Elowah Falls

North­west Ore­gon includes three coun­ties: Clat­sop, Tillam­ook, and Colum­bia. Each one has large spaces ded­i­cat­ed to remain­ing wild, and avid hik­ers can eas­i­ly find many enjoy­able, scenic hik­ing routes. Here are five of the best short hik­ing routes in North­west Oregon.

The Clat­sop Spit Loop Hike
This 4.6‑mile hike winds along a beau­ti­ful beach, so you’ll be treat­ed to stun­ning views of the ocean and sea­side wildlife. This includes Caspi­an terns, brown pel­i­cans, and dou­ble-crest­ed cor­morants, so it’s ide­al for hik­ers who also enjoy a bit of bird watch­ing. The hike trav­els down the long beach before loop­ing back, and as the route isn’t too hilly or steep, it is a fair­ly relax­ing walk with lots of beau­ti­ful views. It is worth not­ing that the route can be pret­ty windy so you may want to bring your wind­break­er along.

Kings Mountains

The Elk Hike in the Kings Mountains
There are two dif­fer­ent hikes to two choose from in the Kings, but one is much short­er. If you cov­er both moun­tains it’s about a 12-mile loop, so this trek should be avoid­ed if you are look­ing for a short hike. Instead, you can fol­low the Elk Moun­tain hike path as this route is only 3.2 miles long, so you can eas­i­ly com­plete the whole hike in an after­noon. How­ev­er you should be aware that this is fair­ly intense for a short hike; most of the jour­ney takes place up a steep hill, and the ter­rain is very bumpy and rocky!

The Mosier Plateau Hike
The Mosier Plateau hike begins at Mosier, an East­ern Gorge town filled with nat­ur­al beau­ty. The hike is around three miles long, and it fol­lows the creek right up to the Mosier Plateau, a place with stun­ning views of the falls and the canyon walls. This is a fun, leisure­ly hike that starts in a pub­lic place before head­ing out into nature, so it is ide­al for peo­ple who want to stop for a drink or some food before they begin. There are also lots of cool things to look out for as you hike, includ­ing wild­flow­ers in spring and bald eagles in Jan­u­ary. You can even take a break to swim in the creek if the weath­er is warm enough.

Elowah Falls

Elowah Falls Hike
The Elowah Falls hike may be the last hike on this list, but it is still one of the best hikes in Ore­gon. The hike is less than a mile long, but expect to see canyons, forests, and water­falls dur­ing this time, as well as lots of beau­ti­ful birds. The hike also ends at a giant amphithe­ater made from stone, and this is the per­fect place to sit down and enjoy a pic­nic. It may only be a short hike, but it is ide­al for fam­i­lies with chil­dren and beginners—and the views are def­i­nite­ly worth the trip.

The Steiger­wald NWR Hike
This hike takes place along the Gib­bons Creek Wildlife Art Trail, and any­one who choos­es to do this hike will be reward­ed with scenic views of the for­est and water­falls. The 2.2‑mile hike fol­lows a flat path that winds through the for­est, and you may spot geese, wood­peck­ers, owls, and great blue herons as you hike. The area is peace­ful and relax­ing, but be aware that the route is closed between Octo­ber and April.