The Wolf’s guide to the best hiking spots this spring

Mahathi Sridhar, Copy Editor

The cherry blossoms have come and gone in Portland, and that can mean one thing: spring has finally sprung! Take advantage of the beautiful weather (sometimes) and ample chances to get outside and stay active throughout the stresses of school. Keep reading for tips, tricks and inspiration to get hiking this spring season. Beware of those pesky Oregon allergies!

  • Oregon Zoo to Pittock Mansion—Wildwood Trail Easy/Near

Situated in West Portland’s conveniently-located Forest Park, Wildwood Trail weaves in and out, serving as a means for connecting various points throughout the western portion of the city. This portion of Wildwood is a 6.2-mile out-and-back trail connecting the Oregon Zoo to Pittock Mansion. Complete with views of the city skyline, wildflowers in the springtime and both gravel and dirt trails, this hike is an easy excuse to head into the city for some much needed outdoor time. This hike is dog- and family-friendly, so bring company! Pro tip: pack a mini picnic in your backpack to enjoy on the lawn overseeing the city at Pittock Mansion.

  • Marquam Trail to Council Crest City Park Moderate/Near

Another city favorite: Council Crest Park. The Marquam Trail connects the northern network of Portland city trails to the southern network, making it an extremely flexible trail to customize a loop that fits your group’s needs and various ability levels.

  • Wahclella Falls Trailhead Easy/Mid

Drive yourself out east for about an hour, and you’ll find yourself at the Wahclella Falls trailhead. This hike is perfect for a warm spring day trip, as it is an easy 2.4-mile out-and-back loop that ends in a waterfall with the most beautiful blue pool at its base. Pro tip: consider bringing a bathing suit and going for a refreshing (and very cold) dip in Wahclella’s pool. 

  • Columbia Hills at Stacker Butte Moderate/Mid

Located along the Eastern Washington Gorge, Columbia Hills is best hiked during April and May for optimal view of the wildflowers. This 4-mile round trip hike is moderately difficult and provides the perfect excuse to grab some friends who are up for the challenge. You can expect some killer views of Mt. Jefferson as a reward for the 1,100 ft of climbing you’ll do!

  • Dog Mountain Hard/Far

Dog Mountain is a true fan favorite – so much so that an advance-booked day pass is necessary on some of the busier weekends, so be sure to check ahead. Located just across The Bridge of the Gods on the Washington side of the gorge, Dog Mountain is a challenging (there are two route options on this trailhead: difficult and more difficult. You’ve been warned) 6.5-mile hike with rewarding views of the Oregon shoreline and wildflowers that stretch as far as the eye can see.  Pro tip: keep an eye out for snakes and lizards.