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Best Hikes near Hood River, Oregon

Explore the incredible hiking opportunities surrounding Hood River, Oregon.

Hiking Easy, Moderate, Difficult

Laurance Lake
Photo: Greg Heil


The town of Hood River occupies a unique geographical location. On one side of town, the mighty Columbia River flows through a deep gorge on its way to the Pacific Ocean. On almost any given day, windsurfers flock to the river thanks to the vertical walls that funnel ripping winds down the canyon, creating one of the best windsurfing destinations in the country. Beyond the river, Mount Adams forms an imposing backdrop, and on a clear day, you may even see Mount Saint Helens and Mount Rainier in the distance.

On the other side of town, the massive volcano of Mount Hood soars straight into the sky, its upper slopes covered in the bright white of glaciers. In between Hood River and Mount Hood, verdant valleys are home to countless vineyards, and rolling hills lead to foothill mountains covered in the massive pine forests that Oregon is known for.

All throughout this varied landscape, you’ll find trails: rocky tracks clinging to the canyon walls above the Columbia River, loamy trails of dark black dirt running beneath the towering forest canopy, steep climbs to the peaks of mountains, and almost every other trail variant you can think of. Yes, Hood River provides a nearly overwhelming array of trails to choose from!

In this guidebook, you'll find a deep cut of the best hikes near Hood River. You'll find long-distance ultra-classics, such as the Timberline Trail circumnavigating Mount Hood and several nearby sections of the Pacific Crest Trail. The close-to-town peak climb of Mount Defiance might seem smaller, but at almost 5,000 vertical feet, it is still a formidable challenge!

Hood River is rich with intermediate hikes that can easily be accomplished in a half-day while still reaching incredible views. Two of the most famous are Tamanawas Falls and the hike above Laurance Lake, but the lesser-known Syncline trails above the Columbia River Gorge are also worth investigating.

Finally, there are plenty of short, easy hikes leading to spectacular views—mostly waterfalls—to choose from. The Starvation Creek Waterfalls hike serves up four waterfalls in just two miles, and Wahclella Falls is a perennial favorite. Finally, Catherine Creek Arch on the opposite side of the gorge reaches a rare (for this region) arch formation while also serving up incredible views of Mount Hood.

No matter which trail you choose, it's tough to go wrong while hiking in Hood River!

Routes included

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