12 Portland Hiking Trails Worth Getting Out Of Bed For
At dawn, the view from the top of Council Crest makes the whole city look like a bed of sparkling jewels nestled in the most verdant valley of an enchanted forest. Sound like a lovely morning? Well here's twelve hikes that will start your day off with a glorious bang.
Pittock Mansion From Lower MacLeay Park
This easy hike is a really more of a lush stroll winding it's way to it's pinnacle at the stately Pittock Mansion, where you can either pay a entrance fee and tour the victorian mansion or just wander the grounds.
Portland's premiere extinct volcano is also one of it's most accessible and captivating hikes. It's gorgeous views span north, south, east, and west and if breathtaking views aren't really your thing, you can also gaze upon three of our cities serene reservoirs, but, for the love of our exasperated city government, do not pee anywhere near them.
Angel's Rest (Columbia Gorge)
Now that the whole "Twilight" thing has run it's course, regular peeps can get back to hiking up to the aptly named Angels Rest without running the risk of finding themselves in the polestar of a horde of teenage sparkly vampire fans.
Larch Mountain Crater Loop
Old growth forest, open meadows full of flowers, and borderline psychedelic foliage make Larch Mountain - also a defunct volcano- one of Portland's best/worst kept secrets.
Aspen Trailhead to Rocking Chair Dam
Set aside a full day for this twelve mile hike; you'll find each mile more beautiful than the next.
A handful of junctions/ short trails lead up to the wide open Council Crest; the showcase one of the most picturesque views in all of PDX. Even if you're not one for the long walk, you can drive right up to Council Crest's mouth and dive into wide expanses of gorgeous views.
Audubon Sanctuaries Loop
A leisurely hike perfect for the family intertwines with educational and inspirational exhibits and learning centers care of the Audubon Society. With multiple sanctuaries and about three miles of trails, this hike is a great way to get to know the northwest.
One of the few "secluded" trails in Forest Park, The Maple Wildwood Loop is at once mere breath away from the city yet a million miles away from everything.
Tolinda-Ridge Trail Loop
Another Forest Park trail, the Tolinda Ridge cuts up the Tualitin Hills and slopes down toward the St Johns Bridge. The brisk 5.9 miles is perfect for trail running or just a moderate hike.
Kelley Point Loop
At the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers is Kelley Point park, one of a handful of sandy beach trails perfect for a hike, or a leisurely day watching tiny waves lap the beige shores.
Wapato Greenway Loop
The choice trail for birdwatchers, especially fans of waterfowl. Sauvie Island has a hike for everyone, and at about 15 minutes from downtown, it feels like another world. The Wapato Greenway loop is especially serene. Regardless of the foot traffic, there is always a. sense of calm, quiet solitude
Crystal Springs-Reed Canyon
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden is a perfect place to spend an afternoon marveling at the colorful flora of the northwest. It's paved trails are as perfect for little feet as they are for low impact jogging or power-walking. Spring time is optimal, though summer and fall are perfectly breathtaking as well.