The picturesque Pacific Northwestern state of Oregon offers hikers plenty of lush forests and dramatic gorges and waterfalls to explore.

This state’s beauty offers a wide variety of landscapes to enjoy: the rugged Columbia Gorge and High Cascades regions, majestic Mount Hood, beautiful Crater Lake or the high desert areas around Smith Rock and Bend.

Oregon Hiking Trails

Beginners can start their hiking with one of the many nature trails in parks while experienced hikers can enjoy one of the longer excursions, like the 12 mile journey to South Sister’s peak.

Ten Falls Canyon

Hikers looking for a beautiful day in nature and more hard-core trekkers that want to take it easy for the day will love hiking the Ten Falls Canyon Trail in the largest state park in Oregon.

The trail is maintained regularly, easy to follow and studded with benches to rest on. The entire thing is 10.2 miles long and takes you past a total of 10 magnificent waterfalls. The smallest is 27 feet high and the largest is a staggering 178 feet.

Have even more of an adventure as you walk behind four of the falls – a great way to stay cool on your hike.

South Sister Summit

The third tallest mountain in Oregon is known as the South Sister or Charity Mountain. Although less experienced hikers will find the climb quite difficult, those with mountaineering experience may find it easy.

No expensive mountain climbing gear is necessary to follow the trail all the way to the summit, but hikers should be prepared for the rigorous exercise. This trail is 12 miles long.

Mount Hood

One of the most famous natural Oregon hiking trails is the tallest mountain around: Mount Hood. High altitude trekkers may want to climb the entire 11,239 feet, but there are many other options for less diehard hikers.

Just 50 miles to the east of Portland, Mount Hood offers the South Side Timberline Approach, which is an 8.2 mile trail up the mountain.

This hike is rated as difficult, so make sure you are up to it before beginning.

McKenzie River

Most hikers do not follow the entire 26 miles of the McKenzie River trail from its start by Clear Lake to the McKenzie Bridge.

Mountain bikers frequently handle the whole way and hikers should realize they will share the path with people on bikes as they go. There is a 4 mile route sketched out on the trail that would take the average hiker anywhere from 1 to 3 hours to finish.

The start is in the pines of an old growth forest full of Douglas fir trees. It ends at the unique, turquoise waters of the Tamolitch or Blue Pool.

Kentucky Falls

While many hikes in the mountains and near waterfalls start at a low elevation and go up, Kentucky Falls starts at the top and goes to the bottom instead.

The trail goes by the Upper Kentucky Falls and then drops down past the North Fork Falls and the Lower Kentucky Falls. Make sure you have enough energy for the climb back up to the head of the trail where you begin.

This Oregon hiking trail is approx 6.2 miles in length, which will take the intermediate hiking 1 to 3 hours to finish.