10 Amazing Mountains to Explore near Portland 

Whether you love hiking, skiing, or just enjoying the incredible views, the landscapes surrounding Portland and beyond are dotted with seriously stunning mountains. Here are some of my favorite mountains to explore in or near Portland, Oregon…

Top 3 Best Mountains to Explore near Portland
1.
1 2 l Global Grasshopper – travel inspiration for the road less travelled
Best For Scenic Views
Marys Peak
2.
2 2 l Global Grasshopper – travel inspiration for the road less travelled
Best For Hiking
Mount Hood
3.
3 2 l Global Grasshopper – travel inspiration for the road less travelled
Best For Skiing
Mount Bachelor
Best For Scenic Views

Marys Peak

Marys Peak Oregon Near Portland

Situated in Benton County, Marys Peak has many accolades to its name. Famously known among the native Kalapuyas as a place having great spiritual power, it is also the highest peak in the Oregon Coast Range, at over 4,000 feet.

How its name came about is another exciting story. Mary Lloyd was known to be the first white woman to have crossed the Mary River in 1845, consequently becoming the inspiration behind the appellation of this majestic peak. 

The stunning views and glorious sights of and beyond the valley make it an ideal spot for biking, hiking, cross-country skiing, bird watching, and picnics.

If you are looking to spend some more time with friends, then I would recommend Marys Peak Campground which offers affordable rates. Pack some food, sleeping bags, and tents, and get ready to stargaze all night while waking up to fresh air, colorful skylines, and stunning views, I think you’ll love it just as much as I do! 

Pros

Mesmerizing views

Great picnic spots

Excellent hiking trails

Campgrounds facilities

Cons

Electric bikes are not allowed

No water available

Best For Hiking

Mount Hood

How to get to Mount Hood from Portland Oregon

It is 11,249 feet above sea level and Oregon’s tallest mountain. It is one of the Cascade Range’s most active volcanoes. The largest city in Oregon, Portland, is around 50 miles distant. There are a total of 12 glaciers on the island. Even though the probability of an eruption in the next 30 years is between 3 and 7%, the USGS classifies the mountain as “potentially active,” and the hill is unofficially recognized as dormant.

The mountain’s northernmost access point is Lolo Pass. Mount Hood’s three most recent eruptions occurred over the previous 1,800 years, erupting from high-altitude vents on the southwest flank and dropping massive amounts of ash.

Pros

Breathtaking views of Mount Hood

Close to proximity to the famous Timberline Lodge

Fascinating hiking opportunities

Camping spots

Cons

It can be a little crowded

No public transport to the summit

Best For Skiing

Mount Bachelor

Mount Bachelor near Portland

Formerly known as Bachelor Butte, Mount Bachelor is a stratovolcano inside the Deschutes National Forest. The largest volcano in the Mount Bachelor volcanic chain stretches for almost 25 kilometers.

The mountain poses moderate to no threat of eruption, but it is still unknown if the volcano is extinct. Mount Bachelor has also become one of the most famous ski resorts in North America, hosting the Mount Bachelor Observatory. 

Pros

Phenomenal 360 degree skiing

Wonderful dining experience

Stunning scenery

Incredible variety of trails

Cons

It can be crowded at times

Parking is expensive

Best For Waterfalls

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier Portland Oregon

Mount Rainier, which rises to 14,410 feet above sea level, is a landmark in the state of the USA, Washington terrain. It is an active volcano and the most glaciated summit in the abutting United States, generating five main rivers.

Subalpine wildflower meadows surround Mount Rainier’s lower slopes, while the ice volcano is encircled by ancient forest. The park’s ecosystems are teeming with wildlife. A breathtaking beauty spot awaits a lifetime of exploration: rugged mountain peaks and magnificent wildflowers blooming in rolling green valleys make up Mount Rainier National Park.

Mount Rainier is a famous element of Washington’s scenery, about 60 miles outside Seattle. Mount Rainier climbing is a popular yet challenging adventure.

Pros

Exquisite scenery

Lots of amazing wildlife

Gorgeous waterfalls

Terrific campgrounds are available

Cons

Pets are not allowed on trails

Best For Active Stratovolcano

Mount St. Helens

Mount St Helens

It is a fierce and volcanic summit in the Mountainous Cascade Range in the USA’s southwestern corner. In 1980, it exploded in the most potent ignition in North America.

It has exploded more often than any other volcano in that Range in the last four thousand years. Most of this mountain is under three thousand years old (more youthful than the cenotaph of Egypt).

