12 Haunted Trails in The Pacific Northwest Where Horror Lurks

by | Oct 12, 2021 | Beyond Oregon, Climbing, Featured, Halloween, Hiking, History

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Are you a thrill-seeker? Do you enjoy haunted trails? Want to experience the terror of coming face to face with the dreaded red-eyed children? Think you’re brave enough to take a night hike to one of these creepy places in the great northwest? Who knows, maybe you’ll even encounter Bigfoot on one of these Haunted Pacific Northwest Trails. Or just maybe, they aren’t haunted at all and these stories are all hype. You be the judge.

The following haunted hiking trails are all in different areas across Oregon and Washington. Let us know in the comments if you have anything to add!

Haunted Trails You May Never Return From


1. Iron Goat Trail, Leavenworth, Washington

haunted trails

Image via / M.Kebler / Flickr

In 1910 almost 100 lives were lost as this railroad disaster is said to be the worst of its kind in United States history.

After the tragedy, the tracks were moved, although the tunnels, as shown in the photo above, still remain. You will travel an easy loop for about 5.7 miles, but it’s the tunnels you need to worry about.

The avalanche that caused the disaster and the derailing of two passenger trains is said to have sealed the spirits of the unlucky passengers in the tunnels, who are still trying to escape their tomb. Some who hike this trail claim that the victims of the Wellington avalanche are still there. There have been reports of disembodied voices echoing through the avalanche tunnel when no one else is there or no one else accompanying them has spoken.

The tracks were moved after the tragedy, but the tunnels remain. Read more here for a full article on this trail.

2. Scaponia Park, Vernonia, Oregon

haunted trails

Image via / PDX Monthly / Gabriel Granillo

The story has it that a drifter who made his money stealing horses, was killed here at Scaponia Park by a lynch mob when locals found out about his crimes. It’s said he was killed with his small dog, and his remains were buried on the banks of the river under an oak tree.

Visitors claim to have seen the shadowy figure of a man with his pup at night, wandering along the banks of the Nehalem River. Campers here as well claim to see the man… Could he be looking for another horse to steal?

Scapponia Park is part of the much larger Crown Zellerbach Trail in Columbia County.

3. Malheur Butte, Malheur County, Oregon

"What I saw is something I never wish to see again in my life. My boyfriend and I were in the car just talking and all of a sudden you could hear a bone creaking sound and see a shadow that seemed to just move closer and closer. It looked like it had skinny legs, a big head, and was on all fours but it didn't seem to wanna attack...it was just was moving closer and standing there but it had no eyes...."

haunted trails

Image via / The Author / thePDXphotographer.com

Does this eerie dead volcano not look creepy as hell? It’s known as Malheur Butte, and it’s said to also be a former meeting spot for a powerful coven of witches. Locals here are convinced the witches will return and have left their shadows behind to protect the land. Folks have also reported seeing menacing apparitions that resemble small dogs in the area.

One woman was chased off the grounds by a "shadowy creature" (although Malheur Butte is on Private Property, so it may not have been an angry spirit, but a furious landowner). Hikers and visitors have even claimed to have been chased away by “menacing shadows that screech”.

The name Malheur even translates directly in French as "Evil Hour". Creepy indeed. Although this isn't exactly one of many haunted Pacific Northwest trails, solely due to the weirdness surrounding it we had to add it to the list.

4. Lithia Park, Ashland, Oregon

haunted trails

Image via / Wikimedia Commons / Daedrot

Lithia Park has quite the history of gruesome crimes. According to stories, this 93-acre park is haunted by many ghosts. Back in 1875, a young girl is said to have been brutally raped and murdered near the dock pond, and visitors claim to have seen a blue mist forming above the pond at night – and even been chased by this ghostly mist through the park.

Another ghost was a train robber, who retreated to Lithia Park after you guessed it…robbing a train. The story goes a group of vigilantes took revenge into their own hands and drowned the man. People have claimed to see the apparition of the disfigured train robber hanging out in the park.

5. Lime Kiln Trail, Granite Falls, Washington

haunted trails

Image via /Washington Trails Association / vacillating_poles

The Lime Kiln Trail is actually the southern half of the Robe Canyon Trail. A railroad once ran along this canyon but the bridge, which spanned the river, is no more. As haunted Pacific Northwest trails go, this one's a doozy.

This is a truly bizarre and creepy “haunted” hiking trail. Cultists and animal sacrifices are said to have happened here. Old saw blades and bricks scattered about and an abandoned lime kiln give this eerie place an extra chill.

You may feel the hairs on your neck stand up as you hike this trail…

That may be a sign it’s time to go.

6. Tillamook Head, Ecola State Park, Oregon

haunted trails

Image via / Loren Kerns / Flickr

On any sunny day, this 6.3-mile roundtrip hike along the Tillamook Head Trail is absolutely beautiful. But when that fog creeps in, the forest gets pretty damn spooky. And with the World War II-era bunkers here, they definitely add another level of creepiness.

Don’t forget the Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. This decommissioned lighthouse has been nicknamed “Terrible Tilly” due to the horrendous weather conditions that have slammed it for nearly 150 years. At different times, Terrible Tilly has even been used as a columbarium—which is a place where cremated remains are stored.

