By Kate Siber
Encased in rain forest and blessed with a famously outdoorsy culture, Portland, Oregon, is the antidote to the modern megalopolis—and an urban hiker’s paradise. “There’s an amazing selection of hikes, from super easy to super hard, with a variety of scenery that might be unmatched in America: the coast, the Columbia Gorge, old forests, waterfalls, high mountains, big views, quiet lakes, and flower-filled meadows,” says Paul Gerald, author of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Portland.
Get Hiking: Try Triple Falls, a three-mile walk from the Horsetail Falls Trailhead that takes hikers through a wooded canyon with views over the Columbia River. The payoff is a stunning three-pronged waterfall—all told, a mere 30 miles from Portland.
Après Hike: Stop at the Power Station Pub & Theater, located in—big shocker—a converted power station that’s part of McMenamins Edgefield, a 74-acre hotel estate in Troutdale, Oregon. Down your grilled ahi sandwich, cucumber-pickled ginger salad, and a taster flight of six beers in front of a second-run feature in the cozy movie theater.
Photograph by Jonathan Kingston/Aurora
- Nat Geo Expeditions