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Emily Forsha | 03.25.2015

Hiking in spring and early summer is a treasure hunt for colors as wildflowers bloom in the meadows and mountains of Oregon. Look for blossoms on these and other trails around the state.

Columbia River Gorge

Rowena Plateau is an easy, 2-mile round-trip hike across the plateau toward the Columbia River. Look for an explosion of balsamroot, bachelor buttons, and white yarrow. From the same parking lot at Tom McCall Nature Preserve, take the steep climb up McCall Point, which is 3.4 miles round-trip. You’ll see the purple lupine and scarlet Indian paintbrush. The 4.2-mile Ferry Springs Trail in the Deschutes River State Recreation Site is another place in the Columbia River Gorge where you'll be treated to a diverse wildflower display, and you'll have a good chance to see some sunshine in the spring.

Central Oregon

Located on BLM land just north of Terrebone, Scout Camp Loop is a gorgeous springtime desert hike with views of the Deschutes River Canyon. The 2.5-mile loop is steep, but it is worth the trip for sightings of goldthread, yellow bell, and bitterroot. Chimney Rock Trail, also located on BLM land, is a short but scenic 2.6-mile there-and-back trail with a viewpoint overlooking the Crooked River Canyon. The area has impressive spring wildflower displays.

Northern Oregon Coast

The rugged Kings Mountain Trail in the Coast Range is a challenging 5.0-mile round-trip hike. Find beargrass, penstemon, phlox, and the rare phantom orchid. The Nature Conservancy’s Cascade Head Preserve offers a 4.2-mile trail to see rare wildflowers, including hairy checkermallow and the Cascade Head catchfly (99 percent of the world's catchfly population is located on Cascade Head).

Scroll down to watch the video featuring Grant McComie, of Grant's Getaways, showing off the magnificent wildflower display at Rowena Crest.

This content is made possible by a partnership between Outdoor Project and Travel Oregon, the official guide to Oregon travel and tourism information.


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