READY to HIKE?

Make it fun. Make it safe.

The Columbia River Gorge has some of the most incredible and breathtaking hiking trails in the world. Enjoy popular hikes with views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens. Marvel at the hundreds of waterfalls and be blown away by the abundance of spring wildflowers. Journey through old-growth forests and desert prairies or hike to the top of Beacon Rock which is the core of an ancient volcano. All these and more are among favorites with hikers in the Gorge.
You’ll find 15 featured popular hikes listed below.

GET READY
Avoid crowds by following these tips.
• Go Early – before 10 a.m.
• Go East – beyond Waterfall Alley
• Go North – discover Washington
• Go Midweek – Tuesday-Thursday

GET SET
Play it safe by taking these steps.
• Choose trails that meet your group’s comfort and fitness level.
• Check road, weather and trail conditions before you leave.
• Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be home.
• Research recreation use fees and bring cash to pay them.
• Pack the 10 Essentials.

10 ESSENTIALS FOR EVERY HIKE
• Appropriate footwear: boots or tennis shoes
• Map and compass or fully-charged phone with GPS
• Extra water and iodine tablets for purifying water
• Extra food • Rain gear and extra clothing: avoid cotton
• Firestarter, headlamp and a whistle • First aid kit
• Knife or multi-purpose tool • Sunscreen and sunglasses • Backpack

10 WAYS TO LOVE THE COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE
• Protect vital habitat by using authorized trails, campsites and boat launches.
• Leave no trace by packing out your trash and picking up litter you find.
• Stop the spread of invasive species by using a boot brush, available at many trailheads.
• Protect wildlife by keeping dogs on leash and picking up their waste.
• Be courteous. Don’t block parking spots or private driveways.
• Reduce carbon emissions and congestion by carpooling, taking a shuttle or biking.
• Respect local cultures, practices and resources.
• Help businesses prosper by shopping locally.
• Donate time and skills to local nonprofits and agencies.
• Support maintenance and conservation efforts by paying recreation fees.
Find more hiking tips at ReadySetGorge.com

HIKING LEVELS GUIDE
Easy: Level to gently rolling terrain and incline. Requires limited skill and has minimal physical challenges.
Moderate: Hiking that involves an increase in mileage and elevation gain.
More Difficult: Vigorous hiking with moderate hills and slopes.
Note: Changing weather conditions can affect hiking levels for trails.

 

Watch out for poison oak while enjoying popular hikes in the Columbia River Gorge

Caution: Be aware there are rattlesnakes, ticks and poison oak that can be a hazard to both dogs and people along many of the trails. There are also creek crossings, so use caution especially in the spring months.

DON’T FORGET: A Northwest Forest Pass, Washington Discover Permit and Oregon State Parks Pass is required at many of the trailheads. You may purchase a season pass or day-use permit on site. For permit and pass information, click here.

TRAIL CLOSURES

The 2017 Eagle Creek Fire resulted in numerous trail closures on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Go here to get up-to-date information about trail closures in the Gorge: fs.usda.gov/recmain/crgnsa/recreation

NOTE: Due to the 2020 Covid19 pandemic, many trails may still be closed. Please check websites below or contact local chambers for information on opening dates, new social distancing and safety protocols.
fs.usda.gov/recmain/crgnsa/recreation
https://stateparks.oregon.gov
https://www.parks.wa.gov
http://readysetgorge.com
https://www.columbiagorgetourismalliance.org

For a complete list of hiking trails click here.

Popular Hikes

WASHINGTON

Dog Mountain
wildflowers • view  |  Level: More difficult |  7 miles round trip, Elevation Gain: 2,948 ft.

A very popular trail, particularly from mid-April through early June, when the hills are filled with blooming wildflowers. Hikers will see impressive
views of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood. The trail is somewhat challenging as it gains 2,948 feet and is 3.5 miles to the top. Plan four hours to hike this one and take water and food for the break on top.
Getting there:
To reach the trail, travel on Hwy 14 to MP 53. Dog Mountain is halfway between Stevenson and Bingen. Look for a large parking lot on the north side of the highway.
NOTE: NW Forest Pass required for parking.

Stacker Butte/Dalles Mountain Ranch
wildflowers • view  |  Level: Moderate |  5.4 miles round trip, Elevation Gain: 1500 ft.

