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The 10 Most Beautiful Spring Hikes In Oregon

These are my top spring hikes. If you haven't seen the movieyet, then you probably have no idea that one of these breathtakingly beautiful hikes is used in the background during a scene in the movie. It comes as no surprise to me, being my all-time second favorite hike in Oregon.
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1. Abiqua Falls | Scotts Mills, Oregon


If you're looking for a place to escape, with no cell reception, a quick 2.5-mile hike, and formations that could only be made from mother nature herself, Abiqua Falls is the place for you.

A 92-foot fall, secluded and tucked away for only the adventurous. Pack a lunch, blanket, water, a book, a swimsuit (depending on the time of year) and a camera. You will not regret it.


Disclaimer: This is not an easy place to find, with virtually no road markers and an extremely rough terrain to drive over. I recommend a truck/car with 4-wheel drive. 100 percent worth it.

Also: Please do not start a fire. My sister and I stumbled upon this one already lit and simply enjoyed it for what it was. Never leave a human trace when exploring and admiring Oregon's beauty.

2. Smith Rock | Terrebonne, Oregon


If you haven't seen the movie Wild yet with Reese Witherspoon, then you probably have no idea that this breathtakingly beautiful hike is used in the background during a scene in the movie. It comes as no surprise to me, being my all-time second favorite hike in Oregon, located just 20 miles from Bend.

I recommend starting early and completing the Misery Ridge Loop Hike. This hike is not meant for the weak. If explored during the summer, pack plenty of water, and get a head start before the crowds come. Glorious views at the top, nothing short of a workout, with rewarding sights at the top. Many take their dogs and a partner to enjoy this journey with.



3. Silver Creek Falls | Silverton, Oregon


With 10 waterfalls and more than 24 miles of walking trails, this hike might just have it all. Located just outside of Salem, Oregon, this state park is the largest in Oregon. Welcoming all people from beginners to advanced hikers, the South falls is the most visited out of them all.

If you have the time, I highly recommend this hike for anyone ages 1-90. Chances are, if you go at a time where it's not flooded with hikers, you may see deer, bats (at night) and spectacular waterfalls that you can enjoy all to yourself.


4. Angels Rest | Columbia River Gorge, Oregon


Anywhere you may explore on the Gorge, I can promise you, will be a beautiful one. The Gorge is the hotspot for hikes bordering Washington and Oregon, ranging from the simplest of ones... to the tougher, mostly uphill challenges that will even leave the "strong and fit" out of breath.

I recently hiked Angels Rest for the first time last weekend with my sisters and even though it was fairly short (at around 5 miles in total, averaging about an hour and 20 up and back), it was harder than I had expected! It all depends on one's pace, but I was in no mood to slowly stroll along -- I wanted to reach the top and soak in the views.


I would check the forecast before embarking on this hike. The view gazes over the Columbia River Gorge, and to fully experience the sights. It's best to go on a clear, sunny day. Although, for amazing photographs, some would argue that it's more ideal to go on a day with clouds and rain to get stunning pictures of Oregon's spectacular beauty.


There were a ton of people at the top this sunny weekend, so plan accordingly if you want more seclusion. Regardless, sitting at number 4 for my favorite spring hike!

5. Opal Creek | Lyons, Oregon



This magical hike, just off of North Fork Rd, is a one worth checking out. The water's as blue and icy as New Zealand's, and the air as crisp as Oregon trees and rivers constantly provide. This could easily be in my top 3 favorite hikes. There are simply too many amazing ones to correctly order!

This hike is in a remote location, so it is wise to plan accordingly with food, drinks and a compass/map if you plan on doing the entire 7 mile, since cell service will likely not help you in terms of GPS availability. It is $5 for a day pass and I suggest leaving early (as you should in most all hikes). The trail is very simple, not much elevation and has a lot of history with abandoned sheds, old mining equipment and waterfalls and creeks in between. Such a gratifying hike!



6. Butte Creek Falls | Scotts Mills, Oregon


Not far from Abiqua Falls, lies a super charming, easy trail with a waterfall at the top and another promised at the bottom with a spectacular view of the autumn leaves if you go just shortly before winter kidnaps the full bodied full trees. A simple trail in only 2 miles in all it's glory. I hiked this one alone and found it to be very relaxing and passed only two hikers on my way there and back. Definitely recommend it for a short, fun, effortless hike for countless opportunities for beautiful shots.


7. Triple Falls, Horsetail falls, Oneonta & Ponytail Falls | Columbia River Gorge, Oregon/Washington


I count these four as one since they are practically in the same trail if you continue on the Horsetail falls journey. It is an intermediate hike, can be as hard or easy as you want to depending on your stamina and pace. I chose this as my number 7 because it is located in the beautiful Gorge and is unlike anything I have experienced here in Oregon thus far.




