Thanks to low snow and warmer, sunnier days than usual, spring came early to Oregon this year. That may have left a lot of skiers and snowboarders with frowns, but hikers anxious to hit the trails for some springtime refresh are getting a head start on their mileage for this year.
Here’s a look at four not-to-be missed Oregon spring hikes. Take advantage of Oregon’s early spring on these classic and scenic strolls!
Distance: About 5 miles roundtrip
It’s hard to beat a beautiful spring day on the Oregon Coast, and this enjoyable hike is one of the best ways to make a memory out of it. The hike meanders through a towering coastal forest, with sounds of the Pacific never far off, and opens up at the end to some truly jaw-dropping expanses of Oregon’s beautiful coastline.
Image by Jacopo Werther via Wikimedia
Distance: Up to 8.7 miles
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
This favorite Oregon state park is an incredible place throughout the year, but springtime at Silver Falls can be especially magical. The waterfalls here — there are 10 along this fairly flat trail — gush with spring runoff, and the surrounding forest is lush with the verdant greenery and wildflowers of the season. Shorter walks can be strung together with various trail cutoff options, too.
Distance: 3.6 miles roundtrip
Named for Oregon’s famed governor, Tom McCall, this hike offers up springtime bliss in the form of brilliant wildflowers, expansive views of the Columbia River Gorge and in-your-face vistas of Mount Hood and Mount Adams. You’ll have to leave Fido at home for this one — no dogs allowed — but you’ll want to be sure to have your camera along for some dramatic panoramas.
Distance: 10.2 miles roundtrip
This is not the hike to start your spring season off with. Steep, long and relentless, Mount Defiance is instead one to put on your list if your goal is to get prepped for some serious alpine adventures later this spring or summer. At 4,800 feet, Defiance’s elevation gain is almost the same as climbing Mount Hood or Mount St. Helens, so if you can knock it off — and enjoy the amazing view from the summit — you’ll have a good idea of what you’ll need in terms of physical fitness for some of the major Cascade peaks.