HIKE WITH GSI: OUR FAVORITE HIKES IN OREGON
One of our favorite activities is hiking, so this summer we’re sharing our favorite hiking spots in different states! This time we’re focusing on our neighbor state Oregon. With a diverse landscape you’ll get to experience the coast, desert, forests and mountains all in one state!
MISERY RIDGE AND RIVER TRAIL AT SMITH ROCK
When visiting Bend, Smith Rock and Misery Ridge and River Trial are a must. This is a very challenging 3.5 mile loop climbing up Smith Rock. Despite the name, this is a very popular hike in Oregon. You’ll get stunning views of mountains, rivers, and the famous Monkey Face rock. Our pro tip: Take the trail counterclockwise so you get the steep climb out of the way first so you have a gentle decline and walk by the river as your cooldown. Smith Rock is a popular spot for rock climbing so you’ll get to see people freesolo and trad climbing as you go along the trail.
TAMOLITCH BLUE POOL VIA MCKENZIE RIVER TRAIL
This 3.6 mile moderately challenging trail rewards you with a gorgeous gem-like body of water. This hike starts out easy with an old-growth douglas fir forest that eventually reaches old lava flow and finally a steep climb down to the water hole. Tamolitch Blue Pool is so vibrant and clear many think it’s not that deep but don’t let it fool you, it’s 30 ft deep! Accessing the water is not an easy task. You’ll have to club over large rocks and go down a steep hill, so use caution. Although it may seem like the perfect swimming spot, we don't recommend it. The water here is extremely cold. It’s perfect for just dipping your feet in to cool off after the hike.
Toketee Falls will make you feel like you’re frozen in time with its towering columnar basalt rock formations. No wonder it’s known as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Oregon. This easy but rewarding hike is perfect for the family and dogs since there’s very little elevation gain. If you’re in the mood for an adrenaline rush, you can take the steep climb down to the base of the falls. After the hike you can relax at the Umpqua hot springs nearby! Seems like the perfect day to us.
PAINTED COVE TRAIL AT PAINTED HILLS
This may not be everyone's definition of a hike but this boardwalk trail will leave you speechless. The Painted Hills are listed as one of the 7 wonders of Oregon. The Painted Cove trail allows you to experience this famous landmark upclose. This is an effortless walk that will have you feeling like you’re walking through a painting. We ask that you please stay on the boardwalk when on this trail. Damaging the hills is not worth the Instagram pic.
CRESCENT BEACH TRAIL
Another easy hike is Crescent Beach Trail in Ecola State Park. Cannon Beach can get super crowded during the summer but this trail will have you thinking you own your own private beach. You’ll get to pass through a lush green forest, climb up wooden steps and enjoy cliffside views of the ocean and haystack rock. Don’t wear your new favorite shoes because this trail is extremely muddy for a majority of the year.
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Ramona Falls is a great option for those who want a challenge. This 7.1 mile loop leads to a dramatic 120-foot waterfall. The most important thing to note about this trail is the tricky river crossing. The crossing is easiest from mid summer to early fall when the water levels are low. Try calling the local ranger station before going to see if it’s safe to cross. Once you safely get to the falls you can go on the bridge to feel the cool mist on your face. The scenery of this trail is constantly changing so your experience could be different each time!
TRAIL OF TEN FALLS AT SILVER FALLS STATE PARK
That’s right - you’ll get to experience 10 beautiful waterfalls during just one 7.4 mile loop trail. Each waterfall you encounter is unique so the views never get old. One of our favorite parts about this trail is that you can walk behind the South Falls. The view is stunning and is something everyone should go experience at least once! Warning - you will get wet from this. This moderate hike doesn’t have a significant elevation change so it’s good for families with kids who are used to long hikes but you’ll have to leave your dog at home. This is one the the most popular hikes in Oregon so be prepared for large crowds especially on the weekends.