Whether you love hiking, skiing or just enjoying the incredible views, the landscapes surrounding Portland and a bit beyond are dotted with some seriously beautiful mountains. Here are some of the best mountains to explore in or near Portland, Oregon…
1. Marys Peak – the highest point in Oregon’s Coast Range
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 interesting story. Mary Lloyd was known to be the first white woman to have crossed the Marys 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 you can look to spend a promising night at the Marys Peak Campground at affordable rates. Pack some food, sleeping bags, and tents, and get ready to stargaze all night long while waking up to fresh air, colorful skylines, and stunning views.
Distance from Portland: 2 hours
2. Mount Hood – Oregon’s highest peak and a prominent backdrop to Portland
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 estimated to be 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.
Distance from Portland: 1 hour 15 minutes
3. Mount Bachelor – a place to experience world-class skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking and dining
Formerly known as Bachelor Butte, mount bachelor is a stratovolcano, situated 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 or not. Mount Bachelor has also become one of the most famous ski resorts in North America along with hosting the Mount Bachelor Observatory.
Distance from Portland: 4 hours
4. Mount Rainier – the tallest mountain in Washington and the Cascade Range
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.
Mount Rainier’s lower slopes are surrounded by subalpine wildflower meadows, 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, located about 60 miles outside Seattle. Mount Rainier climbing is a popular yet challenging adventure.
Distance from Portland: 2 hours 25 minutes
5. Mount St. Helens – an active stratovolcano located in Skamania County, Washington
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 Mount 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.
Distance from Portland: 1 hour 45 minutes
6. Mount Adams – a possibly active stratovolcano between the Cascade Range
Mount Adams is a possibly 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 those of Mount Hood and Mount Adams.
Distance from Portland: 3 hours 30 minutes
7. Mount Jefferson – is the second tallest mountain in 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 edifices 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 according relics andesite-dacite lavas found near the volcano’s edges.
Distance from Portland: 4 hours
8. Mount Thielsen – a dramatic horn-shaped peak
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 summers’ 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 Mount, 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.
Distance from Portland: 4 hours
9. Mount Tabor Park – a large forested park covering an extinct volcano
Mount Tabor was a rural farming settlement dating back to the 19th century until becoming a part of Portland in 1905. It holds historical and sentimental values for Christianity, due to which it is considered a pilgrimage site.
In 1974, it was designated as a recognized neighborhood of the city (covering a much lesser area than its historical borders).
Distance from Portland: 20 minutes
10. Mount Baker – a snow and ice-covered peak perfect for skiing
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.
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Ever since he was knee-high to a grasshopper Michael has always been a sucker for an adventure. Growing up he was lucky enough to live in a handful of exotic far flung locations including Hong Kong, Pakistan, Kenya and Tanzania and since then he’s continued his taste for seeking out new cultures. So much in fact he now travels the world as a trading digital nomad, exploring everything from the sizzling street markets in Bangkok to random back alleys in Sri Lanka and everything in between! He also has a special fondness for Cohibas, street food, playing carrom, and fine wine and knows his clarets from his chiantis. He counts Cuba, Amsterdam, Indonesia, Cambodia and Italy as his favourite destinations.