Some of our most treasured memories with our kids are built around hiking in Oregon. The entire process of getting ready to go, singing songs in the car on the way to the trailhead, and exploring a brand-new place lead to some of the best times we have as a family. Because for us, it’s not about the miles per hour; it’s about the smiles per mile!
It’s hard to get the kids to smile, though, whenever we got on a trail that was a bit outside their comfort zone. Steep terrain, long distances, and lack of views were quick to stop a trip before it even began, so researching the best trails that would be appropriate for our kiddos became a significant priority.
If you’ve ever ended up getting on a trail that turned out to be a bit outside your kid’s comfort zones, you can understand the frustration! That’s why we wanted to share with you our top places to go day hiking with your kids around Oregon so you can spend more time hiking and less time worrying! Let’s get started.
Discovery Point Trail, Crater Lake National Park
Oregon resides along the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is well known for its concentration of volcanos and volcano-formed mountain ranges. Nowhere is this more evident than at Crater Lake National Park. The sunken center that formed the lake over 7,000 years ago created one of the deepest lakes in the US, at 1,949’ deep! Discover Point Trail will give you and your kiddos some spectacular views of the lake over the 2.4 miles that it takes to complete it. Bring plenty of bug spray in the summer, though, as the mosquitos can be pretty relentless!
Hoyt Arboretum Trail, Portland Oregon
One of the best trails that we’ve taken our kids on near Portland is inside the Hoyt Arboretum. Filled with all sorts of trees and wildflowers, we’ve literally spent hours here exploring with our kiddos! The trail is great because it guides you 1.3 miles in a loop on even, flat trail tread through the park and gives plenty of opportunities for identifying a wide variety of plants and animals!
Sagehen Hill Nature Trail, Hines Oregon
The high deserts of central and eastern Oregon are some of the most beautiful areas that we’ve ever been to as a family. There’s just something about looking over the sage-covered land, finding a flowering cactus, and seeing a hawk soar overhead that makes us feel at ease. The Sagehen Hill Nature Trail is a great little hike to take kids on as you’re traveling along US 20. It’s only 0.6 miles long, so even the littlest kids will be able to complete this hike.
Trillium Lake Loop Trail, Government Camp Oregon
After you get done kayaking at Trillium Lake, be sure to pack along some hiking boots to tackle the surrounding trail! Even if you don’t get on the water, being able to walk the 1.9-mile loop around the light is delightful to do with kids. The pine trees that tower over the lake look dwarfed in comparison to Mount Hood, which can be seen from the trail easily.
Pilot Butte Trail, Bend Oregon
Bend is well known as an outdoor adventure hotspot throughout the US. It’s located near some of the most beautiful scenery and easy-to-access trails around, so naturally, you’ll want to spend some time exploring here! The Pilot Butte Trail is one of our favorites when we go to Bend. It’s an easy 1.8 miles and takes you up to the top of the butte giving you fantastic 360° views of town as well as the surrounding mountains.
Oregon is chalked full of some of the most gorgeous hiking opportunities in the country. From the temperate rainforests on the coasts to the high deserts of eastern Oregon, beauty and adventure await all around!
Remember to pack along plenty of sunscreen, water, and especially snacks. Nothing has torpedoed one of our hikes as a family faster than running out of snacks midway through a trip! And be sure to take plenty of opportunities to make hiking fun for your kids. Play eye spy, discover new plants and animals, and jump in a puddle!
And when you’re all done for the day, be sure to head back here and drop us a comment to let us know how you enjoyed the trip. We’d love to hear about it!