By Michelle Polizzi

In Portland, you don’t have to travel far from the city to experience the best of fall. Whether you want convenience, coastal views or an escape from the crowds, these ten hikes near PDX make it easy to enjoy the colorful changes of the season.

 

Wildwood Trail via Newberry Trailhead, Forest Park

photoMichelle Polizzi

Length: 5.1 miles (8.2 km)
Time: 2.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 531 ft (162 m)

Forest park is one of the largest urban parks in the contiguous United States. This sprawling forest includes 70 miles of trails that wind over mossy bridges and sky-high trees that turn stunning shades of crimson and gold. Start at the Newberry Trailhead to experience a section of the Wildwood Trail, which is the longest in the park.

How to access: Take Newberry Road to the Newberry Trailhead, where you can start on the Wildwood Trail.

Read more: AllTrails

  

Cape Falcon Trail, Oswald West State Park

photoMichelle Polizzi

Length: 4.6 miles (7.4 km)
Time: 3 hours
Elevation Gain: 623 ft (190 m)

Oswald West State Park is the perfect haven for fall adventurers that want both mountain and ocean access. Cape Falcon Trail is one of the most popular hikes in this park. Featuring gigantic trees, clouds of ocean mist and jaw-dropping views of the coastline, it’s easy to see why this is a great fall hike.

How to access: Take US-26 from Portland, then turn left on the Oregon Coast Highway and travel for 13 miles.

Read more: AllTrails

 

Dog Mountain, Columbia River Gorge

Length: 6 miles (9.7 km)
Time: 4 hours
Elevation Gain: 2,825 ft (861 m)

Dog Mountain is a challenging hike that’s guaranteed to work up a sweat. In fall, this trail rewards hikers with stunning views of golden leaves in the Columbia River Gorge. Plus, the season’s cooler weather makes this exposed walk more enjoyable.

How to Access: Take I-84 along the gorge, then exit toward Cascade Locks and stay on WA-14 E until you reach the trailhead in Cook, Washington.

Read more: AllTrails

 

Tryon Creek State Natural Area, Portland

photoMichelle Polizzi

Length: 2 miles (3.2 km)
Time: 1 hour
Elevation Gain: 291 ft (89 m)

Tryon Creek is another favorite fall sanctuary not far from the city. This park has 13 different trails that intersect, but the best way to explore them is to start at the Middle Creek, Cedar and Old Main trail, which is easily accessible from the parking lot.

How to Access: Take I-5 South to Terwilliger Boulevard until you reach the park, which is well-marked with signage.

Read more: AllTrails

 

Angel’s Rest, Columbia River Gorge

Length: 4.5 miles (7.2 km)
Time: 3 hours
Elevation Gain: 1,476 ft (450 m)

Angel’s Rest is great anytime of year, but it’s especially enjoyable in fall because of the changing leaves and minimal crowds. This out-and-back hike is a favorite among local residents. In autumn, you’ll see a mosaic of colors between the dark evergreen trees and those turning gold.

How to Access: Take I-84 to the Historic Columbia River Highway until you reach the trailhead parking lot.

Read more: AllTrails

  

Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain Trail, Clackamas County

photoSean Coyne

Length: 9 miles (14.5 km)
Time: 4 hours
Elevation Gain: 1,709 ft (520 m)

Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain is another gorgeous hike that offers an alpine lake and intimate views of Mount Hood. In fall, patches of red and yellow leaves are visible along the length of the trail and dot the mountainside.

How to Access: Head toward Mount Hood on US-26 E. The trail is on the right side just before Government Camp.

Read more: AllTrails

  

Cape Horn Loop Trail, Columbia River Gorge

Length: 7.5 miles (12.1 km)
Time: 3.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 1,587 ft (484 m)

Cape Horn Loop Trail is one of the closer hikes available in the Columbia River Gorge. With waterfalls, meadows, forests, tunnels and roads, this multi-feature hike offers a chance to see it all in fall. 

How to Access: Head to Skamania County, Washington via I-5 N and WA-14 E.

Read more: AllTrails

  

White River Trail, Mount Hood

photoSean Coyne

Length: 3.4 miles (5.5 km)
Time: 2 hours
Elevation Gain: 688 ft (210 m)

This hike intersects with the famous Timberline Trail to offer gorgeous fall views of Mount Hood. It’s also near the Timberline Lodge, so you can stop for a hot drink and soak in the sights. The high elevation of this hike makes it best accessed in early fall.

How to Access: Head toward Mount Hood on US-26 E.

Read more: AllTrails

 

Lost Lake Loop Trail, Hood River

Length: 3.1 miles (5 km)
Time: 1.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 177 ft (54 m)

This gorgeous trail is one of few alpine lake hikes in the Portland region. In addition to being relatively short and easy, this path guarantees glimpses of gorgeous autumn colors.

How to Access: Take I-84 E towards Lost Lake Road.

Read more: AllTrails

 

Hoyt Arboretum, Portland

Length: 1.3 miles (2 km)
Time: 1 hour
Elevation Gain: 213 ft (65 m)

Hoyt Arboretum is a great place to see gorgeous fall colors when you don’t want to stray far from town. This family-friendly loop hike showcases rare trees like the Siberian Dogwood, which is a deep red color, and the Japanese Larch, a deciduous tree that turns gold and loses its needles in fall.

How to Access: From downtown, take west Burnside Street toward Washington Park. 

Read more: AllTrails

  

 

  

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