8. Drift Creek Falls | Lincoln City, Oregon



With a 240-foot suspension bridge overlooking the falls, this short hike is definitely worth visiting. Just south of Lincoln City, this is a great, easy hike for all ages. At the very bottom of the hike, you can be feet away from the falls and feel the mist from the falls leave droplets on your face. Dog friendly and only 3 miles in duration, take advantage of a sunny day and bring a friend for this breezy one.

9. Mill Creek Falls | Prospect, Oregon




Found by accident, on a mission to see Crater Lake (failed because of the heavy snowfall), we found Mill Creek Falls along the Rogue river. Only about a half mile down from the trail, you will hear the falls and see thousands of trees and rocks surrounding a 173-foot waterfall in what seems to be the middle of nowhere.

Beautiful at nearly anytime of the year, close to the falls you will find an area with "giant boulders" and fresh blue rapids that will clear any mind from daily stressors. I plan on going back on my next mission to Crater Lake with a packed lunch and new tunes paired with a swimsuit and towel.

10. Spencer Butte | Eugene, Oregon



Last but not least, I have to mention my favorite college hike, Spencer Butte. The view is the tallest point visible from downtown Eugene. About 5 miles round trip, this one is easy to hike with friends, family or even alone. You can spend anywhere from an hour to 6, depending on your urgency. This hike brings back beautiful memories and offers a view of a flat, treeless, huge, lovely butte! And because I simply can't resist, being in Eugene: Go Ducks!


These are my top spring hikes. I am adamantly searching for more hikes I have never explored, and with my new move to Portland, I couldn't be more excited!

If anyone needs further information on any of the hikes/trails/waterfalls, comment below and I'll do my best to help!

And of course, if there are any I missed (because there are heaps in Oregon) I would love suggestions! Next on my list are one's near the coast and waterfalls near Central Oregon.

Happy weekend and cheers to the beautiful state we reside in!