The best time for this hike is mid-April through May for the wildflower show! A gravel road amongst the wide open field of wildflowers will take you to the top where you will see Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Jefferson. Stunning!
Getting there:
From Bingen, WA travel 24 miles east to milepost 84.5. Turn left onto gravel Dalles Mountain Road. Proceed 3.4 miles on Dalles Mountain Road and turn left just before an old ranch and barn. Pass interpretive displays and continue on this rough dirt road for 1.4 miles to a gate.
NOTE: Washington State Discover Pass required

Hamilton Mountain
waterfalls • view  |  Level: More difficult |  8 miles round trip, Elevation Gain: 2,100 ft.

The trail to the top of Hamilton Mountain is a gradual climb offering spectacular views of the Columbia River and Bonneville Dam from the top. The first part of the hike is very popular with the first 1.3 miles taking you to Rodney Falls, Pool of the Winds and Hardy Falls.
Getting there: Driving west on Hwy 14 from Stevenson, turn right at Beacon Rock State Park. Parking area is on your right with trailhead located behind the restrooms.
NOTE: Washington State Discover Pass required

Catherine Creek Arch Loop
wildflowers • view  |  Level: Easy |  3.5 miles round trip, Elevation Gain: 500 ft.

Enjoy gorgeous views, astounding wildflowers, oak woodlands and open grasslands. More than 90 varieties of wildflowers bloom here, making this a favorite springtime destination.
Getting there:
Traveling 6 miles east of Bingen on Hwy 14, take a left on Old Hwy 8. Follow highway for 1.5 miles to parking area. The universal paved trail takes off to the right, the arch loop hike begins uphill to the left.
NOTE: No pass required

Beacon Rock
view  |  Level: Easy to Moderate |  2 miles round trip, Elevation Gain: 600 ft.

Beacon Rock is the core of an ancient volcano and is a well known landmark that is recommended for the first time visitor to the Columbia River Gorge. The plug is 848 feet high with handrails lining most of the ascent. The trail is 4,500 feet long with a 15 percent grade and takes 45 minutes to an hour to make the round trip. Once on top of the rock, the view of the Columbia River Gorge is breathtaking.
Getting there:
Drive west on Hwy 14, 10 miles from Stevenson, Washington. You can’t miss the rock on your left at MP 35.
NOTE: Washington State Discover Pass required

Weldon Wagon Trail
wildflowers • view  |  Level: Moderate |  5 miles round trip, Elevation Gain: 1,340 ft.

A hidden gem of a hike with a wildflower show in the spring and great colors of vine maples and oak woodlands in autumn. To find the trailhead, walk 0.15 mile up a 4×4 road to a well marked sign for Weldon Wagon Trail. At 1.5 miles, the trail takes you into the White Salmon Oak Natural Conservation Area. Look for views of Mt. Hood to the south.
Getting there:
From Hood River, cross the bridge to Washington and turn left on Hwy 14. Go 1.6 miles and turn right onto State Route 141A. Head north for 2 miles then stay left to continue north on Hwy State Route 141. Go 3.8 miles and turn right onto Indian Creek Road. Follow this gravel road for .6 miles, then go left on Indian Cemetery Road and continue .4 miles further. Look for the unmarked jeep road on your right and a wide spot on the left where you can park.
NOTE: No pass required

Lower Falls Creek
waterfall  |  Level: Easy to Moderate |  4.4 miles round trip, Elevation Gain: 800 ft.

This waterfall is well worth the hike! Not only do you see a spectacular waterfall but you also are hiking in a beautiful old growth forest. Start the hike by crossing the cable suspension bridge which spans a rock gorge providing spectacular views of the whitewater of Falls Creek. The trail ends at the waterfall so this is an out and back hike. Note: Trailhead is closed December 1 to March 31.
Getting there:
Take State Hwy 14 to Carson, Washington. Drive 15 miles north on Wind River Road (#30) to its junction with FS Road 3062, turn right and proceed 1.5 miles to Lower Falls Creek Trail 152A.
NOTE: NW Forest Pass required

Horsethief Butte
wildflowers • view  |  Level: Easy |  2 miles round trip, Elevation Gain: 150 ft.

Starting from the parking area, take the first grassy path marked with stones to the right. Stay to the right and follow well marked trail on the flat area to the east side of the butte, trail ends here, turn back towards parking lot. Adventure on some of the side trails into rocky canyons to look for Native American art. Views of the river and wildflowers add to this adventure.
Getting there:
From Oregon, take I-84 to Exit #87/Hwy 197 north (The Dalles Dam Bridge). Cross the Columbia River and continue about 2 miles to WA Hwy 14. Turn right on Hwy 14 and drive about 2 miles to the signed trailhead on the right. From Washington, the trailhead is at about MP #86.
NOTE: Washington State Discover Pass required

OREGON

Mosier Plateau
wildflowers • view  |  Level: Moderate |  3.5 miles round trip, Elevation Gain: 600 ft.

