Located between the moist, heavily-forested west side of the Cascades and the drier bunch grass prairies of the east, Tom McCall Preserve comes into spectacular bloom every spring (Photo by Jesse Estes).
At the top of the McCall Point trail, you'll be rewarded with expansive views of the Columbia Gorge and Cascade mountain peaks.
View from Cascade Head with foxglove. Oregon.
Wild foxglove blooms on Cascade Head overlooking the coastline near Lincoln City (Photo by: Dennis Frates).

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 add-on that leads to a beautiful lookout platform. 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.

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 author Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin lives and writes in Hood River. When she’s not hunched over her keyboard or digging in the garden, you can find her mountain biking, kiteboarding, hiking, skiing or camping somewhere in Oregon.

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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:, 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
  6. Stacy says…

    I live here in Southern Oregon and we have soooo many wildflower hikes. The Table Rocks near Medford where I live, have some wildflowers that only grow there, and they are beautiful. Roxy Anne Peak in Medford has tons of flowers as well. Even just taking a stroll through Lithia Park in Ashland, you will find lots of different flowers that bloom along the creek side. Much more in Jacksonville too on the back roads near the old mines.

    Written on March 25th, 2015 / Flag this Comment
  7. Mona Butler says…

    Those 4 places I that itinerary would be a dream trip for me. Are they advanced hiking trails? Or ok for underexperienced hikers?

    Written on March 25th, 2015 / Flag this Comment
  8. kristi says…

    Would there be many flowers in bloom in mid-April? Thinking of grabbing the girls and driving down over Spring break (We’re in Eastern WA), but I’m wondering if it might be better to wait until later May/June?

    Written on March 25th, 2015 / Flag this Comment
  9. Grandpa B says…

    Just a reminder- Dogs are not allowed in Tom McCall Preserve or Roweena Plateau.

    Written on March 25th, 2015 / Flag this Comment
  10. Marie says…

    The wildflower peak is usually mid-May. These hikes are not difficult.

    Written on March 25th, 2015 / Flag this Comment
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