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Before You Go

Photo Credit: Kenny Karst / Delaware North at Yosemite Where: Yosemite National Park, California A national treasure, Yosemite National Park’s 1,189 square miles extend through the better part of California’s eastern border. In a park with ten signature waterfalls, prepare for a full-day, strenuous hike as you ascend 2,425 feet to the park’s highest point, the top of Yosemite Falls. Yosemite Falls is divided into three sections, the upper, middle cascade, and lower falls, and while the lower falls are the most popular, the upper falls are the most rewarding with their 360-degree views and challenging terrain. Once at the top, challenge your fears by stepping onto the small platform near the mouth of the falls for the heartbeat-quickening opportunity to look straight down. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Yosemite Guide
Photo Credit: Maroon Bells by Dustin Gaffke CC BY 2.0 Where: Aspen, Colorado As the snow melts, skis are swapped for hiking boots in Aspen, Colorado, as the outdoors set navigate their way through the Rocky Mountains. For the most photogenic hike in Aspen, head to the Maroon Lake Scenic Trail in late spring where a mile-long “out and back” path takes you along the lake and streams to the best view of Colorado’s famous Maroon Bells. When the weather permits, the Maroon Bells reflect off of Maroon Lake, providing a picture-perfect moment. Have your camera ready, as mountain goats and bighorn sheep are often seen grazing along the mountainside. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Aspen and the Roaring Fork Valley Guide
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism/ Where: Keene, New York Cascade Mountain’s hike in the Adirondacks of northern New York sets itself apart from the many trails of the Adirondacks for its accessibility to families looking to introduce adventurous kids to mountain hiking. The summit’s 360-degree views attract visitors year-round, though come late spring, the crowds begin to gather. The 4.8-mile hike round trip brings hikers through a fairly moderate terrain that takes an average of two hours to complete. At the 1.8-mile marker, there’s an opportunity to catch your breath and observe a hint of what’s to come via an open ledge overlooking Algonquin, Colden and Marcy Mountains. Mind your footing as you reach the summit where the bare rock provides the perfect stoop to sit on and take in the sweeping sights of seemingly endless mountains. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Adirondacks and Thousand Islands Guide
Photo Credit: Frankix | Where: Hurricane, Utah One of Zion National Park’s most famous hikes, Angels Landing, provides the most idyllic outlook of the majestic Zion Canyon, reachable via 2 miles of well-maintained and smooth trail before trail conditions become more challenging. Ascending 1,488 feet, the 5-mile trail welcomes hikers of all skill levels, though it is often categorized as strenuous and not recommended for those with a penchant for vertigo. Steep drop offs and narrow paths lead to a section where chains bolted into the rocks provide stability and support on your way to the apex. Upon reaching the ultimate high perch, the deep canyon appears with great grandeur, giving you a chance to catch your breath and proving the hike worthwhile. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Zion National Park Guide
Photo Credit: Yellow Trillium in Smoky Mountain National Park by Jim Sorbie CC BY 2.0 Where: Gatlinburg, Tennessee Straddling the border of Tennessee and North Carolina, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with its remarkable scope of plant and animal life, is America’s most visited national park. The estimated 187,000 acres of mountainous forest have long been a hiker’s paradise with miles of paths built around the area’s wildflowers. Each year the flower season kicks off with the annual Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage (April 21-25, 2015), a five-day celebration of the area’s plentiful wildflowers featuring history walks, seminars, and photographic tours through the mountains’ trails. For the most accessible viewing of the spring wildflowers in the park, start with the Cove Hardwood Self-guiding Nature Trail, a ¾ mile loop where the mountain laurel, rhododendron and flame azaleas will take your breath away. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Smoky Mountains Guide
Photo Credit: Wapsipinicon Stream by Matthew Hoelscher CC BY-SA 2.0 Where: Anamosa, Iowa The cornfields of Iowa (covering approximately 90 percent of Iowa’s land) make way for the natural, simple splendor of Wapsipinicon State Park, near Anamosa, Iowa. Known for the National Motorcycle Museum, Anamosa has been home to J&P Cycles, the world’s largest aftermarket motorcycle parts and accessories store, since 1979. Head a few miles south of the town to Wapsipinicon State Park this spring where the 1.4-mile trail provides the perfect touch of nature along the Wapsipinicon River bank. The park’s small caves are open for exploring (notably the bowl-shaped Horse Thief Cave and the Ice Cave), and the streams throughout the trail provide the perfect opportunity for kids of all ages to jump in for a splash. Be on the lookout for the many deer that populate the park along with the native wild turkeys gobbling and busy beavers constructing their dams. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Iowa Guide
Photo Credit: Drewthehobbit | Where: Franconia, New Hampshire New Hampshire’s White Mountains cover about a quarter of the state of New Hampshire and feature some of New England’s most beloved natural and manmade treasures. Immerse yourself in the green mountainsides with the well-plotted Franconia Ridge Traverse, an 8.9-mile summit loop trail that brings you to two mountain peaks, Mount Lincoln and Mount Lafayette, as well as the smaller, Little Haystack. The trail narrows at points providing a challenge best for intermediate hikers with a payoff worth the effort, as the White Mountain’s green panorama is unmatched in the region. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s White Mountains Guide
Ferrerphoto |
Photo Credit: View from West Observation Tower, Blue Mound State Park by benet2006 CC BY 2.0 Where: Luverne, Minnesota Whether you’re in need of a break from traveling along Interstate 90 or find yourself in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Minnesota’s lesser-known Blue Mounds State Park is an expansive 1,830 acres perfect for a day’s hike. You’ll want to start at the Sioux quartzite cliff, a 100-foot natural formation that geologists have been able to trace its history to over two million years ago. A herd of bison are native to the park and can be seen feeding on the freshly grown spring grass, and while elk, wolves, deer, and prairie chicken have been known to make appearances on paths. The 13-mile trail is good for a day exploring the rich prairie-dominated landscapes of America’s heartland. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Minnesota Guide
Photo Credit: Mike Morrison Where: Arlington, Washington Springtime’s arrival brings the Boulder River Hike back to life as the rivers and waterfalls rush with the newly melted snow and spring rains. The hike is considered a family trail as its low-grade terrain and wide paths cater well to children. The 8.6-mile round trip along the Boulder River features plenty of picture-perfect waterfall lookouts and a nice spot to take a breather and enjoy lunch along the river. Starting on the path of an old logging railroad track, the trail rambles alongside the bustling waterfalls with signature landmarks along the way including an old-growth tree made for hugging and the striking unnamed double waterfall. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Washington Guide
Photo Credit: Lady Bird Johnson Grove by Ka!zen CC BY 2.0 Where: Redwood National Park, California Standing among the tallest trees in the world, there’s a humbling sense of nature’s energy as you enter the thick forests of Redwood National Park. Start with the Lady Bird Johnson Grove, one of the park’s most popular trails, which is a 1.4 mile trail in the upland section of the park and 1,200 feet above sea level. Not far from the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center, enjoy an accessible hike free of noisy traffic, starting with the footbridge from the parking lot and looping through the bright and colorful forest. For the complete Redwood experience, be sure to explore one of the lowland trails in the afternoon. Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Redwood National Park Guide

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