The 5 Best Day Hikes in Portland

Want to get out on the trail, but stay right here in Portland? I've got a short list of favorites to inspire you.

I have hiked many, many miles in and around the Portland area. And why not? There are literally countless miles of trails in our beautiful city. They're protected and maintained for us to enjoy. So, where should we go when we don't have time to leave town but still want to get out into nature and take a walk? Here is my list of favorites!


Washington Park Loop

Think you know Washington Park? This fantastic woodsy loop winds you along Fairview, Redwood, White Pine, and even Wildwood Trails, and hits a bunch of famous landmarks you know and love, including the Rose Garden. I truly love this one because there are so many moments where I look around and say, "oh wow, look where we are now!" Great for the locals and tourists alike. Length 5.2 miles, elev. 738 ft. Follow my route.


Pittock Mansion via Lower Macleay Trail

Earn that city view. Follow the foresty trail along Balch Creek to the spooky Witches House, up to historic Pittock Mansion, then drop back down to Lower Macleay Park. Note that this trail is popular and also an out-and-back route, so you'll likely be passing people... Because of this, I recommend you do this one on a weekday, or arrive early on the weekend. Length 5.3 miles, elev. 1,187 ft. Follow my route.


Marquam Trail to Council Crest

Excellent urban hike with the reward of outstanding city and mountain views when you reach Council Crest. Out-and-back trail, so do this one early in the day for less traffic. Length 3.1 miles, elev. 748 ft. Follow route.


"4T" Trail

Take the trail, tram, trolley, and train (hence 4T) all over Portland. This is an excellent way to explore so much of what Portland has to offer. Great activity for entertaining out-of-town guests, but also a great way for Portlanders to see our city from a different perspective. Make sure to allow yourself lots of time because of all of the distractions and stops you'll want to make!


There are four starting point options for the trail: 1) downtown, 2) the zoo, 3) OHSU, and 4) south waterfront. Downtown to zoo (train), zoo to OHSU (trail), OHSU to south waterfront (tram), and south waterfront to downtown (trolley). Be sure to check current hours of operation for tram. Length 9 miles (hiking portion is about 4 miles), elev. 1,571 ft. Follow route.


Downtown to Council Crest Loop

Yes, you read that right - downtown all the way up to Council Crest. This trail has everything. Forests, trails, downtown businesses, historic houses, and even takes you through Washington Park before arriving up at Council Crest to view the mountains and city below! Length 8.2 miles, elev. 1,279. Follow route.


Got another favorite that I haven't tried yet? I'd love to hear about it.


Happy trails!