Portland-Side Trips

Apr 21st, 2005, 08:05 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2003
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Portland-Side Trips

I will be in Portland this summer for a conference. I am taking 3 days afterwards to travel. Thought I'd go to Mt. St. Helens for one day and then spend two days in the Mt. Hood Columbia River area. Is this a good plan? I want to do some hiking, can you recommend a good source for trails, places to stay, etc. in this area. Also, I will be a woman travelling along so I want to stay away from deserted trails, and unlike everyone else, go where there are crowds. Any advice would be appreciated
Windows is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 11:50 PM
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Everytime my husband and I go to Oregon (to visit a child in college there, previously at Oregon State and now in Eugene--different child), we go to the coast. The Oregon coastline is gorgeous! We haven't made it up the Columbia River area yet, though I hope to someday. So my advice is to take one of your days and drive to the coast. I have the impression that the more scenic areas of the coast are down in the middle of the state rather than west of Portland, though all of it is charming. Put "Oregon coast" in the little box at the top of the screen and you will get scads of information.
xanthippe is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2005, 04:15 AM
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I understand your concerns. When we lived in Oregon, my husband and I only did our hikes together--I wouldn't hike alone on most trails either. Ordinarily, I would recommend getting a copy of 50 Old Growth Hikes in the Mt. Hood National Forest, but I wouldn't do those hikes alone.
Two suggestions:
Ecola State Park in Cannon Beach
or, contact the Wild Bird Center shop in Oregon City. They run hosted bird walks on a regular basis. We went on several; they were a lot of fun. http://www.wildbirdcenter.com/content/storesbystate/OR

Even if they aren't running any hikes when you will be there, ask them for recommendations. We always found them very helpful.
BTilke is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2005, 04:18 AM
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Also try the Backyard Bird Shop in Beaverton. They do hikes as well and have very friendly and knowledgeable staff.
BTilke is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2005, 07:11 AM
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We live here and love to hike. I do not hike solo either. Go to the gorge and you are almost guaranteed to see lots of other people on the trails. How long of a hike do you want?
mms is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2005, 09:19 AM
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Mt. Ranier is great for hiking. I went to both Columbia Gorge and Mt. Ranier. I loved both of them.
shorty68 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2005, 10:12 AM
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Eagle Creek and Oneonta Gorge/Creek are two of our favorite hikes along the Columbia River Gorge. Both are popular, and I would think safe (but I'm a male). I'm sure there are books listing hikes, but the infrequent times we go, we usually take a trail we've heard about through word of mouth.

Places to stay? If you don't want downtown Portland, I'd suggest McMenamin's Edgefield Manor, just east of Portland, and at the west end of the gorge.
beachbum is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2005, 10:28 AM
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I second the Eagle Creek hike - very nice with a couple of waterfalls. When I went there were lots of people on the trail -

If you want to be really safe- Forest Park right in the heart of Portland has lots of trails - and while you are there you can visit the Japanese Gardens and the Rose Garden

I also second the Edgefield as a place to stay - very fun place!!
sunbum1944 is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2005, 10:29 AM
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Darn I love saying that in my best [email protected] [email protected]@rd accent!!!:-"
Kal is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2005, 11:38 AM
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If you haven't been to Rainier, I'd include that in your St. Helens trip. I'd do two days there and one in the Gorge-I think you can do a nice hike, stop at roadside viewpoints and really enjoy the gorge in a day. At Rainier, there are lots of trails from the Paradise visitors center. Comet Falls-Van Trump Park is another great, popular one on the way to Paradise. More info at www.nps.gov/mora
For Gorge hikes, there's a bunch of websites that describe the waterfall hikes if you search. 100 Classic Hikes in Oregon and 100 Classic Hikes in Washington are both great books (Mountaineers Press) if you wanted to try to get your hands on a guidebook.

Just my 2 cents-Hopefully this will make you feel a little more confidant:
There are certain risks to hiking alone but they are not gender specific. Many times people put a lot of energy into worrying about crime and not enough energy into thinking about the real risks of hiking. Make sure you have your ten essentials, lots of water, appropriate clothing, etc. I wouldn't worry about doing any of the trails in these areas alone-all of the waterfall trails in the Gorge, as well as any trail at St. Helens and Rainier, are going to have many, many people on them. You would have to try awfully hard to get away from people in any of those areas. If you trip and sprain your ankle, someone (lots of someones) will come along and help. I've hiked solo in the PNW for years (actually, all over North America and Europe) and have never even HEARD of any type of violent crime on the trail. You're a lot more likely to be a victim in Portland. So please take the beautiful hike that most appeals to you and don't worry about being a single female on the trail.
christy1 is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2005, 08:03 AM
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When I went to Mt. Ranier, we stayed one night at Paradise Inn. It was nice to be able to stay at the park and then go hiking in the morning.


I think you can probably spend one day at Mt. Rainier and one day covering Columbia Gorge. We drove to the various waterfalls and did about 2 short hikes in that area.
shorty68 is offline  
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