Hike Oregon: 5 Hikes Worth Trying

Punch Bowl Falls

This is the perfect trail for any beginner hiker. Although this hike is an easy one, it is filled with adventure. There is a ton of cliffs and waterfalls. Although this is very exciting if you are afraid of heights this might not be the best for you. This is also something to consider if you plan to bring the little ones. Did I mention the waterfalls? There are a bunch of them and you are going to walk under a few so be prepared to get wet. Raingear a must!


  • Columbia River Gorge
  • 45-minute drive from Portland City Center
  • Family Friendly
  • Dog Friendly
  • Distance: 3.8 miles round trip
  • Elevation: 500 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Season: Year Round

Cape Falcon

Make sure to bring your camera! This hike is one that will take your breath away. Not only are you surrounded by lush greenery, but also fantastic views. Through the hike, there will be viewpoints of the beach.  As you continue on and climb the bluff you soon hit a wall of salal. (If I hadn’t seen the people in front of me continue on I would have missed the path.) Crouched down you can climb through and come to a clearing at the peak of the bluff. Amazing view of the beach, ocean, and wildlife. One of my favorite hikes to date! This is the perfect hike for any Newbee with a camera 🙂


  • Oswald West State Park
  • 2 Hours round drive from Portland City Center
  • Family Friendly
  • Dog Friendly
  • Distance: 4.8 miles round trip
  • Elevation: 160 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Season: Year-round

Oneonta Gorge Trail

Although this is considered a hike, I would classify it as a wooden jungle gym. An avalanche affected a few years back the Oneonta Gorge which is right off the Columbia River Gorge. Trees from above came tumbling down, creating a natural blockade. To get back to the natural swimming pool visitors are forced to climb, shimmy and duck to get through to the other side. During the fall season the water gets very high and climbing over the natural barrier is a bit risky. As for the summertime, you can continue to pass the barrier and on another half mile to get to the waterfall and pool. The water is crystal clear and cold. Very cold! Make sure to wear your suit. Also, to the waterfall, you are going to have to hike through about 3 feet of water. Fun, but freezing!

  • Oneonta Gorgehike1
  • 45-minute drive from Portland City Center
  • Not Family Friendly
  • Not Dog-Friendly
  • Distance: 1.0 miles
  • Elevation: 0 feet
  • Difficulty: Difficult (only climbing over logs and deep water hiking)
  • Season: End of Summer and Early Fall

Angles Rest

This Hike is one of my favorites, but it has something I hate. Switchbacks. Switchbacks are zigzags within the trail to make it an easier incline when trailing up hill. This becomes repetitive and boring very quickly. That said, it is great for beginners who have hiked before and are in good shape. I would not recommend this being your first hike out the gate, as it is very crowded and can be steep at times. This hike gives spectator views of the Columbia River and rocky Oregon and Washington Bluffs.


  • Columbia River Gorge
  • 40-minute drive from Portland City Center
  • Family Friendly
  • Dog Friendly
  • Distance: 4.8 miles round trip
  • Elevation: 1450 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Season: Year Round
  • Tips: Plenty of water and snacks, break as needed

Saddle Mountain Trail

This is by far the hardest hike I have ever done. Now, I only started hiking a little over two years ago. Since then I have moved back to the Midwest where hiking is always flat. Saddle Mountain is everything but. This hike can get really strenuous at times and there is not a lot of plateaus where you can pull over and rest. Not to mention, the trail changes a lot. When you first start out trees surround you and then you hit rocks and gravel. I happened to be there on a hot day in September and the uncovered portions of the trail were brutal. Although strenuous the view was well worth it.


  • Saddle Mountain
  • Not Family Friendly
  • Not Dog-Friendly (although you will see them on the trail)
  • 1.5 Hours from Portland City Center
  • Distance: 5.2 miles round trip
  • Elevation: 1600 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate/Difficult
  • Season: Spring, Summer, and Fall
  • Tips: Water and snacks, break as needed

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