The Pacific Northwest is full of natural beauty, so it is a sought-after area for even the most novice hikers. Outside of its natural beauty, these hikes are all within a short drive of the Vancouver WA area.
Benefits Of Hiking
There are numerous studies and research about how regular exercise improves your overall health and that doesn’t mean just inside a gym. Exercising outdoors like hiking is a great way to improve your health and overall quality of life. Not only is it good for your body but it’s also been shown to be good for your mental health by reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Walking is the lowest-impact exercise allowing you to derive cardiovascular benefits with minimal stress or strain on the body. The bonus is that through regular exercise you can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, colon cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure. It also helps with weight control and contributes to healthy bones, muscles, and joints.
Our Favorite Hikes Around The Vancouver WA Area
Angels Rest trail is a great trail for hikers of all experience levels. It is relatively short in distance and has an incredible view at the summit of the Columbia River Gorge and Portlands northern metro. Along the way, you will see a few small waterfalls in between enjoying nature. There are also a few viewpoints, especially by the second half of the hike. Towards the end, this hike does become steep and very rocky but eventually moves into a thick brush until you reach the summit.
Angels Rest is a short distance from the I-84 and is well maintained, however, it is advised that you do not keep belongings in your car as well as keep it locked as it has been prone to theft. The trail is open all year long and is a particularly great hike if you want to take in the sunset.
Cape Horn is a classic trail that is a full loop of just over 7 miles with many stops for viewpoints of the Columbia River Gorge and Cape Horn Falls. The full loop is made of two segments that are separated by Highway 14. It’s a very popular hiking site with renovated trails that are easy to follow. The main parking lot is located just across the trail entry on Salmon Falls Road. There are no fees for parking.
Mt. Hood has over 158 trails. Mt. Hood is located twenty miles outside of Portland Oregon extending south towards the Columbia River Gorge. These trails range from easy to strenuous with the highest ranging to almost 14,000 feet. Whether you’re looking for a solo hike or one for the family Mt. Hood will have a trail that best suits your interest.
Falls Creek Falls
This trail is an easy hike of almost 3.5 miles that routes along the beautiful Falls Creek and leads to one of southern Washingtons highest waterfalls Falls Creek Falls at 335 feet. It is about 750 feet in elevation at the summit and makes for a perfect quick day hike.
Hardy falls is another quick hike of about 2 miles out and back near North Bonneville. It is considered a relatively challenging hike that takes a little over an hour to complete and is very popular for runners.
Smith Rock is a hike that sticks out above the rest as this hike is located in a totally different climate near Bend, Oregon. Located in Smith Rock State Park there are a variety of trails within the scenic deep river canyon and if you have a knack for climbing there are several thousand climbs located in the park as well. This park is open for day use year-round.
There are so many hikes and trails around the Vancouver WA area for you to enjoy. We hope you get out there to discover some of them and find the ones that end up being your favorite!