1. Abiqua Falls | Scotts Mills, Oregon
If you’re looking for a place to escape, with no cell reception, a quick 2 and half mile hike, and formations that could only be made from mother nature herself… Abiqua Falls is the place for you. A 92 foot fall, secluded and tucked away for only the adventurous. Pack a lunch, blanket, water, a book, a swimsuit (depending on the time of year) and a camera. You will not regret it.
Disclaimer; this is not an easy place to find, with virtually no road markers and an extremely rough terrain to drive over, I recommend a truck/car with 4 wheel drive. 100% worth it. ALSO: Please do not start a fire. My sister and I stumbled upon this one already lit and simply enjoyed it for what it was. Never leave a human trace when exploring and admiring Oregon’s beauty.
2. Smith Rock | Terrebonne, Oregon
If you haven’t seen the movie Wild yet with Reese Witherspoon, then you probably have no idea that this breathtakingly beautiful hike is used in the background during a scene in the movie. It comes as no surprise to me, being my all time second favorite hike in Oregon, located just 20 miles from Bend. I recommend starting early and completing the Misery Ridge Loop Hike. This hike is not meant for the weak, if explored during the summer, pack plenty of water and get a head start before the crowds come. Glorious views at the top, nothing short of a workout, with rewarding sights at the top. Many take their dogs and a partner to enjoy this journey with.
3. Silver Creek Falls | Silverton, Oregon
With 10 waterfalls and more than 24 miles of walking trails, this hike might just have it all. Located just outside of Salem, Oregon, this state park is the largest in Oregon. Welcoming all people from beginners to advanced hikers. The South falls is the most visited out of them all. If you have the time, I highly recommend this hike for anyone ages 1-90. Chances are, if you go at a time where it’s not flooded with hikers, you may see deer, bats (at night) and spectacular waterfalls that you can enjoy all to yourself.
4. Angels Rest | Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
Anywhere you may explore on the Gorge, I can promise you, will be a beautiful one. The Gorge is the hotspot for hikes bordering Washington and Oregon, ranging from the simplest of ones… to the tougher, mostly uphill challenges that will even leave the ‘strong and fit’ out of breath. I recently hiked Angels Rest for the first time last weekend with my sisters and even though it was fairly short (at around 5 miles in total, averaging about an hour and 20 up and back) it was harder than I had expected! It all depends on ones pace, but I was in no mood to slowly stroll along, I wanted to reach the top and soak in the views.
I would check the forecast before embarking on this hike. The view gazes over the Columbia River Gorge, and to fully experience the sights, it’s best to go on a clear, sunny day. Although, for amazing photographs, some would argue that it’s more ideal to go on a day with clouds and rain to get stunning pictures of Oregon’s spectacular beauty.
There were a ton of people at the top this sunny weekend, so plan accordingly if you want more seclusion. Regardless, sitting at number 4 for my favorite spring hike!
5. Opal Creek | Lyons, Oregon
This magical hike, just off of North Fork Rd, is a one worth checking out. The waters as blue and icy as New Zealand’s, and the air as crisp as Oregon trees and rivers constantly provide. This could easily be in my top 3 favorite hikes. There are simply too many amazing ones to correctly order! This hike is in a remote location, so it is wise to plan accordingly with food, drinks and a compass/map if you plan on doing the entire 7 mile, since cell service will likely not help you in terms of GPS availability. It is $5 for a day pass and I suggest leaving early (as you should in most all hikes). The trail is very simple, not much elevation and has a lot of history with abandoned sheds, old mining equipment and waterfalls and creeks in between. Such a gratifying hike!
6. Butte Creek Falls | Scotts Mills, Oregon
Not far from Abiqua Falls, lies a super charming, easy trail with a waterfall at the top and another promised at the bottom with a spectacular view of the autumn leaves if you go just shortly before winter kidnaps the full bodied full trees. A simple trail in only 2 miles in all it’s glory. I hiked this one alone and found it to be very relaxing and passed only two hikers on my way there and back. Definitely recommend it for a short, fun, effortless hike for countless opportunities for beautiful shots.
7. Triple Falls, Horsetail falls, Oneonta & Ponytail Falls | Columbia River Gorge, Oregon/Washington
I count these four as one since they are practically in the same trail if you continue on the Horsetail falls journey. It is an intermediate hike, can be as hard or easy as you want to depending on your stamina and pace. I chose this as my number 7 because it is located in the beautiful Gorge and is unlike anything I have experienced here in Oregon thus far.
