Hiking in spring and early summer is a treasure hunt of color as wildflowers bloom in the meadows and mountains of Oregon. Look for blossoms on these trails and others around the state.

Columbia River Gorge:
Rowena Plateau is an easy, 2-mile round-trip hike across the plateau toward the river. Look for an explosion of Balsamroot, bachelor buttons and white yarrow. From the same parking lot at Tom McCall Nature Preserve, take the steep climb up McCall Point, 3.4 miles round-trip. You’ll see the purple lupine and scarlet Indian paintbrush. Ball Point in the Badger Creek Wilderness is a 7.2-mile journey through the dry eastern foothills up to a sweeping viewpoint at 3,250 feet. Expect the signature Balsamroot, lupine and Indian paintbrush as well as prairie star and Death camus.

Central Oregon:
Located on BLM land just north of Terrebone, Scout Camp Loop is a gorgeous springtime desert hike with views of the Deschutes River Canyon. The 2.2-mile loop is steep, but worth the trip for sightings of goldthread, yellow bell and bitterroot. Iron Mountain Trail in the Willamette National Forest is a scenic 5-mile loop with a 1.4-mile lookout add-on. The area is home to more than 300 types of wildflowers, including flax, penstemon, yarrow and saxifrage — all popular with hummingbirds, so look for them, too.

Coast:
The rugged Kings Mountain trail in the Coast Range is a challenging, 5.4-mile round-trip hike. Find beargrass, penstemon, phlox and the rare phantom orchid. The Nature Conservancy’s Cascade Head Preserve offers a 3.4-mile trail to see rare wildflowers, including hairy checkermallow and the Cascade Head catchfly (99 percent of the catchfly’s world population found only here).

And if you’re looking for even more wildflower hikes in Oregon, read Spring in Bloom or Oregon’s Prettiest Wildflower Treks.

About the Author: Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin is the editor of Travel Oregon’s Seasonal Features, enewsletters and annual visitor guide. When she’s not cooking up trip ideas, Oregon Dreamer profiles and outdoor adventures to write about, she’s out exploring Oregon.

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In this Itinerary

These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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  1. LEO CARON says…

    are there any tour co. in salem oregon? i now live in salem or. thank you leo caron

    Written on May 16th, 2012 / Flag this Comment
  2. Beth Buglione says…

    Are the flowers blooming yet?????? Anyone been out and seen them?

    Written on July 10th, 2012 / Flag this Comment
  3. DAve Lines says…

    Are there no wildflower hikes in southern Oregon?,, seems that Travel Oregon forgets that there is a southern part of the state.. Most every thing that is on the Travel Oregon Website concentrates on the area from Eugene north. Or the north coast. I live about 90+ miles south of Eugene, would like to see some more things to see and do in Southern Oregon. We have some beautiful waterfalls on the N. Umpqua and Little River. ( I know because I did a lot of the photos in the “Thundering Waters” brochure) Plus we have the only National Park in Oregon in the Southern part of the state,, Crater Lake. Sometimes I just don’t feel like driving 100+ miles to take photos or hike. Just my 2 cents worth.

    Written on July 10th, 2012 / Flag this Comment
  4. Emily Forsha says…

    Thanks for your comment, Dave. We’re certainly big fans of the Shakespeare Festival and Crater Lake, and all the fabulous rivers and waterfalls in between. While we weren’t able to feature them in this particular story, you’ll find some great stories highlighting things to do in Southern Oregon here:
    http://traveloregon.com/cities-regions/southern-oregon/, including a great story on rafting the North Umpqua and all the ways you can get to know Crater Lake.

    Written on July 10th, 2012 / Flag this Comment
  5. raeanne says…

    Looking for indian paintbrush on the central oregon coast. where to look for this near Newport?

    Written on June 3rd, 2014 / Flag this Comment
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