7 (family friendly) hikes in the PNW that should be on your adventure list!

I know Starbucks has officially come out with their pumpkin spice drinks, but this is your friendly reminder that summer is not actually “over” until September 21! And if you’re a Pacific Northwest local, a little rain doesn’t stop you anyway! 😉 That means there’s plenty of time to soak in the great outdoors – one of THE best parts about the PNW! So whether you’re looking for an adventure in your hometown or you’re wanting recommendations for a visit – These are 7 of my very favorite hikes that we have done in the PNW over the past year (with our baby!)

Silver Falls – Salem, OR

If you’re local, I don’t have to tell you about this one! It’s a state capital treasure. I grew up going to Silver Falls and it’s actually where I walked my baby right out… I went in to labor an hour after a 5 mile hike there! 😉 It’s most famous for its main waterfall that is accessed by a very easy hike, but actually, there are 10 different water falls you can see on various trails throughout the state park. I love the selection of easy to harder treks the different falls offer and this park has the best day use area for family use: playgrounds, picnic tables, trails, and water to play in! We visit this one often because of its large selection.

Paradise – Mt. Rainier National Park, WA

If you get the chance to visit “Paradise” in the snow, I HIGHLY recommend it! We took this walk in late December and wow. The pictures don’t even do it justice! There are various routes of different distances and difficulty levels that you can take in this park as well. We weren’t exactly prepared for a hike and did just fine in our “street clothes.” Finn was too little to walk at the time, but it’s a very kid friendly spot with lots of areas to play in the snow! So bring your sleds and camera – it’s a real life winter wonderland!

7 family friendly hikes in the PNW(from Lauren Carter @laurennoelcarter and TheGuestRoom.blog)7 family friendly hikes in the PNW(from Lauren Carter @laurennoelcarter and TheGuestRoom.blog)

Tumalo Falls – Bend, OR

This is one of my favorites! We actually visited in the early spring, but there was still plenty of snow and ice. If you’re visiting while it’s still around, you’ll probably still be okay in a t-shirt thanks to the Bend sunshine, but I’d recommend shoes with good traction! The path gets completely covered with ice and I might have not-so-gracefully fallen on my way up!  Even so, I’d suggest going in the colder months because I enjoyed it so much! (Though, I hear it’s equally beautiful in the summer.) The view at the top was SO worth the slippery walk! It was stunning before we even reached the falls! The hike is about 2 miles to the falls and there’s a significant stretch that’s very flat and easy before you start climbing upwards so it ranks high on my kid friendly list! Just remember, the icier ground will definitely make it more challenging for them.

7 family friendly hikes in the PNW

Spencer Butte – Eugene, OR

This one is a workout! It’s about 2.5 miles UP! Don’t underestimate the climb and soreness you’ll feel for a few days, but I can’t say enough about the view at the top! It’s a complete 360 degree look at Oregon. You can even see the Three Sisters! I saw a few younger kids climbing their way up and was impressed (it was probably harder for me than it was for them!) but you will need to be prepared to keep a close eye on them at the top. As pretty as it is, and spacious to wander or sit and take it all in, it’s a steep drop on all sides. Definitely one of the more challenging hikes, but also the BEST view yet!

7 family friendly hikes in the PNW

Abiqua Falls – Scotts Mills, OR

This hike is another popular Oregon spot because of its fun photo opp. at the bottom! The hike in is relatively easy as far as a climb, elevation, and distance go, but it has a few tricky spots that make it a more difficult hike than some. Ropes are in place to help with some of these spots, but it’s especially tough when wet and slippery! The entire trail is technically 5.3 miles, but you can drive in a good amount of that distance when there’s no snow/heavy rain, making the actual walk much shorter. This is one of my favorite hikes because of the variety in scenery and style of hike. Be prepared to duck under some fallen trees along the water and maybe even scale part of the hill if you’re feeling extra adventurous! I’ve done this hike with a 3 and 4 year old and they did great! Especially once we reached the bottom! On a warm, sunny day I’d recommend bringing a picnic blanket to enjoy a snack at the falls once you’re there! SO PRETTY!

7 family friendly hikes in the PNW

Multnomah Falls – The Columbia River Gorge, OR

This one has been on my list for a long time and we finally visited this summer! The view of the falls from the bottom is a famous Oregon landmark, but the view from the top is equally stunning! You have to work for it though! The hike is only 2.2 miles up, but its a pretty steep climb! You’ll also deal with slippery ground at times no matter what season you visit because of the proximity of the falls. There’s lots of space at the top for a break by the creek (or on it thanks to huge rocks and fallen trees!) and some wandering. They also do a great job with snacks, a coffee shop, and cafe at the bottom which is fun! Be prepared for this place to be busy! It’s busy for a reason!

Drift Creek Falls Trailhead – Oregon Coast

This has been a favorite for a while! We took Finnley for the first time today and it was just as beautiful as I remembered! The actual hike is nice and short – about 1.1 miles to the falls. Finn walked at least half of it on his own (he’s 16 months for reference!) The falls can be viewed from a suspension bridge which is always fun and the best part? It’s at the Coast! So pack a picnic and eat it on the Lincoln City beach after your hike! The bridge itself is surprisingly secure and safe feeling (especially when it isn’t slippery from rain!) Once you cross the bridge, there’s some space to explore and enjoy the water at the bottom that easily accessible as long as the grounds not too wet. This one might be the favorite for all of us!

7 family friendly hikes in the PNW(from Lauren Carter @laurennoelcarter and TheGuestRoom.blog)

7 family friendly hikes in the PNW


This is the perfect post to pin for later, when you’re ready for an adventure! You can do that with the button down below, or by hovering over any picture in this article!!

Any questions about our favorite hikes? Leave a comment or send a message! I’d love to answer 🙂 Happy adventuring!



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