Whether you’re a long time local or brand new to the City of Roses, one thing is for sure: Portlanders love hiking! Having all ranges of difficulty and scenery, you’re bound to find a hike you love. Plus, firey leaves and crisp air make Fall hikes near Portland beyond stunning.
1. Silver Falls
Many people call Silver Falls the “crown jewel” of the Oregon State Parks system, and once you visit, you know why. Silver Falls State Park is the kind of standout scenic treasure that puts Oregon firmly onto the national—and international—stage. Its beauty, boundless recreational opportunities and historic presence keep it there.
Where else in Portland can you walk behind a waterfall? Check out the famous South Falls and see what a 177-foot curtain of water looks like from behind. It’s part of the Trail of Ten Falls, a spectacular, nationally recognized hiking trail that weaves through a dense forested landscape. The trail passes a series of breathtaking waterfalls along a rocky canyon, and descends to a winding creek at the forest floor. This 7.2 mile loop is considered to be a moderate hike, with an overall elevation change of 800 feet. Several connecting trails with separate access points make shorter routes. For everyone’s safety— absolutely no pets allowed on the Canyon Trail. Pets on leash are allowed on all other trails.
Silver Falls offers more than 35 miles of backcountry trails for mountain biking, hiking or horseback riding. One day parking pass is $5.
Click here to learn more about Oregon’s favorite state park!
2. Pittock Mansion
This easily accessible in-town hike in Macleay Park features a charming creek, a lush forest with some old-growth Douglas-firs and Portland’s tallest tree, and a Victorian-era mansion with an expansive view over downtown Portland and on to Mount Hood. On the north slopes of Pittock Hill, you can make a loop, going and coming, using the Upper Macleay and Macleay Trails. A shorter option that leaves out Balch Creek can begin at either the Macleay Park Trailhead or the Tunnel Trailhead, both on Cornell Road.
The Pittock Mansion is a Portland staple as one of many urban kikes in the area. These hikes are perfect for when you want to escape into nature, but can’t go an hour outside the city. These urban hikes connect to the MAX and bus system too so no car, no problem!
Click here to read about various trails and scenic information!
3. Skidmore Bluffs
The park is a small grassy area atop high cliffs overlooking the Willamette. To the south you can see part of downtown Portland. Directly below, you get a great view of the Union Pacific rail yards, and to the north you can see parts of Swan Island and industrial North Portland. Further to the west, across the river, are the green hills of Forest Park. It’s quite a view. Great place for a picnic, to watch the sunset, take pictures, go for a brisk walk, or just hang out.
Although the Skidmore is a very easy hike, consider it for your morning jogs around time. The views will be enough to keep you energized for you full workout!
Click here for more information.
4. Mount Tabor
Built atop an old volcanic cinder cone, Mount Tabor is beloved by runners, walkers, cyclists, stroller-pushers, hikers and even soap box racers. Paved roads, staircases and trails form a network of pathways throughout the park, weaving through a forest of tall firs and wide open meadows.
The trail at Mount Tabor is a moderate 3.31 miles and open year round!
For more information on Mount Tabor, click here!
5. 4T Trail
The 4T Trail passes through Council Crest, the highest point in the city, which offers views of North and Northeast Portland, as well as Mount Hood. The views of Mount Hood are fine enough, but the real treats on Council Crest are the unencumbered views of the rapidly-changing sky over the city.
The trail leads to Oregon Health & Science University and the upper terminal of the Portland Aerial Tram. The platform provides views of downtown Portland, the Central Industrial Eastside, and Mount Tabor, with Mount Hood lording above it all. Sure, the sun sets in the west while the terminal provides views to the east, but Mount Hood is often awash in deep purples and pinks, creating an almost ethereal glow.
For more information on Tram times and the 4T Trail, click here!