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Avoid the crowds, even at the Columbia River Gorge, Mount Hood and the Oregon coast: Peak Northwest podcast logo 7/2/2020 By Jamie Hale and Jim Ryan,

As Oregonians begin to go back outside, many are seeking places to avoid other people – both as a way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to find some peace and quiet.

It can be hard to escape crowds in a normal year, let alone a time when more people than ever are sticking close to home and in search of an escape into nature. One way to beat the crowds is to skip the popular areas and head to some lesser-known hiking trails and other natural areas.

On this week’s episode of the Peak Northwest podcast, we offer up a dozen lesser-known spots at three of Oregon’s most popular recreation areas: the Columbia River Gorge, Mount Hood and the Oregon coast. As we head into a holiday weekend, consider adding some of these places to your day trip itinerary.

Of course, there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to avoid crowds completely. You can also try going on weekdays or later in the afternoon, and should always come with backup plans in place in case your first choice is full. Also be prepared to turn around and head home if need be.

We can’t make the crowds go away, but we can offer a few additional options for those seeking solace in the outdoors.

Here are some highlights from this week’s show:

There are several lesser known recreation spots on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge.

Rock climbing, biking and day hiking are all available on trails in the gorge.

Day hiking or backpacking along remote, forested trails is a great way to avoid crowds on Mount Hood.

Try renting a fat bike and cycling down the beach on the Oregon coast.

Most hikes on the coast get crowded, but it’s possible to find some lesser-known spots, especially if you head farther south.

Here’s the full episode.

Read previous coverage of some of the hikes and areas mentioned in the podcast:

Weldon Wagon Trail

Eagle Creek Trail

Tamanawas Falls

Amanda’s Trail

Otter Point

Drift Creek Falls

Check our updated list of what outdoor spaces have reopened and what’s still closed before going out.

You can subscribe to Peak Northwest on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

Follow Peak Northwest on Instagram at @PeakNorthwest.

-- Jim Ryan and Jamie Hale


©2020 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)

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