#1 FALLS CREEK – I genuinely have a wildly different experience each time I visit.
#2 SPIRIT – This hike can be a bit of a chore and the last time I visited I was stung by 5 yellow jackets. I thought of dropping her down the list, but her beauty wouldn’t be denied.
This place is incredibly magical all year, long, but late fall is my absolute favorite
#3 ABIQUA – Two separate hikes are here that lead to the top and bottom of this beauty. Also a bit of a labour in the descent to both spaces, but the views are well worth it.
#4 TAMANAWAS – The thunderous melody made by this sexy waterfall actually makes me sway when I hear it.
#5 WEISENDANGER (currently closed)
This waterfall was a casualty in the recent Eagle Creek fire. The falls are on the Multnomah Loop along with several others. No word on when the trail will reopen, but I am certain her beauty will endure.
#6 PANTHER CREEK – The hike here is quite simple to the first viewpoint, but you can have 3 very different experiences here if you put in a little work.
I am Always, Always filled with energy at this space.
#7 WAHCLELLA (closed) – Wahclella was my introduction to the hiking world in Oregon. For that reason, and for the power behind this gem – keep it on the list. SADLY, her trail is also closed now, another casualty of the Eagle Creek Fire.
I don’t talk nearly enough on this blog about the hikes I enjoy here in the Pacific Northwest. They are as big a part of my life as Japan, my art, or my jewelry.
When I first moved to Portland the Columbia Gorge held many wonders for me and the late summer gorge fire did a number on most of them. The first days of the fire left me reeling and I could not stop crying. Though this one was not – fires are a natural thing and I know the forest and these spots I love will recover. In the meantime I have been hiking in alternative spots and seeking out new ones to ease my suffering.
For several years I have been passing the White River Sno park off hwy 35. The river bed is very wide, but I have never seen much water flow, even though I visit during every season. Turns out that in 2006 the river flooded and took out the bridge.
This is from the top of the hill near the start of the hike and the hill is the reason I love it so much. This trail leads you to a narrow forested plateau so it feels like you are hiking in your own private forest.
A section of the plateau is filled with gray jays flitting about and begging for food. They are not a timid bird species by any means.
And finally there she is, Mt Hood – the beauty that looks down majestically on all of us Portlanders. The trail takes you all the way to the mountain’s base. I have visited twice now and plan to creep closer each time I return. Stay tuned for more natural wonders.
I first moved to Portland, Oregon after a messy breakup almost ten years ago. I healed, but I was not dialed in and did not enjoy the city as much as I should have. I settled in stumptown for good 6 years ago after a brief re-visit of NYC. This time around I fell in love, with a man and with this fair city. One of the biggest reasons I love it here is because I have hiking buddies and I get to see beautiful waterfalls regularly like Wahkeena, Wahclella, Multnomah, and Latourell.
I also like the look of my current hometown, with gorgeous glass and concrete structures against the backdrop of lush Forest Park and alive with beautiful bridges like Fremont, Steel, and my favorite – St Johns. And welcoming you to this wonderland is the famous Portland, Oregon White Stag sign! Such a beauty.
Another reason to celebrate living in the Pacific Northwest is the birds! I see them in the city, floating above me, crows cawing, chickens clucking in neighboring yards, I see them in Forest Park at the Audobon Society, I see owls and auks and gulls and eagles and osprey and hawks on my hikes, and I see them as paintings and earrings and cuffs in my workstation at least once a week. That vile show that has contributed to messing with the vibe here in Portland joked about putting birds on things and I willingly live up to the silly stereotype.
I would be a fool if I didn’t mention the crown jewel of Portland, Mt Hood! The mountain is ever-present looming behind the city to the east, inspiring and beckoning all who see it’s granduer. One of my favorite views of the mountain is from Mirror Lake, a popular hike in my area.
Honorable mention goes out to the vibrant bike culture of Portland. And also the trees. My two favorite trees here are the Douglas Fir and the Ponderosa Pine! These things I have mentioned and many, many more keep me inspired and creations based on them take up permanent residence in my Etsy shop.
Who knows where my adventures will take me this year? I know the area still has gems to reveal and with my new hiking buddies and my dearest, frequent hiking companion Seasons ready to discover them with me I am sure to be inspired to create all year long. Stay tuned!