I have been carrying these on my phone for a while. Some honorable mentions below.
Elk Mountain, OR 6 towards Tillamook
An excellent fun hike with great proximity to Portland and PDX suburbia lies on OR 6, with an elevation gain of approximately 1900 ft in 1.4 miles. It is an excellent alternative to stepper or elliptical. Be prepared for the more challenging levels.
I would estimate the hike at 90 mins to the summit while the return at 45 mins to an hour. An interesting thing is the log book maintained at the summit where you can print and date your name (Elk achiever’s log). I have hiked this at least 10 times through pretty much every season, with spring or fall as the best time to hike and summer as the fun time (dry and lose soil, makes some lengths of the trail quite fun). You were warned! 🙂
Kings Mountain on OR 6 towards Tillamook
Very next to Elk Mountain is Kings Mountain – elevation gain of 2500 ft in 2.4 miles. The views are similar to Elk Mountain, while Elk is comparatively more exposed, Kings relatively trails through dense forest.
Mitchell Point on I-84 E towards Hood River
A short hike gaining around 1100 ft in 1.2 miles, should not take more than 45 mins to the top and 20-25 mins to run down the hill. It is quite pretty from up there.
Coyote Wall, WA 14 past Hoodriver toll bridge in Washington
A great hike for good weather, gains around 1750 ft in elevation over some 3.5-4.2 miles depending upon the choice of trails. There are multiple trails in the Coyote Wall canyon and most of these are connected to one another. I remember mistakenly taking the longer one past the #4426 Old Canyon Creek trail head. Note that there is almost non-existent tree cover on this trail, so pick the weather you are most comfortable in.
Times can vary depending upon the trail, but average time to hike is 2 hrs for the longest trail and return in within 45 mins through the shortest trail. A hint is to follow signs for the #4426 Old Canyon Creek trail after walking up the paved road past the parking lot and then staying left at every intersection. It would also help to take a picture of the trail map at the booth next to the parking lot. Excellent view atop!
It won’t make much of a sense to elaborate on any hikes here, the entire king wilderness area is a playground. This is the kind of place where you “make” your own hike.
Driving down through the forest roads in the Snæfellsjökull National Park will give you enough opportunities to explore the popularly known hiking trails or view the glacier.
You can always choose to hike down to the glacier.
Picturesque setting – what stands out is the contrast.
Somewhere along the way…
A super fun scramble set in the western peninsula of Iceland, Kirkjufell rises ~1500 ft from sea level and the trail length is probably a mile (~1.6 km). It gets steep past 300 meters into the hike. The view from 1290 ft (above).
You need to traverse three stretches of rocky outcrops with help of ropes fixed into the trail by apparently the locals (Icelandic park rangers?). The first of which is a 10-12 ft vertical climb. Carry gloves for better grip.
Also remember that roughly 30-40 mins into the hike past a couple of scrambles (first of which is a 20+ ft rocky patch of the mountain facing south-east on the trail), the trail splits into two – one going left and the other going right. Take the trail to the left. Else prepare to waste 10 mins like me.
Kirkjufell mountain (above) as seen from the Kirkjufellsfoss (waterfalls). The trail follows a fence at the beginning (details below).
The trail is quite steep and avoid dancing, limping or simply hiking under a hang over. 🙂 The top half of the picture below is heavily skewed, but picture the bottom half as exactly what you would face getting down the mountain.
Took me 55-60 mins to pass the first of the ropes, and roughly 30 mins to run down the mountain. The entire stretch to the top should not take more than 80-90 mins.
People with long legs and a solid heart, this is totally your hike. Always “safety first”!