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Best Fall Hikes Near Portland

10.05.16

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Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
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  • Upper Cape Horn Trail.- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
  • Cape Horn Trail.- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
  • Bigleaf maple (Acer marcophyllum).- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
  • Cape Horn Upper Trail: Bigleaf maple (Acer macrophyllum).- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
  • A view of Mount Adams (12,281') from Ape Canyon.- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
  • Hiking in the Opal Creek Wilderness.- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
  • Hiking along Opal Creek.- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
  • Maple in Hoyt Arboretum.- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
  • Trestle bridge on the Upper Salmonberry River Trail.- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
  • Crustose lichens on alder trees.- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
  • Fallen leaves provide a vibrant foreground to Middle North Falls, Silver Falls State Park.- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
  • Lower South Falls before this massive oak tree fell, forever changing the scene.- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
  • South Falls through the thick, fall leaves.- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
  • Low flow during some autumns allows for a more accessible view of Punchbowl Falls.- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
  • Majestic Falls in McDowell Creek Falls County Park at low autumn flow.- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
  • McDowell Creek below lower McDowell Creek Falls in fall.- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
  • Crystal Falls below Majestic Falls clad in fall colors.- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
  • Be sure to check out the creek below the Historic Columbia River Gorge Highway.- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
  • The Maple Trail leaves from Saltzman Road.- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
  • St. Johns Bridge from a viewpoint at the junction of Saltzman Road and Leif Erikson Drive.- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
  • At its southern tip, the Maple Trail joins the Wildwood Trail before looping back.- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
  • Japanese maple tree at the Japanese Garden.- Best Fall Hikes Near Portland
Article
Team

Fall is a beautiful time in Portland, and you should definitely get out and see some of the amazing fall colors in the area. Nature adds orange, red, yellow, and purple to the greens, blues and browns of the summer months. The best places to watch colors change are anywhere you find deciduous trees. Aspen, bigleaf maple, and western larch are a few of the most transformational trees. Here are seven of my favorite fall hikes near Portland, but be sure to explore the featured adventures below for other great options close to the city.

Cape Horn Loop Trail

The Cape Horn Loop is one of the closest sections of the Columbia River Gorge to Portland on the Washington side of the river. Bigleaf maples abound, and leaves crunch underfoot for the majority of the hike. Even in the rain, this trail is a joy to hike on. 

Ape Canyon Hike

The Ape Canyon hike, not to be confused with Ape Caves, is one of the most spectacular hikes in the Mount St. Helens area. This hike will lead you through an old-growth forest of colorful vine maples to stunning views of Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams. 

Opal Creek Hiking Trail

The peak summer crowds from this popular swimming hole have dwindled by October, but the colors of the old-growth forest are nothing short of spectacular. The vibrant color of the water paralleled with the changing leaves make this gem worth the drive.

Hoyt Arboretum

If you're looking for something right in town, the Hoyt Arboretum is your best bet. Along the 12 miles of hiking trails you'll see over 10,000 individual trees and plants representing 1,000 different species from around the word. Forest Park is a close second for fall colors in the city.

Upper Salmonberry River Trail 

The Salmonberry Corridor follows 86 miles of the Port of Tillamook Bay Railway, passing through a remarkable Coast Range landscape of wild rivers and Oregon coastline before it ultimately ends at the town of Tillamook. The trail includes unique tracks, trestles, and tunnels, and it may not be ideal for those with a fear of heights. 

Silver Falls State Park

This is another one of those "just can't get enough" type of trails. Gorgeous year-round, Silver Falls State Park is potentially at its finest in the fall. Fewer crowds, grander colors, and 10 beautiful waterfalls make hikes in this park some of my favorites.

Hiking the Eagle Creek Trail

This is no doubt one of the most-loved trails in the Columbia River Gorge, and it's certainly worth visiting in the fall. The spawning salmon in the river adjacent to the trail and the thick, colorful forest bring a new feel to this popular trail. 

If you have more time to explore other areas of the Pacific Northwest, check out or Favorite Fall Hikes in Oregon and Hikes for Fall Colors in Washington.

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