Featured HIKING TRAILS
Near Bend in the Deschutes National Forest, the 12 mile Green Lakes Loop runs through the Three Sisters Wilderness Area in central Oregons Cascade Mountains. This hiking trail follows waterfall-rich Fall Creek about 4.5 miles up and around a massive obsidian flow, which created the basin holding the three small but stunning Green Lakes. When you reach a four-way trail junction, follow your route back if you're just out for the day.
South of Portland and east of Salem in Silver Falls State Park, the Trail Of Ten Falls is a 14 mile round-trip hike into a deep, shadowy gorge through adler, oak and douglas fir groves. Also known as the Silver Creek Canyon Trail, along the route there are 10 major waterfalls with the largest being the 177 foot South Falls.
East of Portland and southwest of Cascade Locks in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, the 13 mile Eagle Creek Trail (#440) runs up a narrow canyon past 11 waterfalls. This is a wide, well-travelled path climbing gently past several water falls through lush, verdant pine forest above Eagle Creek.
Near Ashland in the Rogue River National Forest, the Rogue Gorge Trail is a 3.5 mile route that guides the hiker to a spectacular view of the Rogue River cascading through a constricted channel of basalt lava. The gorge was formed by the erosive action of the river. The small cave on the west wall of the gorge is the end of a lava tube. The trail begins at the Natural Bridge Viewpoint parking lot and travels upriver on the east side of the Rogue River. The Upper Rogue River Trail traverses the west side of the river.
Northwest of Bend and Sisters in the Deschutes National Forest, the Metolius-Windigo Trail is a 120 mile hiking trail the Metolius River headwaters west of Sisters and runs south to Windigo Pass near Crescent Lake. The hiking trail was created around 1980 by linking sections of existing trails, primarily to serve long-distance horse riders seeking an alternative to the Pacific Crest Trail.
Near Joseph in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, the 35 mile Wallowa River Loop is within the Eagle Creek Wilderness. The best trailhead is at Wallowa Lake.
In the 183,000 acre Crater Lake National Park, the Union Peak Trail is a 12 mile round trip hiking trek to a vista of the crater rim passing through groves of hemlocks and red fir. The deep blue Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the US. It was formed from the eruption and collapse of Mount Mazama 7,000 years ago. It is surrounded by a 20 mile rim of cliffs fringed with hemlocks and fir.
Near Terrebonne in Smith Rock State Park, the Perimeter Trail can be combined with Burma Road and the Gray Butte Trail to form a 14 mile round trip route. This hiking trek passes volcanic cliffs and has views of the Cascade volcanoes.
Southeast of Lakeview in the Fremont-Winema National Forest, the Crane Mountain Trail is an 8 mile route. The hiking trail offers nice vistas from the summit of the rugged Granite Mountain (8,357 feet). There are wildflowers lining the trail in July. Crane Mountain Trail is shared with mountain biking and ATV riding, so watch out.
East of Portland and southwest of Cascade Locks in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, the Oneonta Gorge Trail (#424) is a scenic trek up a narrow, mossy, fern covered gorge. Starting from the Columbia River Scenic Highway, you can either hike right up the gorge on a slippery, but scenic, route that will definitely get your feet wet, or you can bypass the most scenic section and take the trail starting a little further west and connect up with the upper section of the gorge.
East of Gold Beach in the Siskiyou National Forest, the Lower Rogue River Trail (#1168) is a 12 mile hiking route that runs through dense old growth Douglas Fir forest with occasional river views. It crosses several private property in-holdings, so make sure to stay on the trail. There are numerous creek crossings.
Near Baker City in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, the 23 mile Elkhorn Crest Trail is a National Recreation Trail and the highest trail in the Blue Mountains, crossing alpine and sub-alpine life zones up to 8,200 feet elevation. Panoramic views of the Baker Valley and the Wallowa Mountains meet the eye to the east, while the endless folds of the Blue Mountains fade away to the south and west.
East of Roseburg in the Umpqua National Forest, the 77 mile North Umpqua Trail is mostly narrow hiking trail on a rolling ridge above the river. This route along the south side of the North Umpqua Trail meaders through old-growth forest. There are 12 primary trailheads supporting this trail, which is divided into segments ranging from 3.5 to 15.7 miles between trailheads.