Waves crash on the Image via / Wikimedia Commons

7. North Creek Trail, Tyron Creek State Park, Oregon

haunted trails

Image via / Ingere / Flickr Creative Commons

Tryon Creek State Natural Area, Portland's only state park within a city, is located in the middle of the trail of Tryon Creek, a nearly 5-mile tributary of the Willamette River. The fresh-cut lumber may seem normal, especially for Oregon, however, the last time the area was majorly logged was in the late 1800s. But logging can’t be done without manpower...or ghostpower?

People have reported hearing the sound of horses whinnying and disembodied voices of men talking, specifically on the North Creek Trailhead. It is believed to be haunted by the ghosts of men who worked as loggers in the area at the turn of the 20th century. If you dare, take this hike, and listen closely. You might just hear the ghosts of loggers past.

8. Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

haunted trails

Image via / The Author / thePDXphotographer.com

When I think of Multnomah Falls, the natural wonder that attracts approximately 2.5 million visitors yearly, the last things I think about are haunted Pacific Northwest trails. But this beautiful waterfall has a secret. It’s been told in legend that a Native American maiden leaped to her death from the top of the falls to save her village from illness. Some who visit have even said to feel her presence, while others claim to have even seen her face appear within the white water. The woman is most commonly seen during winter when she is said to return where she sacrificed her own life for her people.

RELATED: Multnomah Falls, The Unofficial Guide to Oregon’s Tallest Waterfall

9. Hoh River Trail, Olympic National Forest, Washington

hoh rainforest washington state haunted pacific northwest trails

Image via / Reddit.com / u/XXXTentacIes

In the land of Sasquatch sightings and Twilight vampire fame, there may also be a cult of satanic worshippers lurking in this pristine Washington rainforest. As recently as the 1970s there have been reports of “goat-looking men, wearing dark robes, with hooves for feet”. Some even believe Lucifer’s minions here on Earth are somewhere on the Hoh River Trail, trying to bring their master into the physical realm.


Believe what you want, but keep your eyes peeled for 6'8" shaggy creatures and sparkly vampires with red eyes.

10. Camp Muir, Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

snowy mountain peak camp muir haunted

Image via / Andrew E. Larsen / Flickr

It seems almost yearly there is a death here, attributed to a fall by a climber – and some of these bodies have never been recovered. The views here are incredible, and the trek to Camp Muir is exhilarating, but it's a hike not to be taken lightly. The weather can change unexpectedly, and it’s definitely considered more of a dangerous hike.

Back in 1970, pioneers Hazard Stevens and Philemon Van Trump were determined to climb the mountain. Their Nisqually guides refused to take them no further than timberline – thinking they were crazy to even attempt it. According to the book Haunted Hikes: Spine Tingling Tales and Trails from North America’s National Parks, “the mountain’s personality, according to their mythology, was that of a disgruntled, scorned wife who sucked people into her cave-like stomach and devoured them.”

That sounds...terrifying.

11. The Witch's Castle, Forest Park, Portland, Oregon

The Witch’s Castle may be the most notorious of haunted Pacific Northwest trails. On this Portland hike, you'll find a creepy stone house in the middle of the forest. Legend has it that back in 1850, Danford Balch, Mortimer Stump, and Stump's family lived here in this home. It’s said Danford had fallen in love with Stump’s 15-year-old daughter Anna who eventually ran off to Vancouver to elope against Stump’s wishes. The love was short-lived, and the story goes that Stump’s wife “bewitched” Balch. Mortimer Stump ended up with a bullet in the head by Balch and was hanged. The “witch” is said to have continued living here in the stone home, long after both their deaths. Unexplained paranormal activity is said to have occurred here at the Witch’s House and is attributed to the ghosts of Danford, Mortimer, Anna, and the witch.

The more reasonable (and accurate) explanation is that The Witch's Castle is simply an old abandoned public bathroom erected by Parks and Rec and never torn down. The Balches and Stumps are real people in P-Town's history, and their story is a lot more fun than a boring old loo.

12. Silver Star Mountain, South Cascades, Washington

silver star mountain hiking view washington haunted pacific northwest trail

Image via / Evan Lovely / Flickr

The road up Silver Star Mountain isn’t easy, and accessing the scenic views is tough. Several hikers have reported brief sightings of a large creature in the woods. Could it be Sasquatch? There are said to have been constant sightings here. In November of 2005, a hiker even got a picture of Sasquatch on Silver Star:

silver star mountain bigfoot images 2005

Images via / Randee Chase

“On November 17, 2005, I was looking to the south from the summit of Silver Star Mountain. On the ridge across from me, I saw something I thought looked a little strange, so I got out my camera and took some pictures. Right after I took the first shot it moved or stood up, and I took another picture. It then moved toward the south, away from me. I had to readjust because the wind was so strong, and it was difficult to move because the snow was waist-deep. I got closer to a rock to steady myself and took another picture. By then it was moving down the hill. I don’t think it was another backpacker or snowshoer.” --Randee Chase

silver star mountain bigfoot sighting 2005

Image via / Randee Chase


Do you love reading about spooky places in the northwest? Here are 16 more places in Oregon that will send chills down your spine. Hit the link here to read more. While you're at it, check out the incredibly haunted motel in Chemult. We have family members who stayed there and vowed NEVER AGAIN.

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Written By Danielle Denham

Danielle Denham is an award-winning and published photographer who loves her home state of Oregon. Recently she was featured on a regional-Emmy-winning episode of Oregon Field Guide, and is currently writing a book on Abandoned Oregon. When she isn't out and about exploring for derelict places to photograph, you may find her hanging around in Eugene Oregon with Tyler Willford and his two awesome kiddos.

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