Explore | 3 Hikes To Do This Summer

Like any good Oregonian, I love to hike in the summertime. I try to carve out at least one day during my weekend to do something outside and detox from the craziness of the work week. Fortunately, there’s so many amazing places to hike outside Portland that are just a short drive away. There’s nothing like the Great Outdoors and/or a near death experience to provide you with some perspective. Below is a recap of the three most memorable hikes I’ve done yet. Which ones would you add?

Oneonta Gorge 

Location: Mount Hood National Forest, Cascade Locks

This is a tried and true favorite hike for the summertime. The most taxing part is the beginning, where you’ll spend a decent amount of time climbing over and under a tall tower of logs. Expect to stretch into some awkward positions while you wobble along past your fellow hikers. After this perilous portion, you’ll wade through a mossy canyon waist-deep in water before arriving at the waterfall that inspired you to hike here in the first place! Bear in mind that since this is a popular hike, you may want to go during the week or at off-hours. (Are there off-hours for hiking?)

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Munra Point 

Location: Mount Hood National Forest, Cascade Locks

Munra Point is easily the most challenging hike I’ve ever done. This six mile trek isn’t for the faint of heart! That being said, my friend and I accidentally verged off of the (not well maintained) trail early on, so our “hike” to the top turned into an all-fours scramble up a dusty mountainside while we braced ourselves against trees so as not to roll all the way back down. We decided to continue on in hopes that we could find a different trail down that wouldn’t endanger our lives. When we reached the top (1,740 feet in elevation), a spanning view of the Columbia River Gorge opened up before us. Fortunately, we found the correct trail this time around and enjoyed a much easier retreat back. Overall, Munra Point is perhaps not the safest option, but I guarantee you’ll be driving back home feeling significantly more badass than before. We did.

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Abiqua Falls

Location: Scotts Mills

This hidden hike is guaranteed to make your jaw drop. The entrance is tricky to find, so try to go with someone who’s been before or be sure to bring along some thorough directions. The journey begins with an intense Indiana Jones-esque drive down unpaved, rocky roads. Driving an SUV is a must—unless you want to be the sad, abandoned Jetta on the side of the road. When you’ve finally made it to the entrance, it’s only a mile to walk all the way down. But what this hike lacks in length, it makes up for in beauty. After descending to a creek and side stepping a few snakes, you’ll emerge at a gushing waterfall (92 feet in height) that spills down into a lagoon below. It’s deep enough to swim in and barren enough to make you feel like you’re a certified explorer. I’d recommend bringing along some snacks and a few brews, but be minimal with packing as the trail leading here is difficult to scale with a cooler.

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