When considering the best day hikes in Oregon, there are many options that you can go with. With the beautiful variety of landscapes and terrain available, there is sure to be something for everyone. Whether you enjoy hiking mountains, river trails, or rough terrain or snow, there are literally hundreds of places to enjoy in the Beaver State.
One of the best known day hikes in Oregon is the South Sister Summit. Part of the Cascade Mountain Range, this is one of the top three highest mountains in the state. While the hiking can be strenuous, the route is fairly simple. Trails lead right to the summit for some of the best vistas in North America. One of the great things about this hike is that it can be done without any type of special equipment, and it comes in at around 12 miles.
Ten Falls and Canyon
Another hike worth checking out is the Trail of Ten Falls/Canyon Trail. This is a fairly easy day hike and is a little over 10 miles in length. This hike is for the normal hiker out looking for great scenery and a relaxing journey. Half a day should be sufficient to complete the hike in its entirety. On your way, enjoy the breathtaking waterfalls that you even can walk behind. With multiple rest areas, this is one of the best day hikes in Oregon for the whole family.
Mt. Hood is another top option in Oregon. Ranging a little over 8 miles, this one has another route for skiers. Known as the tallest mountain in the state, Mt. Hood also takes the prize for the highest volcano. This wonderful climb offers a range of challenges for the novice and experienced hiker alike. More than 10,000 people per year attempt to climb the state’s most imposing mountain.
The McKenzie River Trail is 4 miles long and is very well known to mountain bikers, but it is a great one for hikers as well. This is probably one of the more family-friendly trails and is very easy to hike. Take in the great view of the river which is over 26 miles long, and eventually you will come across an old lava flow. If you choose to swim in the river, beware that the river temperature can be rather frigid, even in the summer.
Kentucky Falls is one of the best day hikes in Oregon for those that enjoy swimming, with three beautiful waterfalls to look at. The beginning of the hike takes you down the hill, so bear in mind that the return trip will be uphill! Along the way there are spots that serve as great little swimming holes, but again, water temperatures remain quite cold year round, so make sure you test the water before you dive in.