8. Drift Creek Falls | Lincoln City, Oregon
With a 240 foot suspension bridge overlooking the falls, this short hike is definitely worth visiting. Just south of Lincoln City, this is a great, easy hike for all ages. At the very bottom of the hike, you can be feet away from the falls and feel the mist from the falls leave droplets on your face. Dog friendly and only 3 miles in duration, take advantage of a sunny day and bring a friend for this breezy one.
9. Mill Creek Falls | Prospect, Oregon
Found by accident, on a mission to see Crater Lake (failed because of the heavy snowfall), we found Mill Creek Falls along the Rogue river. Only about a half mile down from the trail, you will hear the falls and see thousands of trees and rocks surrounding a 173-foot waterfall in what seems to be the middle of nowhere. Beautiful at nearly anytime of the year, close to the falls you will find an area with “giant boulders” and fresh blue rapids that will clear any mind from daily stressors. I plan on going back on my next mission to Crater Lake with a packed lunch and new tunes paired with a swimsuit and towel.
10. Spencer Butte | Eugene, Oregon
Last but not least, I have to mention my favorite college hike, Spencer Butte. The view is the tallest point visible from downtown Eugene. About 5 miles round trip, this one is easy to hike with friends, family or even alone. You can spend anywhere from an hour to 6, depending on your urgency. This hike brings back beautiful memories and offers a view of a flat, treeless, huge, lovely butte! And because I simply can’t resist, being in Eugene;
These are my top spring hikes, I am adamantly searching for more hikes I have never explored, and with my new move to Portland, I couldn’t be more excited! If anyone needs further information on any of the hikes/trails/waterfalls, comment below and I’ll do my best to help!
And of course, if there are any I missed (because there are heaps in Oregon) I would love suggestions! Next on my list are one’s near the coast and waterfalls near Central Oregon.
Happy weekend and cheers to the beautiful state we reside in!
171 Replies to “10 Beautiful Spring Hikes in Oregon”
Great website and hike photos that you run! You may already know of these, but here are a few hikes worth checking out – Have Fun!
McNeil Point / Snow Dragon Caves – (Park 3900 FT at “Top Spur” trailhead. Hike around “Bald Mtn” for awesome view of Hood. Stone shelter @ 6000 FT. Snow Dragon Caves approx. 6500 FT).
Cooper Spur – (Summer: Park 5800 FT, hike to 9100 FT to view cravasses. Winter: Park 3800 FT, snowshoe to stone shelter @ 6800 FT).
Barrett Spur – (Park 4000 FT, hike to 7900 FT. View cravasses).
Burnt Lake – (Park at trailhead that is on the way to the Ramona Falls trailhead).
Neahkahnie Mountain – (Best to park on Hwy101 at trailhead up frontside of mtn, not the side road trailhead that hikes up backside of mtn).
MOUNT ST. HELENS:
Summit – (Summer is fun, but winter from Marble Mtn Sno-park is more fun. First check online permit requirements: http://mshinstitute.org/index.php/climbing/).
Ape Cave – (Enter cave near pkg lot. Hike North route to exit upper end, then hike back through forest. 8 FT wall 1-mile in, but is easy to climb).
Thank you!!! Appreciate the list!!
Tamolitch falls. Gorgeous. Not difficult hike, but so beautiful and amazing.
White River falls and park (no longer a State Park, I think) is lovely in the spring. You often have beaches and the falls all to yourself, and it’s almost always sunny and warm. It’s an easy drive from The Dalles, or a long wander down the White River Watershed, starting near Government Camp on Mt. Hood, and following the river down a US Forest Service road (only open to cars in late spring, summer, and early fall) out toward the Columbia River Gorge.
Eagle Creek is one of the best series of waterfalls and old growth hikes in the Columbia River Gorge. It’s simply one of the finest hikes in the state, and it’s where I take folks who are new to Oregon to show them the incredible wonder of the state’s forests.
On the Oregon Coast, it’s hard to find a better hike than Cascade Head, just North of Lincoln City. Old growth forest, delightful wildlife (elk, silverspot butterflies, bald eagles, and whales in the fall and spring), and lovely wildflower meadows are yours to explore. The views are unforgettable.
