5 Amazing Day Trip Destinations near Portland, Oregon

It's no secret that Portland is a haven for urban dwellers who love the outdoors.

By:
June 22, 2017

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From downtown Portland, you can reach some of the country's most stunning landscapes in just a couple hours and some of those spots are even closer. For all you weekend warriors out there, we put together a guide to our favorite day trip destinations near Portland. Take a look and start taking your weekend days outside the city!

1. Columbia River Gorge and Hood River


Photo: Jhamil Bader

You could spend days exploring the Gorge and still feel like you didn’t see half of the waterfalls it has to offer. There are too many to name them all but these stories should help you narrow down your CRG bucket list.

When you’re done hiking, continue on the 84 to Hood River for dinner and a local brew. Double Mountain, Full Sail, and Session all call this little town home and offer delicious food and of course, tasty beers. If you have time and are feeling like a challenge, Hood River is also a world class kite boarding destination.

2. The Oregon Coast


Photo: George Bruce Wilson

The Oregon Coast is an amazing place to explore in the summer. Several state parks dot the coastline west of Portland (Ecola State Park, Oswald West State Park), each with it’s own unique character and adventures. Hiking, crabbing, surfing...you name it, the Oregon Coast’s got it.

3. Mount Hood National Forest


Photo: Angela Service

If lakeside chillin' is your ideal day trip, Mount Hood National Forest is a safe bet. Trillium Lake, Lost Lake, and Mirror Lake are all excellent options for a day of relaxation in the wild.

4. Willamette National Forest


Photo: Jeffrey Green

Just south of Mount Hood, this area is also full of adventure. Hike to a fire lookout with stunning views, take a dip in a refreshing swimming hole, or wind your way through old growth forest.

5. Gifford Pinchot National Forest


Photo: Angela Service

Heading northeast from Portland into Washington, you’ll find Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Like the CRG, it’s full of stunning waterfalls like Panther Creek Falls, but it’s also home to some unique geological features like the Ape Caves. If you’re bringing the whole family along, kids will love hiking across the suspension bridge at Lava Canyon.

We'll see you out there!

Cover photo: Jeffrey Green

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.