The Pacific Northwest is home to a stunning landscape, where you can frolic through some of the lushest forests and climb some of the most expansive mountains. It's safe to say that there is no shortage of places to hike here. Few places in the world can boast about the amount of trails and hiking destinations than the Pacific Northwest. Whether you're looking to hike in the mountains or forest there is something for all explorers, of all skill levels. Just step outside and revel in the beauty that's brought to us by Mother Nature.
Recently, we spent a week in one of the hubs of the Pacific Northwest: Portland, Oregon and caught up with some of Portland's most influential hikers and photographers. We got them to shed some light on what makes hiking in the Pacific Northwest so great. We touched on everything from favourite trails, most memorable hiking moments, to essential hiking gear. Read on to see what they all have to say.
I think there's so much buzz around it right now because of a few reasons. One being, it is an absolutely gorgeous landscape to play around in, and is densely populated with various wonders. Two, I think since there are already a lot of photographers up here, it has encouraged others to come up, to see what the buzz is all about. - Luke Lozano (@lukezano)
I think there is so much buzz around this area because people are seeing and realizing how amazing of an area it is. There is so much diverse terrain and nature to explore out here that you can’t find anywhere else and it's drawing people to it through others sharing their moments. - Branden Leion (@brandenthelion)
THERE ARE NUMEROUS AMOUNTS OF PLACES TO HIKE IN THE PNW - SOME THAT MOST PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT AND OTHERS THAT AREN'T ON ANYONE'S RADAR. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE HIKES IN THE PNW AND ALTERNATIVELY, WHICH HIKES DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE "HIDDEN GEMS"?
Munra Point. I went up there with a couple buddies a few months ago and I've already seen it become a place where more people are going now. With it being high up and very exposed, it has these knife edge ridges -- I've never seen anything like it. - Andrew Kearns (@andrewkearns)
Some of my favourite hikes are Angels rest, Hamilton Mountain and Saddle Mountain. Some more hidden ones or ones that people seem to pass over are Munra point swell as Wahclella falls. - BL
WHAT MAKES THE PNW SUCH A UNIQUE PLACE IN GENERAL?
To me, a huge part of the northwest, is just the people. It's amazing how kind most people are up here, and I think that encourages them to get out and meet new friends and explore the stunning landscape just in their own backyard. Other than that, the weather plays a huge role as well. Since we receive so much rain, everything is vibrant and full of colour. There's so much green. Also, there are really just so many hikes you can go on, that you'll never get bored. - LL
I think the ability to access so many different types of terrains to hike and scenery to see around Oregon makes it such a popular place to hike. It's always green here, so you have tons of towering trees that hang above you as you hike, along with rivers and waterfalls galore. You can drive 2 hours south and be in high desert area with dry brush and colors of mainly red and brown, or take a drive for an hour west and meet the coastline filled with crazy rock formations and cliffs along with green trees extending out on the capes. It's such a cool place. - BL
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE AREAS IN THE PNW TO HIKE?
Favourite place..... That's a tough one. I'd have to say the Gorge. It just is packed full of gorgeous hikes! I love Wahclella Falls, but it is a very popular hike. One that many people don't go though is called Hamilton Mountain, which is a hike in the Gorge on the Washington side. Gorgeous when it's foggy. - LL
Probably mountain loop highway. It's about an hour from my house and has tons of trails, from mountain peaks and alpine lakes, to abandoned railroad tunnels, day hikes, a long backpacking trails, it has a ton. - AK
FOR THOSE THAT AREN'T FROM HERE, WHAT DO YOU THINK DRAWS PEOPLE TO MOVE TO THIS REGION?
I'd have to say Snow Lake would be the most memorable. It's really not that long of a hike, but when I came up to the lake, I was completely blown away. Such a beautiful place. - LL
The scenery is stellar here for sure. The fact that it's always green and lively and when fall comes around the colours of the trees are so cool and people who experience that tend to fall in love with the area. I guess you could always wager the fact that there is no sales tax and you don’t have to pump your own gas (which is very helpful for the rainy season). - BL
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE HIKING EXPERIENCE?
The most memorable hiking experience I've had was about a few months ago. I had a day off from class and thankfully it was one of the few sunny days that we were going to have through the rainy winter season. I decided to make the best of it, so my girlfriend and I woke up well before the crack of dawn and made our way out to Saddle Mountain. We kited our way up to the view point we sought after and got up there to watch the sunrise. Oh man, was it a gorgeous one! No one else was up there and it was like we had discovered a new place all on our own. The sun slowly lite up the valley below as each minute passed. The cold, dark night transitioned into a warm golden morning as we sat on a rock and watched the sunrise. - BL
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE HIKING IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST IN THREE WORDS?
Awestruck, unique, and wondrous - BL
Can't be beat - AK
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE NON PNW HIKING LOCATION?
I'd have to go with Patagonia. I spent about a week there recently, and already can't wait to go back. I think that might be one of the few places that rivals the northwest's density of hiking. - LL
WHERE DO YOU GET YOUR HIKING INSPIRATION FROM?
My best friend, Branden, actually. He started inviting me on hikes, and eventually, I fell in love. - LL
Photography really. It's also a challenge for me to push myself to do bigger things and see incredible places. - AK
MUST-HAVE STAPLES WHEN HIKING?
Depending on the area you are hiking it's good to have a pair of good, sturdy hiking boots or some comfortable athletic shoes. water, snacks, head lamp, a water resistant jacket (depending on the time of year you hike), back pack, camera, some good friends, and a whole lot of laughter. - BL
(Right) Danner Men's Quarry USA 8' inch 400g boot in Distressed Brown