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3 Fun Oregon Hikes for Families

3 Fun Oregon Hikes for Families

As with many Oregonians, I trudge through long, dreary days of rain because I know that summer is coming! In our family, summer days are spent lounging by the pool (thanks to our friends at Courthouse) or getting outside for an adventure. One of our favorite things to do as a family is to hike area trails and enjoy the beautiful state we call home. I spent some time looking through old photos and reminiscing on some of my most memorable hikes of summer.

Pamelia Lake

My husband frequents Pamelia in both snow and sun, but I’ve only made it there in the summer months for an overnight backpacking trip. If backpacking isn’t your style, this is still a perfect day hike. You’ll enjoy old-growth forests and the occasional waterfall along the trail. My kids loved all the wildlife we saw, but my favorite part of this hike was the view of the lake itself (especially with a book and a glass of wine in my hand). Because of its low elevation, this trail is accessible earlier than many other trails in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness.

Please note: Pamelia Lake is a limited entry area and now requires a day-use permit.

  • Season: May to November

  • Difficulty: Moderate-Challenging

  • Round-Trip: 4.4 miles

  • High point/Elevation gain: 800 feet

Pamelia Lake, June 2014

Pamelia Lake, June 2014

Valley of the Giants

While this hike is fairly easy, getting there is a bit of an adventure! After leaving Falls City, you’ll find yourself traveling down old logging roads until you reach your destination. A 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended for this drive.

Once we hit the trail, I was immediately in awe of the size of the trees surrounding me. This 50+ acre parcel of land is full of old-growth Douglas-fir and hemlock trees that seem larger than life. We packed a picnic lunch to enjoy on the banks of the Siletz river, but if you happen to go on a Friday or Saturday, ditch your picnic and stop at the Bread Board in Falls City for a slice of wood-fired pizza.

  • Season: July to December

  • Difficulty: Easy

  • Round-trip: 1.4 miles

  • High point/Elevation gain: 1335 feet

Valley of the Giants, July 2016

Valley of the Giants, July 2016

Canyon Creek Meadows Hike

We chose to do an overnight backpacking trip with friends here, but we saw many day hikers along the trail, too. This hike is great because it’s not too challenging, yet offers views of meadows, creeks and waterfalls before the main attraction of Three-Fingered Jack. My kids aren’t always happy campers, but this is definitely their first choice in hiking destinations.

Our group started out at the Jack Lake Trailhead, which also proved to be a convenient place to cool off on our way back to our car. If you’re planning to bring your dog, please note that the trail is sandy and can be very hot and booties or tape is recommended.

  • Seasons: July - September

  • Distance: 6.5 miles round trip

  • Elevation gain: 900 feet

  • Difficulty: Moderate

Canyon Creek Meadows, August 2017

Canyon Creek Meadows, August 2017

These are just three of my family’s favorite spots, but there are countless trails and adventures to find in this awesome state. Get outdoors this summer, and happy camping!

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