15 Best Day Trips from Portland Oregon

15 Best Day Trips from Portland Oregon

Do you love a good road trip? We do! Portland is a cool city to explore, but there is so much more to explore nearby. Within a few hours, you can get a variety of amazing landscapes, beautiful beaches, and tons of waterfalls. We’ll also be putting a list together of the best weekend trips with over a 3-hour drive one way.

15 Most Popular Day Trips from Portland Oregon) // localadventurer.com

15 BEST DAY TRIPS FROM PORTLAND OREGON

  1. Multnomah Falls + Columbia River Gorge 29.6 mi (35 mins away)
  2. Willamette Valley (49 mi / 55 mins away)
  3. Silver Falls State Park (55 mi / 1 hr 15 mins away)
  4. Trillium Lake (60 mi / 1 hr 20 mins away)
  5. Bagby Hot Springs (66 mi / 1  hr 41 mins away)
  6. Rowena Crest (67 mi / 1 hr 27 mins away)
  7. Hood River and Hood River Valley Fruit Loop (69 mi, 1 h 9 mins away)
  8. Cannon Beach (80 mi / 1 hr 28 mins away)
  9. Cape Lookout State Park (83 mi / 1 hr 54 mins away)
  10. Astoria (95 miles / 1 hr 54 mins away)
  11. Mount Hood (98 mi / 2 hr 8 mins away)
  12. Breitenbush Hot Springs (108 miles / 2 hr 7 mins away)
  13. Mount Rainier National Park (137 mi / 2 hr 15 mins away)
  14. Smith Rock State Park (142 miles / 2 hr 39 mins away)
  15. Bend (163 miles / 3 hr 20 mins away )

1. Multnomah Falls + Columbia River Gorge

Distance: 29.6 mi / 35 mins, map

Oregon has over 200 waterfalls throughout the state. Multnomah Falls is the tallest and easily the most famous in the state. Elowah Falls and Oneonta Falls are also close to Multnomah. Beyond that, the Columbia River Gorge has beautiful views and many other waterfalls to explore.

More: 21 Best Hikes in the Columbia River Gorge

Multnomah Falls (15 Best Day Trips from Portland Oregon) // localadventurer.com

2. Willamette Valley

Distance: 49 mi / 55 mins, map

Portland is technically within the Willamette Valley area that stretches 150 miles and is home to roughly 70 percent of Oregon’s population. In this case, we’re referring to the region where there are over 500 wineries, which makes for a great day trip. Drink responsibly! ;)

3. Silver Falls State Park

Distance: 55 mi / 1 hr 15 mins, map

This is the largest state park in Oregon and has one of our favorite hikes in the area. It’s a relatively easy hike, and you can see 10+ waterfalls on one hike! You can even walk behind four of them. After seeing the easy ones in the Columbia River Gorge, we always recommend this hike next.

More: The Ultimate List of Oregon Waterfalls (Over 250!)

Middle North Falls, Trail of Ten Falls Hike, Silver Falls State Park, Oregon USA // localadventurer.comMiddle North Falls, Trail of Ten Falls Hike, Silver Falls State Park, Oregon USA // localadventurer.com

4. Trillium Lake

Distance: 60 mi / 1 hr 20 mins, map

Trillium lake is a great spot for fishing and camping, but the highlight is how calm and reflective the lake is. You get a perfect mirror image of Mount Hood, and I almost felt vertigo as if I was going to fall into the sky. If you go in the winter, the lake is completely covered in snow, and it’s a popular beginner snowshoe hike.

More: Your Complete Guide to Snowshoeing Trillium Lake

Trillium Lake, Oregon (15 Best Day Trips from Portland Oregon) // localadventurer.com

5. Bagby Hot Springs

Distance: 66 mi / 1  hr 41 mins, map

These natural hot springs have always been a popular spot and the wait time can vary depending on when you go. They are open for 24-hour use and there are three bath houses at the site. There isn’t a road to the hot springs, so you have to hike 1.5 miles to get there.

More: 25 Amazing Hot Springs in the US You Must Soak In

Bagby Hot Springs (15 Best Day Trips from Portland Oregon) // localadventurer.com
photo: david_silverman (creative commons)

6. Rowena Crest

Distance: 67 miles / 1 hr 27 mins, map

Rowena Crest is one of the most popular photography spots in the state. It has beautiful views, an iconic road photo, and a couple easy hikes.

