September 15, 2020 4 min read

The Best Hikes in Oregon for All Skill Levels

There’s nothing like an outdoor hike to get your body in gear and your spirits soaring. Getting close to nature can reduce your levels of stress and anxiety, and a dose of fresh air is a fantastic sleep aid. Taking in the gorgeous scenery of the Pacific Northwest is always a breathtaking experience. Walking and hiking are the original endorphin factories. Get those feet moving to get those feel-good chemicals into your brain.

Hiking is also a great exercise that burns 400 to 650 calories an hour. After months of being cooped up, it’s time to explore the great outdoors again.

Best Hikes in Oregon

best hikes in oregon

You already know how beautiful Oregon’s scenery is. With a unique combination of rocky coastline, dense forests and towering cliffs, Oregon guarantees gorgeous scenery on every trail. We’ve rounded up 14 of the best hikes in Oregon and divided them up by difficulty. It’s time to lace up the hiking boots and hit the trail.

Best Easy Hikes for Hikers of All Levels

Get out and have fun on these scenic, easy hikes you can do in a morning.

Depoe Bay Hike

This family-friendly, two-mile trail begins at Depoe Bay Trailhead and ends at Pirate Cove Viewpoint. The highest elevation here is only 60 feet. This scenic hike takes you along a lovely coastline with striped cliffs, Depoe Bay and a whale watching center.

Cutler City Wetlands Loop Hike

If you want a short but satisfying walk, take this one-mile loop. You’ll walk through thickets of rhododendrons, evergreens, spruces and hemlocks. Watch egrets, herons and other wildlife at the pond at the end of the trail.

Steelhead Falls

An enjoyable, half-mile hike will bring you through dense green forest to this spectacular waterfall. You’ll have views of the Deschutes River as you arrive. The base of the falls is a pool where you can take a dip on a warm day.

Fivemile Point Hike

This easy five-mile hike starts at the Seven Devils Trailhead on Merchants Beach. You’ll cruise through Merchants Beach, Cape Arago and dense pine forest on the cliffs. With elevations under 50 feet, this is a fun hike for the entire family. Dogs on leashes are welcome.

Cape Falcon Hike

Take the family on this five-mile hike through spruce forests and the Oregon Coast Trail. This trail takes you past the small but scenic Blumenthal Falls waterfall, open meadows and views of the Neahkahnie Mountain. The highest elevation on this hike is 160 feet.

Wahclella Falls

Well-marked trails and wooden bridges will lead you through scenic forest views to this gorgeous waterfall. Bring the kids and the dogs along on this two-mile hike that will reward you with incredible scenery. This is a popular hike, and it’s smart to come early.

Best Moderate Hikes to Kick It Up a Notch

If you want a slightly longer or more challenging hike, try one of these.

South Hills Ridgeline Trail

With nine miles of mostly easygoing, scenic terrain, the Ridgeline Trail is a great way to see some of Oregon's most beautiful woods. This trail is located close to Eugene. It’s popular with dog owners, who bring their furry friends out for a long day of hiking. The highest elevations here are around 1800 feet.

Mirror Lake Loop Trail

This is a popular four-mile loop around Mirror Lake. It’s in Mount Hood National Park. Walking this trail gives you superb views of the mountain and the lake. The trail is well-maintained but has a few stretches of high elevation. Leashed dogs are welcome to join you.

Amanda’s Trail

This stretch of the Oregon Coast Trail runs almost eight miles. It goes from the picturesque coastal town of Yachats to Cape Perpetua on the coast. Trail planners named it after a Native American woman who was among those forced to march the trail to a reservation. A statue of Amanda along the trail commemorates the event and tells Amanda’s story. Any hiker will enjoy this trip through nature and history.

Trail of the 10 Falls

An eight-mile loop through Oregon’s popular Silver Falls State Park allows you to see almost all the waterfalls in the park. These include the stunning South Falls, Lower Middle Falls and North Falls. Each would be worth a trip on its own, and you can see them all on one hike. Well-maintained trails, guardrails and low elevations make this a perfect day trip for families who like hiking.

Ecola State Park to Indian Beach Trail

This roughly six-mile hike will take you past some of Oregon's most gorgeous coastal rainforest. Your views include the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse and Indian Beach. With elevations of just over 1000 feet, this gives you a moderate challenge in a few spots. It’s often muddy.

Tougher Trails for Those Who Want a Challenge

These are the best hikes in Oregon for experienced hikers who want to test themselves.

Hart’s Cove Out and Back

This wonderfully scenic 14-mile trail is part of the Cascade Head Scenic Research Area. This hike combines rugged coastline views with dense forest and flowering meadows. Knife edge terrains and frequent switchbacks on the trail keep it interesting. Dogs are not permitted on this trail.

Munra Point

This six-mile hike takes you through the Columbia River Gorge, Elowah Falls, the Gorge Trail and McCord Creek. This is a difficult hike that rewards your hard work with tremendous views. This one is for experienced hikers who can handle steep terrain and real climbing.

Oregon Coast Trail

This iconic, rugged trail is famous for its spectacular scenery. While the entire trail runs almost 400 miles, you can walk smaller sections of it if you only have a few hours. The trail combines remote beaches with national parks, public beaches, nature reserves and small seaside towns.

This is not a beginner’s trail. There are long stretches of sand walking, 20-mile gaps between campsites, extensive sections that have no trail, unpredictable tides and other difficulties. If you’re an experienced, well-prepared hiker, you will enjoy this unique trail.

Get Out and Start Hiking

best hikes in oregon

Oregon is full of wonderful hiking trails that take you past rivers, coastline, mountains, seaside towns and waterfalls. A day of hiking will leave you blissfully tired and ready for some well-deserved relaxation.

Doug Darroch
Doug Darroch

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