In Central Oregon, my vote goes to the McKenzie River Trail and its gorgeous waterfalls, hot spring, and the lovely blues of Clear Lake.
I mountain biked the McKenzie River Trail – awesome!
I will definitely have to try Abiqua falls. Looks beautiful. I have one in Oregon for you, White river falls near Maupin Or. And another in Washington, Lewis river falls. Lewis river has and upper and lower falls both are stunning!
I second Lewis falls! Beautiful, easy for anyone.
Abiqua is GORGEOUS. And will definitely try those out. Thank you!
Most of these aren’t too far from my home in Albany, although the only one I’ve been to is Drift Creek Falls and that’s a tough one to find. You end up on 3 different forest service roads and it’s easy to get lost. Luckily there’s intermittent cell service and it’s a well known hike so there are maps available in Lincoln City.
My favorite waterfall hike in Oregon would have to be Sahalie Falls, which is right off Hwy 126 about 20 miles east-southeast of Sisters. The last time I went was during a thunderstorm, which made the scenery amazing in a wild sort of way. There are several places where the water looks electric blue.
Another good one is McDowell Creek Falls which is one I’ve been to hundreds of times since I grew up in Lebanon which is only 8 miles away. Head southeast from Lebanon towards Sweet Home on Hwy 20, then left on Fairview Road and just follow the signs from there. It’s a bit of a steep climb to the top, but a short one, less than half a mile. Great views. Best to go early in the morning to avoid the crowds.
Another good hike, but with no waterfall, would be Iron Mountain. This is off Highway 20 in the Cascade Mountains. If you’re headed eastbound there will be a sign for it about a mile or two before you get to the summit of the pass. Be careful, it’s easy to miss. It’s about a two mile hike, but the scenery is divine in April/May. There are rare flowers to be found there.
I don’t have any pictures, but just type the names into Google and you’ll see what I mean.
Thank you for your input, I really appreciate the recommendations!
My husband and I got engaged at McDowell Creek falls! We enjoy hiking there because it is easy to get to!
Directly across the Columbia River from Ponytail Falls are both Hamilton Mountain and Table Mountain.
The Hamilton Mountain hike is only about 7 miles round trip and approximately 2300 ft in elevation gain, but provides some of the finest views in the entire gorge. Along the way you will pass over creeks, see a beautiful waterfall, and enjoy lunch at the summit that provides views of Mt St Helens, Mt Adams, and Mt Hood.
The Table Mountain hike is a fairly difficult hike. Nearly 4000 ft in elevation gain, Table Mountain towers over Hamilton Mountain.
The summit of this hike is one of the most unique sights in the entire Pacific Northwest. Although extremely dangerous, you are able to stand on a 2 foot by 3 foot ledge with nothing surrounding you but thousands of feet of air. I highly recommend this hike, but pre prepared for an all-day adventure.
My favorite hike on the Oregon side is a highly unknown location called Munra Point. This hike requires you to start by passing the beautiful Elowah Falls, walk parallel with Interstate 84 for a little while, and then descend straight up. The steepness of this hike won’t seem as bad when you reach the many viewpoints of the Columbia River Gorge. While standing on the summit, you are given a 360 degree view of the entire Pacific Northwest. If your breath wasn’t already taken away, expect to be a little lightheaded when you catch this unforgettable view.
A lot of people have mentioned table mountain, so exciting that there are so many hikes I have yet to explore in my own state! Cheers to warmer weather this week too!
Reblogged this on Kat Simonovic and commented:
Love hiking! Best way to enjoy working out and nature. These are beautiful.
Bend is one of the most beautiful places in the continental US. We rented a place on Detroit Lake a few summers ago. Our favorite hike that vacation was nearby in the Willamette National Forest. Check it out. We’ll share your list with our readers on vacationsuccess.com.
Thank you for sharing!! I appreciate it heaps :) x
Reblogged this on Vacation Success and commented:
Sharing this great hiking list from our new friend over at “Be In Transition”. We added Detroit Lake and the Willamette National Forest to her list of “Beautiful Spring Hikes in Oregon” And, since she’s an Oregon Fan… Go Cougs!
this is Stephen Montana where I live the back bone too America im in a very butifull place love too hike with you here where I live its very big skyish and mountains as grand as youll ever see?
Thanks for a great website! I used to live in Oregon and miss it greatly! Here are a couple that I love.