More: Easy Hikes at Rowena Crest in the Columbia River Gorge

Rowena Crest (15 Best Day Trips from Portland Oregon) // localadventurer.com

7. Hood River

Distance: 63 mi / 1 hr 2 mins, map

Hood River is a great stop if you’re driving along the gorge or a great destination for a day trip too! There are great restaurants and breweries in town, you can spend time along the waterfront, or take the Hood River Valley Fruit Loop for wine tasting and fruit picking.

8. Cannon Beach

Distance: 80 mi / 1 hr 28 mins, map

This is one of the most popular beach towns on the coast of Oregon and is best known for Haystack Rock. It’s a popular destination and can get pretty crowded. If possible, try going during the week.

More: The Ultimate Oregon Coast Road Trip

Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach (15 Best Day Trips from Portland Oregon) // localadventurer.com

9. Cape Lookout State Park

Distance: 83 mi / 1 hr 54 mins, map

Cape Lookout gives you a great view of the ocean and easy access to the beach. It’s a popular spot for camping, beachcombing, and paragliding, and you might even spot a whale or two! You can also enjoy the hiking and walking trails.

Cape Lookout State Park - Paragliding from Anderson's Viewpoint, Oregon // localadventurer.com
photo: auragoneboy

10. Astoria

Distance: 94.7 mi / 1 hr 54 mins, map

Astoria is located near the mouth of the Columbia River and best known as the filming location of The Goonies. We’re going next weekend and I still have yet to see the movie! It was initially a logging and fishing town but has become a larger tourism city. It’s also a port of call for cruise ships. Fun fact: Short Circuit, Kindergarten Cop, Free Willy, TMNT III, and Into the Wild are just some of the other films shot in Astoria.

More: 15 Unique Things to Do in Astoria

Astoria Megler Bridge is the longest continuous truss bridge in North America and rated one of the best photo spots along the Oregon coast // localadventurer.com

11. Mount Hood

Distance: 97.6 mi / 2 hr 8 mins, map

Mount Hood is one of those places that remind you how small you are in the grand scheme of things. There are 12 named glaciers and it’s surrounded by beautiful, green forests. During the winter, there are 6 ski areas near the mountain, and it’s also a popular mountain to summit. If you’re looking for a place to stay, check out Timberline Lodge, which is a national Historic Site.

12. Breitenbush Hot Springs

Distance: 108 miles / 2 hr 7 mins, map

We have yet to visit, but our friend loves this place! These hot springs are located within a retreat and conference center that is a worker-owned cooperative. Besides the hot springs, there are more than 20 miles of trails, a lodge, guest cabins, and more!

Breitenbush Hot Springs (15 Best Day Trips from Portland Oregon) // localadventurer.com
photo: sparkleglowplug

13. Mount Rainier

Distance: 137 mi / 2 hr 15 mins, map

If you love the National Parks like us, you should visit Mount Rainier. It offers spectacular mountain views, summertime wildflower meadows, and tons of hiking trails. The peak is often covered in clouds, so if you find a moment where you can see it, take it all in.

More: 15 Best National Parks to Visit in the Summer + 15 Best National Parks to Visit in the Winter

Mount Rainier National Park (15 Best Day Trips from Portland Oregon) // localadventurer.com

14. Smith Rock State Park

Distance: 142 miles / 2 hr 39 mins, map

If you are a rock climber, you definitely need to make a trip to Smith Rock. There are amazing climbs with picturesque views. Even if you don’t climb, it’s worth visiting just to see the beautiful landscapes. Misery Ridge trail is a popular hike there.

More: 7 Amazing Things to Do at Smith Rock

Smith Rock State Park (15 Best Day Trips from Portland Oregon) - this is an amazing spot to go hiking or sport climbing // localadventurer.com

15. Bend, Oregon

Distance: 162 miles / 3 hr 20 min, map

A lot of folks who think Portland is growing too big too fast turn to Bend for solace. Bend is a great getaway if you want to be active, but also, if you’re just looking for a spot to relax and have a great beer. You can rock climb, stand up paddle board, hike, or head to a brewery. It’s home to Deschutes Brewery named after the river that runs through the city. If you’re looking for something more local, try Crux Fermentation Project.

BONUS: Boardman, Oregon (Best During Fall)

Distance: 162 mi / 2 hr 46 mins, map

This was our first day trip we did after moving to Portland. It’s the perfect fall time activity, which you can learn more about here. Just so you know, they will be getting rid of the tree farm in the next few years so go as soon as you can!

Boardman Tree Farm Oregon // localadventurer.com

Have you been to any of these spots? What other day trips from Portland have you done?

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“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust

“Meet

ESTHER + JACOB

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in NYC.

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