Portland, Oregon, is a dream-town for adventure lovers. We’re especially fond of its modern Western vibes, the lush, green landscapes, and of course, its easy access to both the mountains and the ocean. Before adventuring in and around this iconic city we asked our friends at Stumptown for recs on hiking, fishing, and climbing nearby (we’re also big fans of the coffee scene!).
Then for an afternoon excursion, take 84 East into the Columbia River Gorge, for over 290,000 acres of pristine trails, Eagle Creek salmon spotting, and idyllic waterfall hideaways—it’s a coveted wilderness icon just 30 miles east of Portland. Spots of note: make sure to hit Punchbowl Falls, a deep-carved, bowl-shaped pool for hiking, swimming, and off-season solitude.
The majestic, snow-capped stratovolcano is a marvel from afar, but make sure you get to know the 1000 miles of alpine trail surrounding Mt. Hood, where you can hike, cycle, or traverse the forest byways by horse. In the winter, pack your snowboard or skis and hit the Mt. Hood Meadows winter terrain—or, you can skip the bustle of the mountain entirely and access the pristine conditions in your snowshoes. On the way back, the Mt. Hood Scenic Byway cuts right through the utopian town of Hood River for local beers (Hood River is home to Full Sail Brewery, among many others) and if you’re ambitious, a windsurfing session—the riverside community is a world leader for the sport.
For the longer weekend adventure, head to one of Oregon’s myriad state parks for year-round camping. Smith Rock State Park is two hours and 45 minutes from downtown Portland, and boasts serene river canyons fringed by Douglas firs. There’s not a more perfect smelling place in the Pac NW. Beginners and seasoned climbers will find several thousand climbing spots, while hikers can take the Misery Ridge Trail for stellar viewpoints of Oregon’s Cascade Peaks, like Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, and the Three Sisters. Stop in Bend beforehand and visit the Newport Avenue Market for camp grub and Oregon bombers.