Toketee Falls along the North Umpqua river is fantastic. bintransition.com/2015/04/11/10-beautiful-spring-hikes-in-oregon/
Also, I love White River Falls – http://www.oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=parkPage.dsp_parkPage&parkId=28
I grew up at riveter falls hiked it as a kid.. Sure miss living up there!
Have yet to see Toketee but my sister raves about it! Thank you!!
To bad Niagara Falls, just 16 miles outside of Sheridan, Oregon was not on this list,,, 1 mile walk to the falls and it is beautiful.. Well worth the hike and scenery better than some of the ones on this list.
I’ve hiked that one and loved it as well! These are just my favorite spring ones :) I’ll have to do another for summer!
Toketee falls is an amazing sight to see. Highway 138 out of Roseburg. This road follows the North Umpqua river up in to the mountains. All along the river there are waterfalls for any level of hiker. From waterfalls you can see from your car to waterfalls you have to hike miles into to be able to catch a glimpse of. There are 11 waterfalls, its well worth the trip. Also there’s plenty of campgrounds to stay at.
I’ve had many people mention this one. Can’t wait to see it for myself!! :)
Kentucky Falls and Smith Falls I believe is the second one. They are off of 126 by Walton… beautiful hike and even more beautiful falls beside each other off the same rocks.
What a wonderful post! I’ve bookmarked it along with several of the links in the comments section. I am recovering from a radical resection surgery that removed a sarcoma tumor that had taken over my entire left illiopsoas muscle. The short easy hikes listed will be great for me this summer as I relearn how to use my leg with those muscles missing.
Thank you! Hope you’re healing fast and happy hiking for when you can, you’ll appreciate it that much more :) x
Ramona Falls is a good hike and beautiful early in the summer. We last went in August 2014 after 4 days of kayaking the lakes around Mt Hood. It was still beautiful even with the reduced amount of water flow. If the foot bridge over the Sandy River is still washed out you can cross on one of the many logs laying across the river. Turn north out of Zig Zag on hwy 26. Not hard to find on a map.
Other hikes I enjoy:
Cape Lookout north of Pacific City. The trail runs through rain forest along the top of a large rock that extends out into the ocean. Great views along the way looking back towards the shore and a bench to rest on at the point of the cape. Besides the trail out to the end of the cape there are trails down to the beaches north and south of the cape. Cape Lookout state park offers camping at the beach level on the north side of the cape.
Saddle Mtn on Hwy 26 between Portland and Seaside. You will see the sign for Saddle Mtn State Park on the right just as you come to the bottom of the pass over the coast range on the coast side of the pass. The parking area is about 7 miles from the highway on a one lane blacktop road with turnouts. The hike is not that long but the view is great from the top. Go on a clear day and you can look down on Astoria, Seaside, Tillamook and watch the ships come up the Columbia River. Several of the Cascade Mtns can be seen.
Cascade Head just north of Hwy 18 on Hwy 101. On 101 one mile north of the Jct with 18 turn left on Three Rocks road and go the end where you will find a county boat launch and parking area. Park here and walk back on the road about 100 feet to Savage road then walk up Savage road about 3/4 of a mile to the Nature Conservancy trail head. There is no parking allowed on Savage Road or at the trail head. No Dogs are allowed as this is a nature preserve and there are endangered species. Stay on the trail. The trail starts in the woods then comes out on a meadow on the side of the Head. The view is great once you come out of the trees and continues as it switchbacks up the side of the head. There is a way to loop back to the parking area (about 12 miles) but I have not found the other trail back down to 3 rocks road yet. We continued our walk on a trail that turned into a service road along the top of the Head back to 101 then to 3 rocks road and back to the parking area. Most people hike to the top and go back the way they came.
Thank you so much for taking the time to recommend these great hikes, I really appreciate it! Saddle mountain is surely on my list to do next!!
Hey I was wondering if I could get some good info on some disabled access hikes. I’m in a wheelchair so I would need it to be somewhat wheelchair friendly.
I can’t think of any truly wilderness areas at the moment that would be wheelchair accessible but Minto-Brown park along the Willamette river west of Salem has miles of paved trails. There is a lot of nature for being a park close to an urban area. I have hiked, Biked and kayaked there. Anyone else have ideas for Erik?
I am not 100% certain of hikes that are wheelchair friendly, I saw someone mention minto brown park in Salem which would be a good place to start for sure. I will have to look some places up for that, let me know if you find anywhere soon!
