Safe and Scenic Fall Hiking Tips

Photo of Crater Lake in Oregon, taken by a hiker, promoting PT Northwest Physical Therapy.

Hiking in Oregon during the fall is truly unparalleled.


As the warmth of summer fades and the crisp fall air settles in, there is nothing better than a hike in the Pacific Northwest. Oregon is known for lush forests and dramatic landscapes, and when fall sets in, the forests are transformed into a tapestry of vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows. At PT Northwest, your safety is our top priority. In this blog, we provide you with valuable tips to ensure your safety while exploring the scenic trails of Oregon.


We encourage you to consider the following to prepare for a successful fall hike.

  1. Layered Clothing: The weather can be quite variable in Oregon during the fall. Dress in layers so you can adapt to changing conditions. Moisture-wicking base layers, insulating mid-layers, and waterproof outer layers are essential.
  2. Footwear: Choose waterproof and insulated hiking boots to keep your feet dry and warm in wet and cold conditions.
  3. Stretch: It is crucial to stretch before embarking on a hike to reduce post-hike soreness.
  4. Daylight Awareness: Days get shorter in the fall, so plan your hike to ensure you have enough daylight to complete it safely. Bring a headlamp or flashlight just in case.
  5. Weather Forecast: Check the weather forecast for the specific area you plan to hike in. Be prepared for rain and cooler temperatures.
  6. Trail Conditions: Fall can bring rain and leaves, making trails slippery. Take extra caution on any muddy and slick terrain. Don’t be afraid to grab a stick to help with stability if you do not have trekking poles.
  7. Fall Foliage: While the fall foliage is beautiful, leaves on the ground can hide obstacles. Watch your step and be aware of tripping hazards.
  8. Emergency Supplies: Carry essentials like a first aid kit, emergency blanket, whistle, and a multi-tool in your backpack.
  9. Warm Drinks: Consider bringing a thermos with a warm drink like tea, coffee, or hot chocolate to stay comfortable and keep your core temperature up.
  10. Trail Maps: Have a trail map or GPS device with you to prevent getting lost in the changing landscape.
  11. Wildlife Awareness: Wildlife can be more active in the fall. Be cautious and keep a safe distance from any animals you encounter.
  12. Group Hiking: Hiking with a group is advisable in case of emergencies. Make sure someone knows your plans and expected return time.
  13. Fall Prevention: Be mindful of wet leaves and slippery rocks. Use trekking poles for added stability.

Even with the best preparation, injuries can happen while hiking. If you experience an injury, you can count on PT Northwest to support your journey to recovery. Our experienced team of physical therapists specializes in addressing hiking-related injuries and can help you get back on your feet, quite literally. Don’t let a setback keep you from enjoying the beauty of the outdoors. Click here to schedule your appointment at PT Northwest.