The wet, misty rainforests of the Pacific Northwest are home to thousands of miles of fantastic hiking trails!
The Pacific Northwest is unlike any place in the world. Towering trees dominate the landscape, and above their vaulted canopy rise glaciated volcanoes visible from hundreds of miles around. The understory of the rainforest is covered in brilliant-green ferns, moss-covered logs, and singletrack trails soggy from the constant rain. Drizzle and mist filter down through the forest canopy, and walking through the fog, ferns, and trees can feel like a trip back in time to a prehistoric era.
The city of Portland is renowned as the gloomiest city in the Lower 48, with 222 gloomy days, according to Move.Org. It's second only to Anchorage, with 239 gloomy days per year. While the amount of rain and cloud cover may seem to be a deterrent from heading outside, the city of Portland serves as a gateway to an absolutely world-class outdoor mecca in the greater Mount Hood region. Local residents aren't content to stay indoors, and the population is fit, active, and adventurous. The region offers world-class opportunities for downhill skiing, mountaineering, rock climbing, mountain biking, kiteboarding, stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, trail running, and of course, hiking.
While the climate may be wet, the Pacific Ocean moderates the temperature dramatically in the lower elevations. Even in the depths of winter, it's exceedingly rare for Portland to receive snow, and temps generally hover in the low 40s. Consequently, hiking and trail-based sports are true year-round activities in the PNW. Many of the hikes in this guidebook are accessible without snowshoes all year, while some of the higher elevation hikes can easily receive over 20 feet of snow per year.
If you're looking to escape the press of civilization and the rat race of suburbia, dive into this guidebook for a roundup of 10 of the best hikes in the greater Portland area.
Some of the hikes listed here, like Tamanawas Falls, will require a bit of a drive to reach them. Others, like Willalatin Ridge, can be found right in town in Forest Park. At over 5,100 acres, Forest Park is one of the largest urban forest reserves in the country. (Source)
Standout trails on this list include the Trail of Ten Falls, which passes 10 thundering waterfalls in less than 8 miles of hiking. Multnomah Falls is the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon, measuring 620 feet tall. For views of Oregon's favorite mountain (Mount Hood), head to either the peak of Tom, Dick, and Harry Mountain or simply walk the easy loop around Trillium Lake.
The Pacific Northwest is filled with thousands of miles of trails to explore! Whet your appetite on these highlights near Portland, then go forth and explore the rest of this magical corner of the USA!