There are many wonderful hiking trails in Oregon. For those who love the great outdoors there is no better place in America to explore than Oregon. Hiking is great for your mental and physical health. But it can be hard work.
Hiking should be rewarded with spectacular views and peaceful scenery. Hiking in Oregon offers both things and more. Rivers, mountains, lakes and forest, Oregon has it all for hikers who love the outdoor lifestyle.
Today I’m listing the top four hiking trails in Oregon.
Angels Rest to Devil’s Rest Loop Trail
This incredible gorge and mountain combination have been a mecca for hikers in the pacific southwest for many years. Angels Rest and Devils Rest are the result of what happens when flowing water meets a prehistoric lava field.
This trail offers spectacular views and a great payoff of amateur and professional photographers. You’ll find this unique, lollipop loop at the western end of the Columbia River Gorge.
Angels Rest sits some 1,500 feet above the Columbia River. Your camera will get a workout as you hike on a steady incline surrounded by natural wonders only Oregon can provide.
The summit of Devils Rest ironically sits 900 feet above Angels Rest. The view from the summit of Devils Rest isn’t the pay off, its all about the journey. The views east from clifftop perches on the way to the summit are spectacular.
The loop around these locations is nearly 11 miles long and hikers will gain over 3000 feet in altitude. This is not a dangerous hike however I would suggest its best to have some experience under your belt before tackling this trek.
Misery Ridge, Smith Rock State Park
Another option for hikers who have no problems taking inclines, the summit is the reward. At the top you will find 360-degree views of the awesome Smith Rock State Park.
The Reverse Misery Ridge loop is the easiest and most practical route to the summit. You will leave from the visitor center and travel 3.7 miles while rising over 3,300 feet in elevation.
Once at the summit there are several vantage points from which to take in the incredible views. Another mile of trekking at the summit completes your journey with various viewing checkpoints along the way.
There are several other routes to the summit for more experienced hikers and mountain climbers. From the summit you be able to watch other groups find their own ways to reach the top of Misery Ridge. This is the best thing about this location. No route is the same and they each provide unique views along the journey.
Hikers and mountain climbers with adore this trek. Misery Ridge deserves its spot on this list and is a hike you must add to your list when visiting Oregon.
Table Rocks (Upper and Lower)
The Table Rocks are a popular hiking location in the Rogue Valley. Over 45,000 visitors a year flock to the Table Rocks to enjoy the amazing views.
There are two trails for hikers to enjoy. The Lower Table Rock Trail is an easy going, 3.5-mile-long trek that only rises around 700 feet along its path. This is perfect for the novice hiker or those seeking an easy day out.
Upper Table Rock Trail is the shorter of the two trails but does have a slightly steeper incline. Nothing to worry about for beginner hikers however, the incline is only 720 feet over 2.5 miles.
I have written a full run down on this trek, and other activities for nature lovers touring the Rouge Valley, which you can find here
Mirror Lake Loop Trail
Mirror Lake is the biggest swimming hole in Yosemite National Park. The hike around Mirror Lake is fun, easy and has some great views along the way.
The hike is just a 2.4-mile roundtrip from the trailhead and you only gain 100 feet in elevation along the path.
If you are taking it easy the walk will only take around 3 hours to complete. Those in a hurry can see it all in just over an hour.
The payoff at Mirror Lake is the swimming hole. As a result, Mirror Lake is less popular in winter which is the best time to enjoy the hike.
Well worth checking out for those planning a hiking trip to Yosemite National Park. Lock it in for a down day during your stay.
Hiking Trails in Oregon: Conclusion
These are certainly not only five hikes in Oregon worth completing. However, it a list that provides a great mix of difficult, easy and scenic hikes that at worth the effort. If you have other hikes in Oregon that you have completed that you believe are better than these, let me know. Post a comment in the comments section with details regarding your recent hike in Oregon. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Happy hiking!
Daniel Elton, senior editor at Wahu Times, writes about politics and policy with a focus on climate advocacy. Daniel previously at the New Republic and, and Self. Daniel can be reached by email.