Bridges, books and breweries; what's not to love about Portland?

Oregon's largest city also sits on the doorstep of near-limitless trails thanks to its proximity to the Columbia River Gorge. This #PNWWonderland offers hikers gorgeous woodland, heart-pumping elevation gains (hello stunning views!) and waterfalls galore. Here are 10 awesome trails to consider when visiting "The City of Roses."

Note: In fall 2017, the Eagle Creek Fire destroyed nearly 50,000 acres of forest, taking almost two months to contain. The state anticipates Eagle Creek-area trails should re-open for summer 2018. Before setting out, hikers are best advised to double-check current trail conditions and alerts


Mt. Tabor,


photoBrett Chalupa Flickr cc by 2.0

Length: 2 miles round-trip (3.2 km)
Elevation gain: 350 ft (106 m)
Difficulty: Easy
Trailhead: Lincoln Street

Get a good view of Portland proper by ascending centrally-located Mt. Tabor. This urban loop trail traces an extinct volcanic. You'll share the trail with runners, cyclists, strollers and dogs, so practice good trail etiquette.


Distance from Portland: 5 miles (8 km)


Wildwood Trail,

Forest Park

photoErnie Tyler Flickr cc by nd 2.0

Length: 30.2 miles end-to-end (48.6 km)
Net elevation gain: 2,800 ft (853 m)
Difficulty: Easy
Trailhead: Wildwood Newberry Trailhead - Pittock Mansion - Washington Park

Hikers who want to stick close to town while counting some serious steps should head to Forest Park. Located in northwest Portland, the park is home to some 80-some miles of trails. Among those is Wildwood Trail, the park's longest forested urban trail. There are multiple access points beyond the north and south trailheads, letting hikers tackle the trail in shorter sections. Leashed dogs are welcome. 


Distance from Portland: 7 miles (11 km)


Tryon Creek trail system,

Tryon Creek State Natural Area Flickr cc by 2.0

Length: 8 miles total (12.8 km)
Elevation gain: Varies by trail
Difficulty: Easy
Trailhead: Nature Center parking lot

Just outside of Portland lies Tryon Creek State Natural Area, a popular escape that offers hikers a trail system that weaves through pretty woodland. Tryon is beloved by birders and known for its iconic Pacific trillium flowers. A trail system of well-marked, interlacing trails means visitors can simply follow their boots. Leashed dogs are welcome. 

More informationtryonfriends.orgtrail map 

Distance from Portland: 7 miles (11.2 km)


Latourell Falls, 

Guy W. Talbot State Park

headerIan Sane Flickr cc by 2.0

Length: 2.4 miles round-trip (3.8 km)
Elevation gain: 625 ft (190.5 m)
Difficulty: Easy
Trailhead: Parking lot along the Historic Columbia River Hwy, Corbett

Visitors who don't want to travel too far into the Columbia River Gorge for a waterfall hike might venture to pretty-as-a-picture Latourell Falls. These falls tumble some 224 feet and are framed by lichen-covered columnar basalt formations. Thanks to its accessibility, Latourell Falls is a well-trafficked, popular trail; hikers seeking some solitude will have to venture further up the Gorge to shirk the crowds. 


Distance from Portland: 30 miles (48 km)


Angel's Rest,

Western Gorge

photoBill Automata Flickr cc by 2.0

Length: 5 miles round-trip (8 km)
Elevation gain: 1,500 ft (457 m)
Difficulty: Moderate
Trailhead: Parking lot located between E. Bridal Veil Rd and Historic Columbia River Hwy

The name says it all. From the summit of Angel's Rest, admire panoramic views some 2,000 dizzying feet above the river below. This out-and-back trail leads to an exposed bluff that offers stunning 270-degree views of the Columbia River Gorge. Hikers will also be able to see Beacon Rock and Silver Star Mountain from this vantage point.


Distance from Portland: 27 miles (43 km)


Horsetail, Ponytail & Triple Falls,

Western Gorge

photobrandon schauer Flickr cc by sa 2.0

Length: 4.4 miles round-trip (7 km)
Elevation gain: 680 ft (207 m)
Difficulty: Moderate
Trailhead: Horsetail Falls parking lot off Historic Columbia River Hwy (Exit #35)

A trio of falls invite hikers to chase waterfalls on this out-and-back trail. First up is the 176-ft Horsetail Falls. Next, take Gorge Trail to admire the 80-ft Ponytail Falls (which hikers can sneak behind). Pass through Oneonta Gorge slot canyon before wrapping the excursion at Triple Falls.   


Distance from Portland: 32 miles (51 km)


Multnomah Falls to Devil's Rest,

Western Gorge

 haederJohn Fowler (away) Flickr cc by 2.0

Length: 8.4 miles round-trip (13.5 km)
Elevation gain: 2,368 ft (721 m)
Difficulty: Challenging
Trailhead: Multnomah Falls parking lot

Get ready to feel your calves burn. This strenuous out-and-back trail ascends a staggering 2,000+ feet over 6.75 km. However, hikers are well rewarded with impressive Gorge views along the ridge that leads to the summit. Along the way, pass through pretty forest and by waterfalls that punctuate Multnomah Creek.

Devil's Rest is a good alternative for hikers looking to avoid the crowds of nearby Angel's Rest


Distance from Portland: 29 miles (46 km)


Larch Mountain Crater Loop,

Western Gorge

Length: 6 miles round-trip (9.6 km)
Elevation gain: 1,100 ft (335 m)
Difficulty: Moderate
Trailhead: Larch Mountain Picnic Area (southwest corner of the parking lot)

Larch Mountain Crater Loop brings hikers through a varied landscape: dense forest, wetland and meadows. As the name suggests, the trail leads over a crater. The route is a loop, starting (less traditionally) with a descent before gaining elevation upon return. Dress in layers; this hike is shaded at times.


Distance from Portland: 40 miles (64 km)


Eagle Creek to Tunnel Falls,

Columbia River Gorge

photoChristopher Flickr cc by sa 2.0

Length: 12 miles round-trip (19.3 km)
Elevation gain: 1,640 ft (500 m)
Difficulty: Moderate
Trailhead: Northeast Eagle Creek Loop parking lot

The out-and-back hike from Eagle Creek to Tunnel Falls might be the Gorge's worst-kept secret... for good reason. This popular trail boasts dozens of waterfalls, moss-covered verdant rainforest that the PNW is famous for, and towering basalt cliffs. Pass over footbridges, talus slopes, traverse babbling creeks and a path carved into a cliff, complete with a cable-line for assistance. This hike terminates at Tunnel Falls, a 175-foot cascade. True to its name, hikers can pass through a tunnel that's tucked behind the falls, located nearly mid-way up the span. There are campsites available for those looking to make this an overnight hike.


Distance from Portland: 44 miles (70 km)


Wahclella Falls,

Yeon State Park

photoIan Sane Flickr cc by 2.0

Length: 2 miles round-trip (3.2 km)
Difficulty: Easy
Trailhead: Yeon State Park parking lot near Tanner Creek

Wahclella Falls is a family friendly out-and-back hike. One-mile in, one-mile out, this scenic trail leads to a pretty waterfall that carves through moss-covered rock. Thanks to its short length and accessibility, this trail is a must-do. 


Distance from Portland: 46 miles (74 km)


Are you an avid hiker in the Portland area? 

Let us know which trail is your favourite. 
Comment below! 


Plan your next great adventure with explore!
Off the beaten path locations, tips and tricks, interviews with intrepid explorers and more.