Explore the Cascades on the Best Hikes in Oakridge, OR

Waterfalls, rushing rivers, alpine lakes, mountain peaks, black dirt trails, and massive trees—you'll find all this and more in Oakridge!

Hiking Easy, Moderate, Severe

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Salt Creek Falls
Salt Creek Falls Photo: Greg Heil

Description

While Oakridge, Oregon is best-known as a mountain biking destination, this small logging town halfway between Eugene and Bend is home to an incredible network of singletrack running through the stunning mountains and valleys of the Cascades! Hikers can also find plenty to love about this beautiful area.

First, be warned that you'll find very few amenities here in Oakridge. But if you're willing to look beyond the non-existent food scene, you'll find dark black dirt trails stretching for hundreds of miles beneath the towering pine trees. After miles of hiking, you'll often pop out of the forest onto a rocky mountain peak or into a wide-open meadow and be awed by the expansive views of the Cascades. The mountain ridges and pine forests spread out in an endless sea, giving the impression that the entire world is covered in trees. And if you look carefully, you'll discover thundering waterfalls, crystal-clear alpine lakes, rushing rivers, and so much more.

To start your trip off right, begin with a short walk down to the Salt Creek Falls overlook. This stunning waterfall plunges 286 vertical feet off of a sheer cliff into a beautiful canyon far below, forming the third tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon! If that wasn't enough for you, plan a more rugged and more isolated rock over to Diamond Creek Falls as well.

The most easily-accessible trail from downtown Oakridge is the scenic hike along Salmon Creek. If you want another easily-accessible walk along a river, consider the North Fork trail as well.

Finally, for an epic challenge, try bagging the highest point in the region with this 27.5-mile loop to the top of Diamond Peak. Bring your climbing legs, as you'll have to gain and lose about 5,400 vertical feet!

And if you're willing to head off the beaten path (or deal with mountain bike traffic), you can find dozens of other incredible hikes to explore throughout this region!

Routes included

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