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 for everybody, many of which have Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible trails.
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.
Founded in 1979, the Shamrock Run Portland is the largest running and walking event in Oregon and is the third-largest running event in the western United States.
The Hippie Chick half marathon, quarter marathon, 5k and kid’s half-mile race returns for Mother’s Day weekend. This female-focused event is designed to celebrate how amazing women are. Grab your mom, your sister, your friend, or your co-worker and register to run through Oregon’s scenic countryside. The route finishes back at Ron Tonkin Field with…
Portland’s most popular fun run, the Starlight Run, is the wacky warm-up act for the Portland General Electric/SOLVE Starlight Parade is starting and finishing on Naito Parkway at Rose Festival CityFair. All runners will get a medal and enjoy free access to CityFair following the race! Other goodies for race registrants TBA.
The Rose Festival is proud to host the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races, an event that has been bringing an exciting Chinese tradition to Portland for more than two decades, beginning in 1989. Held on the Willamette River near the Hawthorne Bridge, the races feature exciting four-team heats held every nine minutes. More than…
A classic Rose Festival event and family-friendly community tradition dating back to 1973, the Milk Carton Boat Race is a spectacle you won’t want to miss. Children and adults race and show off their handmade, human-powered boats that float only by means of recycled milk cartons and jugs. Creatively constructed watercraft will compete in nine…
The annual Harefest music festival in Canby presents the Northwest’s best tribute bands performing on three stages over two days. The Harefest experience has been described by many attendees and performers as “adult summer camp” not only for the fun-loving, good-natured attendees but also because of its rustic location and tent camping around the festival…
Every summer since 2011, thousands of people swim and float in the Willamette River for the annual Big Float event.
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…
Portland Treasure Hunt A $150 cash prize awaits you at the end of this quest to find an ancient and mysterious game. Along the way you’ll encounter a historic house, a cornucopia of craft beers, unusual vocabulary, delicious pastries, a bouncy terrain, and trolls (literally). Encrypted instructions for finding the game will be mailed to…
Treasure Hunters Seek Hidden Gold A one-of-a-kind, solid gold pendant valued at $400 has been hidden in a major Oregon metropolis. Are you a treasure hunter brave, cunning, and erudite enough to decipher the clues and discover the hiding place of the Golden Ass? Mme. Obscura will make the necessary clues available for purchase on…
Drive by or take a stroll past our campground on Duke Street to enjoy thousands of lights, a life-size nativity, and the tallest decorated Christmas tree in Southeast Portland.
Species seen nowhere else in the world, dramatic basalt lava flows nearly a mile deep, and some of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls are a few of the sights that await you on this tour. Experience the grandeur of the Columbia River Gorge, one of the United States’ most photographed National Scenic Areas. Drive along…
Join us for our awe-inspiring, annual Christmas light display and market at the Oregon Garden Resort. Now named the Silverton Christmas Market, this annual event offers a joyous and magical holiday experience for all ages. Stroll along immersive paths draped in one million lights, while sipping a warm, spicy gluhwein during this beloved, annual event….
Mountainfilm on Tour is back. Portland Mountain Rescue, in association with The Mountain Shop, will be hosting Mountainfilm on Tour at Revolution Hall. Enjoy an epic evening watching humorous, exciting and inspirational documentary films while getting in on some of the best raffle packages around. What makes it better? Meeting, mingling and sharing stories with…
A festive, open-air holiday shop, showcasing the season’s brightest amongst the greenery of Pomarius Nursery. Sip, Snack, Lunch, Sweet while you get ready and shop for the holidays,
One of Portland’s favorite winter races, the Holiday Half helps get you in the holiday spirit with gingerbread cookie aid stations and carolers serenading you along the course. Taking place on Swan Island in North Portland, the race offers runners scenic views of the Willamette River (along with photo opportunities with the race’s mascot, Freddi…
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…
The small town of Sweet Home, Oregon, plays host to the Northwest’s premier country music and camping festival, the Oregon Jamboree, held every August. In addition to great entertainment, this family style event hosts RV/tent camping, food booths, beer & wine gardens and kids activities. The mission of the Oregon Jamboree (a 501(c)-3 non-profit) is…
Meet Oregon’s Wine Country. People around the world have fallen in love with its premier pinot noir, and once you’re here it’s hard not to fall in love with the place too. Here you’ll find that communities are tight-knit, talented, and creative. While the country roads are quiet, the sweeping vistas, pods of old-growth forest,…
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