If you're an outdoor enthusiast and love the thrill of mountain climbing, then Oregon is the place for you. With its many mountain trails and varied terrain, Oregon offers something for everyone. In this article, we will discuss 10 of the best mountain trails in Oregon for climbers of all levels. So pack your camping gear and get ready to explore some of the most beautiful scenery in the country.
10. Mount Hood Lake Trail (Portland Oregon)
Located about 50 miles on the eastern side of Portland, Mount Hood reaches a whopping 11,239 feet above sea level. That makes it the fourth highest mountain in Oregon. The Mount Hood Lake Trail is a great option for those looking for a challenging climb. There is a popular Timberline Lodge and parking area that is just about three miles from the peak which makes it a great spot to rest and refuel before heading back down. According to Trek Baron, the trail itself is about seven miles roundtrip and gains about 4000 feet of elevation. It is considered to be one of the more difficult trails on this list. Being close to Portland city, the best route to get here is to take I-84 east and then exit onto Highway 35.
9. Grizzly Peak and Loop (Ashland, Oregon)
The Grizzly Peak and Loop is a great trail for those who want to get a little bit of everything in. You'll start in the forest and then ascend to an alpine meadow. Then you'll climb to the top of Grizzly Peak where you'll be rewarded with stunning views. The Grizzly Peak and Loop sit about 1804 meters high making it a moderately accessible climb compared with some of the other trails on this list. The round trip of the trial is about 3 miles and should take the average person about four hours to complete. This mountain climb is rated as moderate for its elevation gain and distance. The views from the top of the mountain are stunning and well worth the effort to get there.
8. Pilot Rock Trail (Ashland, Oregon)
This trial is located in the Soda Mountains fifteen miles on the southside of Ashland. The peak stands at a height of 1801 meters. Being a basaltic spire that protrudes from the volcanic core, it is a very popular spot for rock climbers. The trail is about three miles long with an elevation gain of twelve hundred feet. This trial is considered to be one of the most difficult trials on the list. The trail starts easy enough with a gradual incline through a forested area. The real challenge begins about two miles in when the incline becomes much steeper. There are a few false summits along the way that can be frustrating but the views from the top are well worth it. Since it is located in a controlled national park, you can be sure that the area is well maintained and safe.
7. Mt. Scott Trail (Chiloquin, Oregon)
Mt. Scott Trail is a great option for those looking for a moderate to difficult hike. The trailhead is located in the Mt. Scott State Park, which is about an hour and a half drive from Portland. The trail itself is about five miles long and takes you to the summit of Mt. Scott, which has an elevation of over eight thousand feet. The views from the top are definitely worth the hike. Standing at 2722 meters high, the peak of Mount Scott is the highest point in the Crater Lake area. You will enjoy wildflower meadows, old-growth forests, and views of the Cascade Range from the top. The trail is open from late June to early October and is best accessed from the East Rim Drive.
6. Munra Point Trail (Cascade Locks, Oregon)
Located approximately 37 miles east of Portland, this moderate to difficult trail is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts who are looking for a challenge. The Munra Point Trailhead begins at the junction of Highway 26 and Lolo Pass Road and is about a mile hike to the summit. The trail offers stunning views of Mount Hood, Mount Saint Helens, and Mount Adams. The trail is also home to a variety of wildlife including deer, elk, and coyotes. According to The Broke BackPacker, the Munra Point stands at 553 meters making it the perfect spot for a sunset picnic. If you're looking for an Oregon mountain trail that offers a challenge try Munra Point Trail.
5. South Sister Climb via Devil’s Lake TH (Bend, Oregon)
Considered the third tallest mountain in Oregon, South Sister peak is the highest summit you can achieve without having any technical gear in you. It is a long hike straight up to the top but the views from the summit are worth every drop of sweat. The best time to attempt this climb is during mid-summer when the snow has melted off of the trail. You will hike for about 1.5 miles through a deep forest before you get to the sandy plain. On your right, you will see a turnoff to Moraine lake which is an ideal camping spot. The challenge now begins as you will require to gain about 4000 feet over a mile course. The terrain as you climb up is quite unforgiving with scree and loose rocks. The trail is not well defined in some areas but some cairns help you find your way.
4. Eagle Cap Peak (La Grande, Oregon)
Eagle Cap Peak is the tallest mountain in Oregon's Wallowa Mountains. The peak is located in the Eagle Cap Wilderness and is a popular destination for backpacking, hiking, and mountaineering. The trail to the summit of Eagle Cap Peak is about 14 miles long and gains over 6000 feet of elevation. Most people take 2 to 3 days to reach the summit of Eagle Cap. Being close to Portland, the best way to get here is to drive to Joseph and take the Eagle Cap Tramway up. According to Planet Ware, the trail begins at the top of the tramway and climbs steeply up to the summit of Eagle Cap Peak. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow. There are several camping spots along the way, as well as a few water sources. The views from the summit are breathtaking and well worth the effort it took to get there.
3. Paradise Park at Mt Hood (Portland Oregon)
The Paradise Park at Mt Hood is one of the most popular trails in Oregon. It is a great place to hike, camp, and enjoy the scenery. The trail is about 12 miles long and takes about four hours to complete. The trail is rated as moderate to difficult and is not recommended for beginners. There are several places to stop along the way to take in the views. The trailhead is located at the Mt Hood National Forest. Once you get there, you will get to understand how the park got its name. There are wildflowers, waterfalls, and even a few animals to see. The views from the top of the trail are breathtaking. You can see all of Mt Hood and the surrounding area. If you are looking for a challenge, this is the trail for you.
2. Dog Mountain (Portland Oregon)
Dog Mountain is a great trail for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels. The trailhead is located in the town of Cascade Locks, about an hour and a half from Portland. The trail is about seven miles long and gains about three thousand feet of elevation. The uphill is unrelenting but ultimately ends at an open field filled with amazing blooms in the spring and early summer. In the fall, the mountain offers great views of the Columbia River Gorge.
1. Neahkahnie Mountain (Nehalem, Oregon)
There is no denying that the Oswald West State Park has some of the most amazing scenery on the Oregon Coast. But, if you want to experience all that this park has to offer, then you need to hike up Neahkahnie Mountain. This moderate to strenuous hike will take you through old-growth forests, along the edge of cliffs, and up to stunning views. The 2.5 miles climb is well worth the effort and you can even extend your hike by continuing to Short Sands Beach.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn