We Love These Oregon Hiking Trails
On Feb. 14, 2020, the state of Oregon turns 161 years old. Happy birthday, Oregon! We feel incredibly lucky to live here and have everything from forests and mountains to ocean and high desert within an hour from our headquarters in downtown Portland (with trails just out our front door). We partnered with Travel Oregon recently to help get more people outside and adventuring responsibly. We hope to see you out on an Oregon trail in your KEEN shoes soon!
Oregon’s great outdoors might make your heart skip a beat. From ocean headlands to desert peaks, the state’s trails transport visitors to awe-inspiring landscapes. Take a multi-day hike or a quick jaunt — there’s a lot to love about Oregon. And now exploring the state is made easy with Take Care Out There, a new framework to help adventurers prepare, care, and connect in nature.
Ready to explore? Here are some of our favorite trails and wilderness areas:
America’s deepest gorge at nearly 8,000 feet, Hells Canyon has trails diving down to the Snake River and an annual lung-crushing trail race. Local companies offer guided trips and expert tips. The rugged 382-mile/615-kilometer Oregon Coast Trail runs the length of state along beaches, through forests and over headlands. Trails of various lengths leave from Mt. Hood’s Timberline Lodge, including the Paradise Park loop, and half-marathoners fly down the shore of nearby Timothy Lake during an annual race. If you feel up for the challenge, you can spend a month or so hiking the Oregon section of the Pacific Crest Trail from Ashland to the Bridge of the Gods.
Easy Scenic Trails
The easy 0.5-mile/0.8-kilometer Sunset Bay Beach Trail at Sunset Bay State Park leads to a picturesque sheltered cove great for beachcombing. Nearby Cape Arago and Shore Acres state parks have accessible routes with some of the Oregon Coast’s most stunning views. Near the town of McKenzie Bridge, hike an easy 1.5-mile/2.4-kilometer loop route through lava beds to see Proxy Falls — a 226-foot/69-meter segmented horsetail falls. In Eastern Oregon, Anthony Lakes Recreation Area offers moderate routes like the trails to Hoffer Lake and Black Lake (2.9 miles/4.6 kilometers and 2.4 miles/3.9 kilometers, respectively) with breathtaking wildflower meadows and views of the soaring Elkhorn Mountains.
Tucked into lush forests, the Trail of Ten Falls in Silver Falls State Park reveals a cache of otherworldly beauty and 10 distinct cascades. Runners and hikers find Sahalie and Koosah falls tucked in along the gorgeous McKenzie River Trail. A short, steep trail leads to the top of majestic, 620-foot/189-meter Multnomah Falls. (Be sure to plan ahead and consider taking a shuttle if you’re visiting this popular icon.) The glorious multi-tier White River Falls can be seen just a stone’s throw from the parking lot. Ten stunning waterfalls can be viewed along the North Umpqua Trail including 102-foot/164-kilometer Lemolo Falls and double-drop Toketee Falls.
Routes on Steens Mountain reward hikers with dramatic views of the Alvord Desert 9,738 feet/2,968 meters below. A short trail leads through the sagebrush into the fantastical horseshoe-shaped volcanic tuff mesa of Fort Rock. Scores of trails climb up to the alpine lakes, peaks and wilderness area of the Wallowa Mountains — dubbed Oregon’s Alps, soaring near 10,000 feet/3,048 meters. Local guide companies lead multi-day hiking and pack-animal trips. Trails in Newberry National Volcanic Monument reveal spectacular lava flows, buttes and calderas, while Crater Lake National Park is home to the stunningly beautiful lake that’s the deepest in North America.
Visit TakeCareOutThere.org for Travel Oregon’s top tips for exploring the great outdoors.