I can’t wait to get back home to Oregon this summer! I’ve been teaching in Venezuela the past few years at an international school so I haven’t had much time to roam freely. Really looking forward to some of these hikes.
-Amanda at http://teachingwanderlust.com/
PS- Go Ducks!
How amazing to explore another country that way though. That’s incredible! And yess go ducks!! Love it xx
Thanks for the hike tips!
Awwwww, you deleted my last post. But hey at least you fixed your goof. Anyways… You are missing so many great places. I’ve got a list. Can I email them to you?
No I didn’t delete any!! But definitely edited it :) feel free to leave a comment with more hikes, these are just a few of my favorite spring ones!
It’s not a fall but a great hike and absolutely gorgeous. Blue Pool on the Tamolitch trail up off Hwy 126 at Trail Bridge near Sisters is well worth a visit. It’s a fairly easy 4 mile hike in to the pool of snow melt water that is so crystal clear it will amaze you!
You can find pictures online just search Blue Pool. Seriously, I’ve never seen anything like it!
My favorite is Mill Creek currently. Go there several times since my boyfriend and I discovered its location.
Toketee and watson falls are also very beautiful however fairly short hikes. So we usually hit up more than one in the Umpqua area. Thank for the recommendations! Always scouting for new places!
there is another water fall, well a couple in central Oregon. Tumalo Falls and Proxy Falls. I haven’t personally been to proxy but I have a friend who has and she says its breath taking. Also Sahalie if it hasn’t already been mentioned. I took my boyfriend last weekend and We had a blast
Crater Lake is really good. There’s multiple trails and there is Plina Falls, I know for a fact that one is wheelchair friendly because I helped make it that way in the summer of 2000. Please enjoy it and feel free to share.
So many good thoughts! Thank you for sharing some great ideas!
Another great one that you will love (as you really seem to like waterfalls) is Sweet Creek Falls by Mapleton. You take Highway 126 from Eugene toward the coast (we went to Florence a lot using 126, which you probably did too!), and there is a left turn just before you get to the T in the road. It is about a ten-mile detour to get there, but totally worth it. There is parking at the trailheads, so no worries there. The grade is pretty easy, but seriously rewarding– it is lush, green, and a seemingly unending set of waterfalls (it has been too long for my guesstimate to be anything akin to accurate). You feel like you are walking in Rivendell and you want to take pictures of all of them, but the best (IMHO) is at the very end. Here’s more info: http://www.eugenecascadescoast.org/7-waterfalls/sweet-creek/
P.S.: I also did Spencer Butte when I was at college, so it made me happy to see it on here ^_^
Thank you for sharing!! I am interested in any hikes that would be acceptable for treking along with a baby in a pack?! I live on the other side of the river (Vancouver) and love Gorge hikes! I just only know of semi difficult ones, and am anxious to try new ones with my babe who loves outdoors as much as I do!
I’ve only been to Silver Creek Falls so far, but those are some stunning locations. Thanks for the suggestions! I’ll have to keep them in mind for the next time I visit Oregon!!
I loved this article and have hiked many of the ones you mentioned. Also, you will LOVE Crater Lake. When you make the trip next time, if you go through Medford, a few of the local favorites are Roxyanne and Table Rock. Both are great and have amazing views.
Don’t forget Saddle Mountain! It is beautiful on a foggy day early in the morning. At the top some of the peeks of other mountains come and break through the fog.
Also there is a hidden trail down at the Spruce Run Campground. Near Saddle Mountain,there is the trail to Lost Lake. That one is somewhat difficult but a great adventure.
Thanks for sharing! Could you please tell me which of these or more would work for July? Coming from Israel :)
this is just amazing spring falls, i have witnessed beautiful fall of oregon. this is very beautiful place for backpacking and i would like to visit there.
You need to come over to the other side of the state as well! Check out the Eagle Cap Mountains…..so many beautiful hikes over here too!
I live in Eastern Oregon in La Grande. This area has hundreds of trails and beautiful falls and lakes. Come check us out. Hurricane creek and Van Patton lake are some of my favorites. We are situated between three mountain ranges. The Blue’s. Elkhorn’s and The Eagle Caps.
Cougar hot springs and the three sisters trail, both stunning hikes and amazing locations!!
Fish Lake at the head of the South umpqua river! 1 mile steep hike down to lake, worth the trip