Hikers, Molalla River Recreation Area
Molly Johnson | 09/14/2022 | Trails

Fall Hiking In Mt Hood Territory

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!

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.

Canemah Bluff Nature Park

Canemah Bluff is a scenic little nature park tucked away in a historic neighborhood in Oregon City. Known for spring flower blooms, it's also a fantastic fall destination with ample opportunities to do some leaf peeping. From the bluff overlooking the river where you'll see trees sporting their golden hues, to vine and other maples along the trails showing off brilliant oranges and reds, you'll find plenty of color to delight your soul. 

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)

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)

Hidden Falls Nature Park

What could be better than a waterfall during the fall season? Hidden Falls Nature Park is aptly named, as it's a beautiful waterfall hidden between two neighborhoods. It's an easy .84 mile pave trail that winds through the trees before offering fantastic views of the eponymous fall, which is framed by beautifully colored foliage during the autumn months.  

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. This hands-on museum was started by Cliff Barackman from Finding Bigfoot. You'll learn all about the history of the mysterious cryptid and the latest gossip on possible sightings. 

Gallery Without Walls art walk

The Gallery Without Walls self-guided walking tour is well known for displaying dozens of inspired works of public art. During the fall, however, many of those sculptures are enhanced by surrounding trees bursting forth in brilliant shares of reds, oranges and yellows. The art, which is already stunning, is made even more so when framed by nature's own artistic skill. 

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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