Lava poured over the crater floor during the 1980 to 1986 and 2004 to 2008 eruptions, forming domes massive compared to the Building of the Empire State and restoring significant volume lost in 1980. It is still a world-renowned natural laboratory for studying natural disasters and Earth’s processes.

Pros

Proximity to Johnson Ridge Observatory

Awe-inspiring scenery

Variety of fabulous hike trails

A wonderful gift shop on-site

Cons

Cell service is limited

Cloudy weather can obstruct views

Best For Wildlife Watching

Mount Adams

Mount Adams Portland Oregon

Mount Adams is a perhaps active stratovolcano between the Cascade Range. Even though Adams has not erupted in over 1,000 years, it isn’t considered extinct.

Mount Adams was mistaken for Mount St. Helens, which Pacific Ocean explorers and other early explorers had already discovered. On the hill, there are a dozen glaciers. According to 2012 research by Portland State University, all 12 glaciers have receded by about 50% since 1904 and are decreasing faster than Mount Hood and Mount Adams.

Pros

Wonderful wildlife experience

Magnificent hiking trails

Stunning and diverse landscapes

Cons

Limited restroom facilities

Permit requirements for access

Best For Camping

Mount Jefferson

Mount Jefferson Portland Oregon

Mount Jefferson is Oregon’s second-highest peak, standing 10,495 feet above sea level. Mount Jefferson is a 300,000-year-old stratovolcano that has erupted regularly. Most of the towers were constructed in the last hundred thousand years. During the last ice age, the central cone’s most recent contributions occurred between 30 and 20 ka, and several of these flows exhibit volcano-ice interaction.

According to relics of andesite-dacite lavas found near the volcano’s edges, the area of Mount Jefferson has been the site of many andesites to dacite-to-dacite explosions for at least the past seven hundred thousand years andesite-dacite lavas found near the volcano’s edges.

Pros

Exceptional camping opportunities

Fantastic wildlife experience

Breathtaking views of the surroundings

Outstanding hiking trails

Cons

Permit requirements for some activities

No restrooms within the wilderness area

Best For Extinct Shield Volcano

Mount Thielsen

Mount Thielsen Oregon

Mt. Thielsen is a fantastic location for numerous recreational activities at 9,148 feet. Mount Thielsen is the only sport where we can see the waters of the Crater pool outside of the National Park’s Crater Pool. Some of the summer’s fun activities include backpacking, hiking, and exploring ornamental lakes, whereas winter’s fun activities include snowshoeing and backcountry skiing.

The scaling is not effortless and requires a lot of hand ascension, but you learn a lot, and it is worth it. A challenging hike is needed at the peak of this mountain, but it is well worth it for the fantastic scenario at the end. Its south entrance location is only 1.6 kilometers to the east of Crater Pool’s north entrance.

Pros

Scenic views of the surroundings

Remarkable skiing opportunities

Brilliant hike trails

Splendid campgrounds available

Cons

Dogs are not allowed on trails

Wilderness area requires permits

Best For Families

Mount Tabor Park

Mount Tabor Park view Portland Oregon

Mount Tabor was a rural farming settlement dating back to the 19th century until it became a part of Portland in 1905. It holds historical and sentimental values for Christianity and is considered a pilgrimage site.

In 1974, it was designated as a recognized city neighborhood (covering much less than its historical borders).

Pros

Fun children’s playground area

Wedding and picnic sites reservations available

Incredible walking trails

Stunning views of the city

Cons

Closed to motor vehicles on Wednesdays

It can get slightly crowded

Best For Stunning Scenery

Mount Baker

Mount Baker Portland Oregon

After Mount Saint Helens, Mount Baker has the most thermic active crater in the Cascade Range of Mountains. Whatcom County is located around 50 kilometers in the eastern region of Bellingham. Mount Baker is the youngest volcano in its Range. Mount Baker, a majestic ice-capped volcano summit in the North Cascades, is the North Cascades’ star.

While its southern neighbor, Glacier Peak, conceals below the Cascade Range’s crest, Mount Baker stands tall and proud across Puget Sound and Canada. Several tiny blasts and steam episodes occurred in the 1800s, indicating that the volcano of this Mount has remained active in the past years.

Pros

Sublime skiing experience

Gorgeous views

Excellent wilderness area

Outstanding opportunities for hiking

Cons

Permits required for some activities

Dogs only allowed on a leash

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