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Hikers, Molalla River Recreation Area
Molly Johnson | 05/17/2021 |

Fall Hiking In Mt Hood Territory


Please note: Many favorite hiking areas were impacted by 2020 wildfires and are still closed. See below for details.

Male hiker with backpack walks along trail in old growth forest enjoying the fall foliage in Oregons Mt. Hood Territory.

The Fall months in Mt. Hood Territory are the perfect time to discover the autumn foliage in the forests.

No matter what your skill level is there is a trail suited for you in Mt. Hood Territory and the trees show off their autumn colors in a brilliant way. Close to town is the Mt. Talbert Nature Park with towering trees, diverse wildlife, and it's a stone's throw away from great (and tax-free) shopping. Mt. Hood Outfitters guides numerous hikes in the Mt. Hood National Forest and is a great option to get you started safely if you are a novice. The Mirror Lake 2-hour trail hike displays vine maple and huckleberry and is referred to by the locals as a "Fall Color Extravaganza."   A more advanced option is the 4-hour hike from Barlow Pass Road to Timberline Lodge & Ski Area along the Pacific Crest Trail. It's definitely worth the trek for its unmatched views.

For more fall hiking highlights, see the list below!

Pup Creek Falls

Note: Pup Creek Falls is closed due to the 2020 Riverside Wildfire. 

Pup Creek Falls is a hidden gem in Mt. Hood National Forest along the Clackamas River Trail. This waterfall cascades 240 feet over three different levels. Surrounded by foliage, the colors turn to orange and yellow in the fall. 

Wildwood Recreation Area

The Wildwood Recreation day-use area features some of the best fall hikes on Mt. Hood with boardwalks and accessible interpretive trails that travel through forests and wetlands. Salmon return to the Salmon River to spawn during the fall and the Cascade Streamwatch Trail leads visitors to a fish viewing window below the stream level, so you can get an up close and personal view of life under the water.

Molalla River Recreation Area

Note: Much of the Molalla River Recreation Area is open, but some areas are closed due to wildfire impacts including Table Rock Wilderness.

An extensive network of more than 20 miles of trails can be found in the Molalla River Recreation Area. The trails vary in difficulty for a wide range of trail users, from beginners to experts. The area also provides access to the Table Rock Wilderness. Fun photo op: Offered as a retro convenience, a payphone is located along the route to the area, since it is a bit off the grid with spotty cell reception. (Photo courtesy Bureau of Land Management)

Table Rock Wilderness

Note: Table Rock Wilderness is closed due to impacts from 2020 wildfires. 

The defining feature of the Table Rock Wilderness area is the remnant of a lava flow that once covered the entire region along the foothills of the Cascades. The “fortress” of Table Rock stands at 4,881 feet and from the top, hikers can see many of the famous peaks throughout Oregon and Washington. (Photo courtesy Bureau of Land Management)

Mount Talbert Nature Park

Located in the urban rush, Mount Talbert Nature Park feels a world away. Four miles of trails wander through this forested area. Home to deer, Western gray squirrels and a large variety of birds, you’re sure to spot some critters while visiting. (Photo courtesy Metro)

Finding Bigfoot

Mt. Hood Territory has the fourth most Bigfoot sightings in North America. The first documented sighting in Oregon dates back to 1904, so keep your eyes open while hiking in Mt. Hood National Forest. And make sure to stop into the North American Bigfoot Center in Boring, which will open their doors this fall. The museum will include a welcome center, gift shop, interactive displays and a library.

Molly Johnson grew up in Mt. Hood Territory and loves getting to write content inspiring others to visit her beloved home. 

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