The Top Outdoorsy Things To Do in Gresham, Oregon and Surrounding Areas


Located in Multnomah County, Oregon, Gresham is a vibrant city less than 20 miles East of Portland. Being the 4th largest city in Oregon, it offers all the convenience of a big city, but still has that homey small-town feeling, with nature right at its back door. From the breathtaking views of Multnomah Falls to the snow-capped peak of Mount Hood, there’s never a dull day in Gresham. 

There’s good reason why Gresham recently made Livability’s “Best Place to Live in Oregon.” It’s a city that is proud of its heritage and natural beauty, with both the place and the people making everyone feel welcome. You can check out the local farmer’s markets, visit the Historical Downtown of Gresham, or take a stroll in one of the many community parks. 

There really is something for everyone, whether you like the hustle and bustle of city life or would rather get your hiking boots on and see what the great outdoors of Oregon has to offer. Gresham has it all. 


Here are 4 of the top things to do in Gresham, Oregon – Portland’s suburb:

Visit Multnomah Falls

A jaw-dropping 620 feet tall, Multnomah Falls is the highest waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge area. This picture-perfect waterfall is definitely one for the gram, with over 2 million people flocking here every year to gaze at its beauty or hike the nearby trails. It’s, without doubt, one of the best things to do in Gresham, where you can listen to the thunderous sound of the cascading waterfall, breathe in the fresh air, or hike around (or even on top of!) the falls. You might recognize Multnomah Falls from movies such as Twilight. Once you get there, you’ll understand why they picked such a magical location.

The falls is less than 20 miles from Gresham, so it’s a 30-minute drive at most. Once you get there, there’s a visitors center, restaurant, snack bar, gift shop, and restrooms located on-site at the Multnomah Falls Lodge. 

Timed Reservation Tickets must be purchased in advance to visit Multnomah Falls. It’s $2 per ticket, and you can get it at their website

Explore Columbia River Gorge

Just a stone’s throw away from Gresham, you’re guaranteed to get your fix of nature anywhere along the Columbia River Gorge’s whopping 80-mile-long river canyon. This beautiful National Scenic Area will definitely take your breath away while also leaving your lungs filled with the freshest air in Oregon. 

The Columbia River Gorge is the perfect place to unleash your inner adventurer. It offers incredible hiking and mountain bike trails, over 90 waterfalls to explore, plenty of spots to get wet along the way, and tons of riverside Kayak or SUP rentals. 

One of the best things about this beaut is – it’s free! Some of the forest service sights along the way might require a pass or ticket though, so be sure to check before you plan your route. Find out more about passes and permits on their website.

Escape to Mount Hood

Reaching over 11,000 feet at its peak, Mount Hood is the highest point in Oregon, and is an adventurer’s paradise! Depending on the time of year, there are over 200km of slopes, and 5 different ski resorts to choose from on Mount Hood, so you’re spoilt for choice. 

And even if it’s not ski season, there’s still tons of stuff for you to do including hiking, fishing, getting cozy around a campfire, or enjoying one of the many year-round events some of the Mount Hood resorts offers. Stargazing nights, markets, culinary tours, and belly-busting dinners, Mount Hood is your oyster!

Located around 50 miles from Gresham, it’s just over an hour’s drive. But if you don’t have a car, public transportation is also available. It’s very simple but also takes a little longer. From Gresham, you can take the Sandy Area Metro to Sandy, where the Mount Hood Express will take you the rest of the way.   

It might be worth checking the National Weather Service’s website for any weather advisories before going. But also for you to plan what activities are best suited to the weather while you’re there. 

Go Hiking!

Portland is a hiker’s dream, so dust off your boots and get out there! There’s a beautifully spun cobweb of trails, reaching over 150 miles through the city and surrounding areas especially Gresham. The options are endless – long, short, big, small, winding, or waving; there are plenty of trails around just waiting for you to explore.

Some of the best hikes near Portland include the Lost Lake, Tom Dick and Harry Mountain, Blue Loop trail, and the well-named Four T Trail (Tram, Train, Trail, and Trolley). There’s also no shortage of waterfalls here either. Discover 10 uniquely stunning waterfalls along the way in one trail at the Trail of Ten Falls in Oregon’s Silver Falls State Park.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a seasoned hiker with calves of steel, or just want to head out for a quick walk with your family and breathe in the fresh air. There’s a trail for everyone of all ages and cardio strength.

You can check out Portland’s government website to find out more about trails and routes in and around Portland. 


There are tons of things to do in Gresham and its surrounding areas. And with so much to do, you’ll appreciate a nice soft pillow at the end of each day! So if you’re looking for your home away from home to put your feet up, look no further than the Ponderosa Inn. We’re located smack bang in the middle of Gresham, giving you the buzz of Portland to your left, and the fresh breeze of the great outdoors to your right. We’ve got comfortable and affordable rooms for you and your family, with a pool and jacuzzi too! 

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