Oregon is full of lush forests and gorgeous waterfalls, and going on a hike is one of the best ways to experience the landscape firsthand. Here are the top 10 beginner-friendly hikes that are perfect for your next adventure.
1. Tamolitch Blue Pool via McKenzie River Trail
This 3.7 mile out and back trail leads to the beautiful Tamolitch Blue Pool. The trail is fairly level throughout, making it ideal for those looking for a slightly longer, but not too strenuous hike leading to a gorgeous destination. The trail can get a bit muddy after recent rain, so keep that in mind if you’re headed out after rainfall.
2. Sun Notch Trail
Located in Crater Lake National Park, this 0.8-mile out and back trail offers scenic views of the lake below. Its short distance and relatively level ground makes it ideal for both families with younger children and those looking for a quick hike. The area can be snowy into June, however, so you’ll want to be sure to bring plenty of warm clothes and shoes.
3. Crescent Beach Trail
Crescent Beach Trail is a 2-mile out and back trail that winds through gorgeous greenery down to the equally beautiful Crescent Beach. You can look forward to not only enjoying the scenery on the way down to the beach but also looking for interesting critters in the tidepools around the beach as well! This trail can get a bit muddy in spots, and there are a few spots that involve maneuvering around or over logs or roots, so you’ll want to be sure to bring some sturdy sneakers or boots when you head out!
4. Tulatin Hills Nature Park Loop
If you’re looking for fresh air without going too far out of your way, check out this 3.4-mile loop trail in Beaverton, Oregon. Though close to civilization, the trail features a portion that feels much more secluded than their actual closeness to civilization would suggest!
5. Multnomah Falls
Not only is this hike full of beautiful scenery, it also provides viewing of one of Oregon’s prettiest waterfalls. You’ll trek 2.3-miles through lush greenery to the top of the falls. From there you can view the falls from the historic Benson Bridge. The bridge, as well as additional trails leading further up, are finally open after a long period of closure due to Covid-19 – now’s a great time to go see this waterfall and get some hiking in!
6. North Falls, Winter Falls and Twin Falls via Canyon and Rim Trail
This 2.9 mile trail that features views of several waterfalls in Silver Falls State Park. The trail is so gorgeous it gets quite a bit of foot traffic – you may want to consider going early in the morning, or during the week if possible if you’re hoping to have a more secluded hike.
7. Lemolo Falls
There’s 2 ways to get to Lemolo Falls, which means you can choose which trail you take depending on the length of hike you’re looking for. The “original” trail, trail #1468 – is a short 1 mile in length. Something to keep in mind is that this trail is fairly steep, however. If you’re looking for a longer, leveler hike, Lemolo Falls Trail is an out and back trail that spans 4.6-miles.
8. Cathedral Tree Trail
If you’re near Astoria, Oregon, check out Cathedral Tree Trail. This 1.6-mile out and back trail is a great way of viewing the Cathedral Tree. This ancient tree’s exposed roots have made it a popular sightseeing spot. The trail can be a bit steep and has exposed roots in some areas, so families with young children or those looking for a very level trail may want to keep that in mind.
9. Toketee Falls Trail
Here’s an option leading to another one of Oregon’s famous waterfalls! This 0.9-mile out and back trail heads down to a viewing platform for Toketee Falls. The trail is fairly level for the majority of the hike.
10. Sweet Creek Trail
This short and sweet out and back trail spans 1.8 miles of scenic Oregon forests and leads to Sweet Creek Falls. Amenities at the trailhead are pretty limited – planning to pack out any trash you might have is a good idea!
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