Of course there’s the whole PCT, but don’t have the time or money for that. Where does an Oregon backpacker like myself absolutely need to go?
The timberline trail is probably my favorite backpacking trail in OR. You get to experience the PCT and see MT. Hood from every angle. If you are hoofing it, you can do this trail (41 miles) in a weekend. Be sure to bring trekking poles for river crossings.
I second this recommendation - I had the chance to visit the Timberline Trail 2 years ago for a trail run and it was spectacular every step of the way. It has a good amount of elevation gain and loss so make sure to check your maps to understand what you are getting into. The views down the Cascade mountain range, the glacial rivers, and the wildflowers are all beautiful. Somewhat busy with folks on day hikes who hop up to the main trail from feeder trails but lots of sections with no one around for miles. A wonderful weekend hike or day hike if you just want to hit a single section.
There’s also the Three Sisters Loop that is a similar length to Timberline -but a little farther south in the state https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/oregon/northern-three-sisters-loop-trail
If you’re in southern Oregon, spend a day doing Crater Lake Rim hikes. Currently closed but when it opens, this should be a bucket list item. The Steen mountains is an awesome hike with view and you can camp on the Alvord Dessert floor
I am hopefully going to backpack in the Wallowas this Summer!
Yes! The Wallowas. I’ve been once but didn’t get to backpack. It’s high on my list!
I’ve only spent a few overnights in the Wallowa’s but they were amazing, especially around the Eagle Cap Wilderness outside of Joseph!
If you have two cars doing a section of the Oregon Coast trail is something I’ve always wanted to do. I had to bail on a trip but a buddy and I were going to start at either Warrenton or Oswald West SP, meet halfway in the middle/trade car keys and hike the rest of our respective routes before meeting back in Seaside for beers a few days later, theres a bunch of sections you can do and you can’t beat walking on a beach for days on end.
I’m always looking for good desert locations. Thanks!
Thank you, Zach! And good car/drink idea This is at the top of my list.
Adding another suggestion in here. Last week I circumnavigated Bull of the Woods wilderness and Opal Creek Wilderness. It was pretty pretty!
We loved the Serene Lake Loop. The trailhead is not too far from Estacada. We did it as a one-nighter. No reservations for the campsites, but we found a fantastic spot. This was a couple of years ago.
So many choices! Here’s one. Sisters to Elk Lake is one of the more enchanting sections of the “Green Tunnel” that is the Oregon PCT. You can make this a one or two day trip. Elk Lake is the perfect way to end your trek. They have incredible fries, elk, beef or veggie burgers (best veggie burgers ever!) all served up with friendly service and jaw dropping views of the lake and the Mt. Bachelor volcano. A post-burger nap awaits, steps away on the beach. Follow that up with swimming paddle boarding or sailing. They also have little cabins if you can’t imagine leaving just yet.
Okay I fibbed. Here’s a second hike, also along the PCT. From Frog Lake off Highway 26 to Twin Lakes in the Mt. Hood Wilderness area. Park at the Frog Lake turnoff. The trail is just to the left of the restrooms. The first Twin Lake is a great place to swim and take in the beauty. Hike up a little further to the second Twin Lake and set up camp. You can continue to Timberline Lodge, or pivot back home. Happy trails!
Have you tried Alvord Desert? It’s on our list of to dos. We’ve had a lot of people tell us how magical it was to camp under the stars–maybe plan for an upcoming celestial event? It’s close to a lot of geographic marvels. Happy adventuring!
I looked up Alford Desert - the size and simplicity of the landscape, combined with the quiet and star-gazing, would make this a fantastic road trip. No crowds - what?!@? Thanks for the rec!