Outdoor Activities for Nature Enthusiasts from Portland, Oregon

Outdoor Activities for Nature Enthusiasts from Portland, Oregon

Seven Outdoor Highlights from Portland That Every Traveler Should See.

  1. Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
  2. Mount Tabor
  3. Mt. Rainier National Park
  4. Mt. St. Helens National Monument
  5. Ape Caves
  6. Whitewater Rafting
  7. International Rose Test Garden

1. Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

One of the most famous places to go to experience nature is the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area which is only 30 minutes from downtown Portland. Trek up Dog Mountain, marvel at the wildflowers at Rowena Crest or explore hidden waterfalls. If you enjoy cycling, take a bike ride around The Dalles for a couple hours and get up close to nature. Top of your trip with a farm-fresh dining or indulge in a hand-crafted beer at the Gorge. Wine connoisseurs, you might not want to pass up a pinot noir or chardonnay, as the geography of Gorge is perfect for producing delicious wine.


2. Mount Tabor

Mount Tabor Sunset

Although Mount Tabor is indeed a volcano, it is extinct so it fortunately won’t erupt again. In fact, it’s been 300,000 years since Mount Tabor has erupted. Now, Mt. Tabor is a park with hiking trails, basketball, tennis courts, horseshoe pits and more. This is also a popular place for joggers and families with small kids as Mount Tabor Park has 190 acres of greenery. 


3. Mt. Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park

Though it’s in the next state over (Washington) – Mount Rainier is one of our favorite destinations in the Pacific Northwest. Home to diverse walks and hikes scattered throughout the 300 sq. mile National Park – you can watch wildlife, chase waterfalls, study ancient trees, or unwind in an alpine meadow (or snowshoe in the winter!).


4. Mt. St. Helens National Monument

Mt. St. Helens National Monument

For a true nature enthusiast, Mt. St. Helens is a can’t miss opportunity. Caves, lava domes, hummocks, and hot springs can all be found here. You might want to bring binoculars so you don’t miss out on the wildlife. 


5. Ape Caves

Ape Caves

Located near Portland in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, the Ape Caves are fascinating caves that expand 2.5 miles. Discovered in 1951, the Ape Caves have a 30-ft ceiling that was formed by basaltic lava. Wear plenty of layers and hiking shoes as well as a headlamp or flashlight. 


6. Whitewater Rafting the White Salmon River

Whitewater Rafting from Portland

Beginners to experts all enjoy the thrill of whitewater rafting the White Salmon River in Portland. This narrow river runs through volcanic basalt canyons and opens up into a beautiful forested valley. The clear, crystal water surrounded by lush scenery makes this one of the most sought after places to go whitewater rafting. Get prepared to run the ten foot waterfall, Husum Falls.


7. International Rose Test Garden

Portland Rose Test Garden

The International Rose Test Garden in Portland has more than 10,000 roses and offers panoramic views of Mount Hood and downtown. As the oldest official test garden in the United States, the Rose Garden is unlike any other public garden you’ve been to before!


Join Evergreen Escapes outdoors!

Join a Small Group Adventure with our TripAdvisor ‘Hall of Fame’ Nature Guides

Team up with Evergreen Escapes for a tour of Portland, OR. We have both half-day and full day tours in Portland for natural lovers including our Mt. St. Helens National Monument & Ape Cave Tour, Whitewater Rafting Tour, Columbia Gorge Full Day Tour and more.