Top 5 Hiking Trails in Oregon
- Tillamook Head Traverse
The trail across Tillamook Head follows in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark up and into a lush coastal forest setting. Members of the Corps of Discovery embarked on a similar journey off the coast of Oregon in search of whale blubber and winter supplies. The trail is now part of Ecola State Park and is much easier to follow.
The Tillamook Head route connects Seaside in the north to Cannon Beach in the south. The trek starts at Indian Beach, near Cannon Beach, or at the North Tillamook Head trailhead, which is best reached by Seaside Streetcar. In any scenario, it’s an uphill journey, but the steady rise is definitely worth it.
- Discovery Point
From the Rim Visitor Center and Crater Lake Lodge, a trail goes to the crater’s edge. The ride offers uninterrupted and spectacular views of the former caldera, which is surrounded by vivid blue sea. This route is a popular alternative to the Pacific Crest Trail and one of the park’s most popular out-and-back trails, as it follows an easy grade and largely dirt road.
Hikers can access Cleetwood Cove via the Discovery Point path for more exploring. A National Park Service ferry transports visitors to Wizard Island, where they may begin the 0.3-mile Wizard Island Summit Trail.
- McKenzie River Trail
Between Bend and Eugene, this 26.4-mile National Recreation Trail follows its eponymous creek and features a rich ecology. On the trail, overnight hiking trips and segmented day treks are typical. From north to south, the path follows a generally downhill grade, punctuated by high and rocky parts with numerous viewpoints.
- Oregon Coast Trail
The Oregon Coast Trail follows the state’s public coastline for the entire length of the state. The area’s distinctive features include sandy beaches, wooded headlands, and a diverse range of seascapes and sea stacks. While long-distance hikers frequently traverse the Oregon Coast Trail from north to south, day hikers are the most popular way to experience the trail.
Plan on spending at least three weeks hiking the whole coast if you want to see it all. Expect to walk through a variety of landscapes, including coastal woodlands and the odd road shoulder, even though the route mostly follows the shore. Campsites, resupplies, and transportation across estuaries must all be pre-planned.
- Angel’s Rest
The Columbia River Gorge’s high topography is known for its waterfalls, but it also lends itself to some fantastic hiking paths with a view. Angel’s Rest is a rocky outcropping high above the river with one of the most spectacular elevated views.
Angel’s Rest’s far-reaching vistas of the Columbia River Gorge, which spread for miles in either way, are well worth the effort. The granite outcropping is an excellent spot to take a break before returning to the trailhead along the same steep path.