one by one on this 8.7-mile loop inside 9,000-acre Silver Falls State Park, an hour and 20 minutes south of Portland. Gentle, rolling terrain and a total elevation climb of just 1,000 feet mean the whole thing takes three to five hours, making it a great option for families.

Dog Mountain Hike

This popular day-hike near Portland is about 7 miles in all, with much of that being steep trails up to the summit of Dog Mountain. Forests give way to meadows as you climb the mountain, which has great views of the Columbia River Gorge below. Dog Mountain is about an hour east of Portland, so leave early in the morning to beat the crowds.

Tillamook Head Traverse Hike

An hour and a half west through rolling fields and forests, Tillamook Head’s 6.3 mile traverse hike is a great option for families looking for a coastal walk near Portland. Passing through groves of spruce and hemlock, the trail goes from Indian Beach to Tillamook Head trailheads. Either caravan with another driver to have cars at both ends, or simply pick a starting point and turn around when you want to head back. We recommend starting at Indian Beach, so that you see the water sooner.

Silver Star Mountain Hike

A moderate, 5.7-mile out-and-back trail takes adventurers to the peak of Silver Star Mountain, 90 minutes northeast of Portland. From its rocky summit (elevation 4,360 feet), you can see five of the Cascade Range’s major volcanoes, including Mount St. Helens and Rainier. Silver Star’s slopes burst with wildflowers in the early summer, and glow with autumn colors each fall.