Family Hikes in Oregon to Share With Loved Ones

With its array of amazing sights, waterfalls and outdoor adventures, Oregon is a nature lover’s paradise. In all corners of the state, travelers can find great trails and recreation areas. When putting together a bucket list for the Beaver State, make sure to include these awesome family hikes in Oregon. An unforgettable adventure awaits.

8 Family Hikes in Oregon: Gear Up for Adventure

smith rock state park family hikes

Steelhead Falls

This is a great option for waterfall-chasing families. Plus, Smith Rock State Park is close to the trail. The trail measures a short 2 miles, but offers a scenic trip for all ages.

Those planning on hiking with small children can simply hike to the waterfall and back. This option measures about 1/2-mile from the trailhead. In addition, there is a nice fishing spot along the riverbank, so pack a few fishing rods.

While the trail ranks as easy and pet-friendly, the Bureau of Land Management advises hikers to watch where they put their hands and feet because rattlesnakes can hide under brush and around rocks.

Trail of Ten Falls

Trail of Ten Falls provides one of the most beautiful waterfall hikes in the state. This loop trail is located near the town of Silverton in Silver Falls State Park. The area is heavily trafficked, so expect to see many local families on the trail.

Thanks to its diverse landscape, the hike is ideal for biking and picnicking. It’s best to begin the adventure at South Falls Lodge Trailhead. Then head to the Rim Trail. On the hike, expect about a 7 mile journey where visitors may see 10 waterfalls ranging from 27 to 178 feet in height.

Families who prefer a shorter hike can cover a short distance and backtrack from there. It will still be worth it.

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Alder Springs Trail

This hike offers lovely vistas of the pristine Oregon high desert and plateaus dotted with sagebrush.

Even though the trail is surrounded by the desert, it isn’t dry. Hikers will find water along the route, including Whychus Creek, so this trail delights both children and pets.

Additionally, Whychus Creek offers an excellent spot for picnics and is accessible about 1.5 miles from the trailhead. Many hikers choose to wade through the water to the confluence of Deschutes River and Whychus Creek, which is another 1.5 miles down the creek. However, the water is a bit too deep and swift in the springtime, so plan this adventures in the summer.

Alder Springs Trail also increases in elevation, so bring quality hiking shoes, water and a hiking pole just in case.

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McKenzie River Trail

McKenzie River Trail is one of the best hikes in Central Oregon. Leading hikers through lush old-growth forests, this 3-to-4 mile waterfall loop hike offers remarkable views.

Visitors have some options to walk this trail. For a longer adventure, start at Sahalie Falls (9.5 miles) or at Carmen Smith Reservoir (6 miles).

While hiking, stop by the Blue Pool, officially known as Tamolich Pool. After being underground for a couple of miles, this is where the river resurfaces. When visitors arrive, they enjoy sitting on a boulder or log, eating snacks and admiring the view with family.

For families with young children, feel free to shorten the hike. Visitors will reach the Blue Pool by hiking 2.1 miles.

Three Sisters Loop

Three Sisters Loop is a great option for families who want a challenge. Depending on the route, the trail can measure 30 to 50 miles long. Therefore, this trail best suits families with teenagers.

Hikers who can handle some elevation gain, love to try Three Sisters. To prepare for the hike, create a training plan. Start with a few days of walking, building up stamina, and breaking in the hiking shoes. This will help the whole family prepare and feel their best.

To avoid harsh weather, plan this hike between July and October. Since it’s a multi-day hike, bring food and water, clothes, emergency items, GPS and equipment, but keep the load light.

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Cape Perpetua, Yachats

Check out the Cape Perpetua trail if interested in a different type of scenic hiking. Located in the Siuslaw National Forest, along the Oregon Coast, the trail offers gorgeous views.

While hiking, expect to come across a lush creek, blowholes, tide pools, pocket beaches and wildflower meadows. This 6.5-mile option ranks among the best family hikes in Oregon because it is accessible year-round. The route starts at Cape Perpetua Trailhead.

For another memorable experience, kick off the boots and walk barefoot along the sandy shore. All visitors have to do is start at Tilicum Beach and make their way to Yachats.

Pilot Butte

Outdoor lovers who don’t want to venture far from the city, but still want a one-of-a-kind hike, should head to Pilot Butte in Bend. Ranked among the top family hikes in Oregon, Pilot Butte is the lava dome of a dormant volcano. Not only is Bend one of the few American cities that have a volcano within city limits, but the city was built on lava fields.

There are a couple of different routes that lead to the top of the 500-foot cinder cone. To avoid dust, hike alongside the paved road. The trail is an easy 2.1 miles hike. Visitors should note Pilot Butte Viewpoint is open for limited daytime use only.

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Watchman Peak Trail

Another iconic landmark in Oregon, Crater Lake, has many great hiking trails. One of the most prominent is Watchman Peak Trail. This moderate trail is 1.6 miles long, so it provides an easy hike for most families.

The picturesque trail offers the best views of Crater Lake and its surroundings. Visitors will also see Wizard Island from the trail. For the best trip, hike Watchman Peak Trail between October and June.

After learning about the best family hikes in Oregon, pick a place to stay. Families will find hundreds of vacation homes in Oregon.

Article by: Rebecca Brown at Rough Draft. Rebecca is a translator, avid traveler and bookworm. Her job has given her the amazing opportunity to travel to countries around the world.