Get started hiking on these 5 easy yet beautiful trails near Portland!
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.
Admittedly, the world-classness of everything in the Pacific Northwest can be a bit intimidating. Mount Hood is one of the deadliest mountains in the United States, the steep, technical mountain biking trails are renowned for their difficulty, and trail runners routinely tackle races of 100 miles (or more). Thankfully, these deep forests are also home to beautiful, easy hikes that will beckon you to dip your toes into the world of hiking, wading a little bit deeper every single weekend.
Trillium Lake is a great place to start. This 1.8-mile loop follows flat trails and boardwalks around a pristine alpine lake, affording stunning views of Mount Hood towering high above.
Multnomah Falls is renowned as the tallest waterfall in the state of Oregon, measuring an impressive 620 feet tall. While the hike to the top is a bit steep, it's all paved and non-technical.
Closer to Portland, Mount Tabor, Powell Butte, and Oaks Bottom all offer beautiful close-to-town hikes.
And these are just the highlights! As you begin exploring the wide range of trails around Portland, you'll discover a lifetime of adventure hidden in the beautiful rainforests of the PNW!