The 5 Best Rainy Day Hikes Near Portland

Hiking Wednesday, May 18, 2016 Written by

Rainy days are inevitable in the Pacific Northwest, but they don’t have to keep you from hiking. Near Portland, there are plenty of great trails to hit despite the rain—in fact, many of them are made even more enchanting by the dampness. With scores of great options nearby, here are our best picks for rainy day hikes near Portland.

rainy day hikes near portland

5 Rainy Day Hikes Near Portland

  1. Oxbow Park and Sandy River Gorge

    The Sandy River offers a wilderness-like forest just 30 minutes from Portland, with 800-year-old living trees, petrified trees even older and spawning salmon. The river is designated as wild and scenic, so there’s plenty to see on the 12 miles of trails that run near it in Oxbow Park. And Sandy River Gorge, some 700 feet deep, is a great destination inside the park.

  2. Drift Creek Trail

    One of the more gentle rainy day hikes near Portland, this trail wanders alongside the pool-and-drop Drift Creek in the fern-studded Siuslaw National Forest. This great hike traverses a 240-foot cable suspension bridge—100 feet above ground—that will get your heart thumping and takes you to stunning Drift Creek Falls. The trail is well maintained and just three miles round trip.

  3. Columbia Gorge

    There are scores of excellent trails in the Columbia River Gorge, all of which are easily accessible on a day trip from Portland. The side canyons are verdant and feel primordial in the rain. Waterfalls abound and are made even more enchanting with the dampness. Hikes vary in length so you can choose what suits you based on your fitness level and time commitment. Among the best are the Tunnel Falls Hike and Wahclella Falls.

  4. Opal Creek

    The gorgeous canyon and old growth forest of Opal Creek east of Salem include two great rainy day hikes near Portland: the 6.6-mile Jawbone Flats hike along the turquoise-hued Little North Santiam and the former mining town of Jawbone Flats, now an outdoor museum of old mining equipment. For a longer ramble, consider the Opal Pool-Cedar Flats Hike, which passes the stunning emerald waters of Opal Creek. It’s possible to loop this trip into the Jawbone Flats hike, too.

  5. Cape Lookout

    Little compares to witnessing the sheer power of a storm barreling into the Pacific coastline. At Cape Lookout, 25 minutes from Tillamook, your options include the five-mile Cape Lookout Trailhead or the Day Use Trailhead which leads to a longer, 9.6-mile hike.

Have any favorite trails you like to hit for rainy day hikes near Portland? Let us know on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!