5 Bucket List Hikes in Oregon
The state of Oregon offers many beautiful hiking trails. From the scenic Oregon Coast to the lush Willamette Valley and its waterfalls to Central Oregon’s high desert, these are five amazing bucket list hikes you must try in Oregon.
Silver Falls: Trail of Ten Falls
Near: Silverton, Oregon
Distance: 9 mile loop, shorter options also available
Silver Falls State Park has something to suit just about every ambition. The full Trail of Ten Falls loop is about 9 miles and can be accessed from either the North or the South Falls parking lots. This lush, green hike will bring you to 10 different waterfalls – two of which you can actually walk behind.
If you want minimal exertion, take the flat, paved path from the South parking lot to the look-out above South Falls. You’ll have one of the best waterfall views in the State. Continue down the trail .5 miles and you can walk behind the same waterfall.
With appropriate shoes and coats, this hike can usually be done year round. More often than not, the trail gets a bit mucky. If there has been rain any time in the previous week, make sure you wear shoes that can get wet and/or dirty.
Contributed by Intentional Travelers
Paulina Lake Hike
Near: La Pine, Oregon
Distance: 7.8 mile loop
With its turquoise waters and sandy shore, it’s easy to mistake Paulina Lake for the tropics. However, this high alpine lake is the result of the eruption and collapse of the Newberry Volcano that occurred some 75,000 years ago.
Located about an hour and a half from Bend, hikers can enjoy the flat 7.8-mile hike that circumnavigates the lake. During cooler weather, users can take advantage of the shoreside hot springs, thanks to the geothermal activity from the volcano.
Look for the rock pool left by other users on the north side of the lake, about a mile from the resort. Be sure to pack a shovel to create your perfect soaking pool.
If you’d like to camp nearby, there are a few campgrounds or you can opt for some of the backcountry campsites at North Cove Beach.
Contributed by Long Haul Trekkers
Multnomah Falls Trail
Near: Hood River, Oregon
Distance: 1 mile up, or 2.5 mile loop
Another beautiful hike in Oregon is the Multnomah Falls Trail in the Columbia River Gorge. It’s a moderate 2.5-mile loop trail that takes you through some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country, including the most famous waterfall in the state, Multnomah Falls.
At over 600 feet high, it is the tallest waterfall in Oregon! This can be a really wet hike, due to runoff from the waterfalls and the large amount of rain that this area of Oregon receives each year. So be sure to wear the appropriate waterproof hiking gear.
Contributed by Wanderlust Crew
South Sister Hike
Near: Bend, Oregon
Distance: 11 miles out and back
Just 45 minutes outside of Bend, Oregon are three gorgeous sister mountains, aptly named, North Sister, Middle Sister, and South Sister. While South Sister is the youngest of the three, she is the boldest, tallest, and hardest to climb. The trail is about 11 miles in and back out and is not for the faint of heart.
The terrain makes this hike especially hard. As you’re summiting, the ground is filled with moving rock and dirt so for every few steps up, you slide back down a bit. When you finally make it to the top, everything becomes worth it. You get some incredible views of the nearby mountains like Broken Top and Three Fingers Jack, and of course, the two other Sisters below.
I’d highly suggest proper shoes and even a walking stick to make your life easier while doing this hike.
Contributed by: Where in the World is Nina
Cape Lookout Hike
Near: Tillamook, Oregon
Distance: 5 miles
Cape Lookout is a beautiful hike along the Oregon Coast. You start out by descending through pine trees. Eventually the thick trees clear and you discover that you’re at the edge of a large precipice where you can see out along the coast of Oregon.
The hike is not too difficult; the trail is well maintained, and it doesn’t get too steep. The whole trail is 5 miles, although if you’re eager to continue onwards to Tillamook, you can cut it down to 1 mile out and 1 mile back. That’s around when you can start seeing the coastline, which is the biggest draw of the trail anyway.
Contributed by: Renee the Wanderess
What are your favorite hiking trails in Oregon? Please share in the comments to let us know!
Further reading: Best hikes in Central Oregon
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