19 October . 2020
The 4 Best Fall Color Hikes Near Portland
Countdown to winter is on, but don’t fret – there’s still time to squeeze in a few trails under the gentle, autumn sun. From easy strolls to moderate day-hikes here are four fall adventures sure to satisfy all skill and energy levels – just before the first raindrops fall.
1. Silver Falls State Park
Silver Falls State Park is one of Oregon's most iconic hikes, and what better time to do it than in the fall when the vine maple turns bright yellow among the dark green old growth trees and vibrant moss. The 8.6 mile loop is fantastic for seeing some colorful, fall foliage along with 10 gorgeous waterfalls.
Closest town: Silverton
Trail type: Loop
Mileage: 8.6 loop w/ 1,480 ft. elevation gain
Difficulty: Easy to moderate (trail can be slippery on wet days).
Trail popularity: Heavy on weekends
2. Brice Creek
Brice Creek is a creekside trail home to many large leaf maple trees that turn bright yellow and orange at the end of September and well into October. This iconic trail is close to town and also offers fall camping options if you want to explore more of the area.
Closest town: Cottage Grove
Trail type: Out and back
Mileage: 11 miles w/ 1,350 ft. elevation gain
Difficulty: Moderate (trail is very well maintained due to this also being a mountain bike trail, but it can get a bit muddy when it has been raining a lot).
Trail popularity: Low to moderate on the weekends
3. Divide Lake
Divide Lake is one of the most underrated fall hikes. Most people don't think of the Diamond Peak Wilderness as a great place to see fall colors, but what most people don't realize is that the forest here is littered with Huckleberry bushes which turn a bright yellow, orange and red in the fall time. When the autumn sun shines on these bushes that are lining the turquoise lake, it literally takes your breath away!
Closest town: Oakridge
Trail type: Out and back
Mileage: 8 miles (to Divide Lake) 9.4 miles (to Mt. Yoran) w/ 2,215 ft. elevation gain
Difficulty: Moderate (trail is well maintained with some rocks and a steep incline).
Trail popularity: Low
4. Alsea Falls
Alsea Falls recreation area offers some beautiful hiking options for fall foliage viewing. There is a 4.7 mile loop with a short out and back over to Green Peak Falls that features lots of Aspen, Birch and Maple trees among the evergreens.
Closest town: Alpine & Corvallis
Trail type: Out and back and small loop
Mileage: 4.7 miles out and back w/ 1,620 ft. elevation gain
Difficulty: Easy (trails are well maintained as this is also a mountain bike trail).
Trail usage: Moderate
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