The secret is out: Oregon’s spectacularly beautiful scenery delivers some of the nation’s best hiking. Beat the onslaught of fellow trekkers by hitting the road extra early to embark on a breathtaking sunrise hike. (Safety tip: If you are hiking before daybreak, arrive prepared with headlamps and any other necessary equipment.)
Powell Butte Nature Park
Witnessing the sunrise from an extinct cinder cone volcano (that lies conveniently within Portland’s city limits) is definitely one for the memory books. The 611 acres (247 hectares)of Powell Butte Nature Park are crisscrossed by several different trails, allowing you to design your perfect hike. Climb 600 feet (183 m) to the butte’s highest point to see Mount Hood and other peaks; the mountain finder on Summit Lane will assist with any identification debates. The park opens at 5 a.m., just in time to catch those first golden rays.
Kelley Point Loop
If a beach towel sounds like your ideal sunrise vantage point, head to Kelley Point Park at the very tip of North Portland, where the Willamette and Columbia Rivers converge. Mount Saint Helens and Mount Hood make cameo appearances at points along the 1.7-mile (2.7 km) loop through a cottonwood grove. Keep your eyes open for seabirds as you settle down by the water’s edge for a front row seat to nature’s morning show. Stay a while to take advantage of the cool water on a scorching summer day.
Head 70 miles (113 km) northwest of Portland for eye-popping 360º views from Saddle Mountain’s 3,290-foot (1,003 m) summit. Although steep at times, the 2.5-mile (4 km) hike to the top promises majestic views of the Pacific Ocean’s blue expanse, Washington’s Mount Rainer and everything in between.
From the fishing city of Astoria to the tide pools of Yachats, the Oregon Coast is a rugged, unspoiled treasure that begins 90 minutes from Portland.
Mount Hood offers scenic recreation ranging from camping, hiking and fishing to nearly year-round skiing.
Starting just 30 miles east of Portland, the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area offers amazing vistas, trails and more than 90 waterfalls.
Only 90 minutes from Portland by car, Rowena Plateau has it all: flowers, wildlife and gorgeous Columbia River Gorge views. Clocking in at a little over 2 miles (3.2 km) out and back, this plateau hike is ideal for those seeking minimal exertion while reaping maximum sunrise rewards. It’s a doable hike for families, so hustle the whole gang out the door and watch in awe as the sun illuminates the gorge below. Unfortunately, your furry friends will have to stay home for this one.
Also 90 minutes east of the city, Dog Mountain is an enduring favorite of Portlanders despite its Washington state locale. While the full length of the hike stretches 7 miles (11 km), for a hike this early, we recommend stopping off at the lower viewpoint 1.5 miles (2.4 km) in to watch the sunrise from an elevation of 1,600 feet (488 m). Marvel at the Columbia River glittering below and the blooms during wildflower season. In addition to the Northwest Forest parking pass required to leave your car near the trailhead, each hiker must purchase a $1.50 permit on the weekends between March 31 and July 1.
Lost Lake Loop
It’s difficult to imagine a better place to watch the sun rise than along the perimeter of Lost Lake Loop. The drive from Portland is just under two hours, leading travelers through the Gorge before dipping into Mt. Hood National Forest’s wooded splendor. Avoid the usual summertime crowds by making the drive to Lost Lake extra early; you’ll be rewarded with front row seats to the rosy rays of dawn creeping over Mount Hood and reflecting on the 245-acre (99 hectare) lake below. This 3.2-mile (5 km) loop is easy enough that even sleepy kiddos will be impressed.
Favorite Hiking Spots in Portland
Put on some comfortable shoes and start walking — you’ll be surprised how easy Portland makes it.
Accessible Trails in and Near Portland
Portland and the Columbia River Gorge are filled with hiking opportunities, many of which have Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible portions.
Portland has numerous kid-friendly hiking spots with trails under 4 miles (6 km) close to the city and bursting with natural beauty.
Spring Hikes Near Portland
There’s something special about the first spring hike of the year. Enjoy wildflowers, bird watching and breathtaking scenery on these springtime rambles.
Fall Hikes Near Portland
These fall hikes near Portland prove that autumn is an ideal time to explore Oregon wilderness, admire seasonal flora and fauna, and visit nearby farms.
Every September, spectators gather to see the world’s largest roost of Vaux’s swifts swarm and spiral into the chimney of a Northwest Portland school.
Taking runners along a loop of Portland along the east and west sides of the city’s Willamette River, the Portland Marathon is an excellent way to see a lot of Portland in one great run. The race starts and finishes at Waterfront Park, crossing four bridges and passing by some of the city’s most iconic…
This annual race series consists of paddlers piloting a gaggle of gigantic gourds through a water course.
Portland Institute for Contemporary Art has championed the practice of contemporary artists since 1995. TBA:20 brings together a global audience in a truly contemporary way. For everyone already in the PICA community, and for those attending TBA for the very first time, PICA invites you to join them in witnessing works by artists from around…
Join The Oregon Garden for the Opening Day of Art in the Garden. This will be an opportunity for you to wander the garden, check out art installations, chat with the artists and enjoy a complimentary mimosa too. Local artists will showcase their handcrafted pieces throughout the summer, giving guests an opportunity to purchase new…
World-famous pinot noirs, crisp chardonnays and sweet rieslings are just a taste of the dozens of wines that Oregon has to offer. On this adventure through the rolling hills of the Willamette Valley, you’ll visit three carefully selected vineyards. Guests will partake in tasting flights and experience a behind-the-scenes view of viticulture.
The Portland Walk to End Colon Cancer is a family friendly, hope-filled fundraising event created by the Colorectal Cancer Alliance that includes a 5K walk and a 1-mile turnaround to make it inclusive for all abilities. It’s a chance for anyone who’s been affected by colorectal cancer to come find strength and support, collectively. All…
Join a walking tour that takes groups around, across, under, and inside the unique and storied spans that shape life in Portland. Strolling along the waterfront the tour will cross several bridges, pausing at the Morrison Bridge to meet the bridge operator and see the view from the control tower. The tour may then head…
The Foundation for Tigard Tualatin Schools presents their Ninth Annual Twilight Run, in partnership with RunSignUp and the Tigard Festival of Balloons. The 5K Twilight Run follows a flat and fast course along the beautiful bike trails. As you race towards the sunset, you will be surrounded by the wonders of the park and excitement…