This trail begins in the town of Mosier and then ends up on Mosier Plateau. The trailhead is actually 1,000 yards east up the road from the parking lot, just over the historic bridge. You’ll see a bench just after crossing the bridge and a trail. This is the beginning of the hike. After a series of switchbacks and four sets of stairs, you’ll find yourself at the viewpoint, soaking up the outstanding Gorge views. The peak of the wildflowers being mid-to-late April where you will find over 30 different flower species!
Getting there:
From I-84, take Exit #69/Mosier. Follow the Historic Columbia River Highway into town. Park at the Mosier totem pole located mid-town on left/north side of road. Park here in the gravel or below the totem pole between Hwy 30 and the railroad tracks.
NOTE: No pass required

Tom McCall Nature Preserve
wildflowers • view
Trail across plateau to river viewpoint: Level: Easy  |  2.2 miles round trip, Elevation Gain: none
Trail to McCall Point: Level: More Difficult  |  3.4 miles round trip, Elevation Gain: 1,100 ft.

The Tom McCall Nature Preserve overlooks the Columbia River and provides gorgeous scenery and wildflower viewing. More than 200 plant species live here including grass widows, prairie stars, shooting stars, balsamroot, lupine and Indian paintbrush. Dogs, horses and bicycles are not allowed. Please do not pick the flowers and off trail hiking and camping are also not allowed. And remember to wear long pants if you’re taking the upper trail, as it passes through poison oak.
Getting there:
From Hood River, drive I-84 east to Mosier/Exit 69 and follow signs for 6.6 miles to the Rowena Crest Viewpoint. From The Dalles, take Rowena/Exit 76 and follow the old Columbia River Highway west to the viewpoint. Trailhead begins across from parking area.
NOTE: No pass required

Tamanawas Falls
waterfall  |  Level: Easy |  4 miles round trip, Elevation Gain: 500 ft.

Tamanawas Falls is another gorgeous waterfall in the Gorge and great for families. The two mile hike takes you through a lush forest along Cold Spring Creek with the destination ending at the 100-foot waterfall. An ideal hike for cooling down on a hot afternoon!
Getting there:
Follow Hwy 35 south of Hood River for approximately 22 miles. Look for a parking area a few miles past Cooper Spur, turn off just before Sherwood Campground. Follow the path to the footbridge crossing of the East Fork of the Hood River.
NOTE: NW Forest Pass required

OREGON :: MT. HOOD TERRITORY

Timberline Trail
view  |  Level: Easy to Advanced |  Optional miles, Elevation Gain: Varies

Timberline Trail, which takes off from Timberline Lodge, circles all around the mountain requiring multi-days to complete the entire route. There are options for day hikes as far as you like from either direction at Timberline Lodge. This particular hike travels what is known both as the Timberline Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. Timberline Lodge has easy-going hiking trails accessible around the lodge for overnight guests and day visitors to enjoy throughout the summer. For a slightly more challenging hike, you can walk a mile up Mt. Hood and enjoy the views from Silcox Hut and the Palmer chair lift.
Getting there:
Drive south on Hwy 35 from Hood River for 38 miles. Merge onto Hwy 26/Mt. Hood Hwy via ramp to Portland 2.4 miles. Turn right on Timberline Road, travel 6 miles to Timberline Lodge for parking.
NOTE: No pass required

OREGON :: WATERFALL ALLEY

Lower and Upper Latourell Falls
waterfall • view  |  Level: Moderate  |  2.4 miles round trip, Elevation Gain: 500 ft.

Lower Latourell Falls is a unique Columbia Gorge waterfall due to the fact it drops straight down from an overhanging basalt cliff. From the Latourell Falls parking lot, follow the paved path to the upper viewpoint, then pick up the path as it reverts to dirt and climbs to the upper falls in a little over .75 mile. The trail loops back to the highway on the opposite side of the creek. You can walk back to your car on the highway or cross the highway down the steps to Guy Talbot State Park and take the paved trail east of the picnic area to the lower part of the lower falls leading you back to your car.
Getting there:
From the west, take I-84 to exit 28, turn west for 3 miles to trailhead. From the east, take exit 35 and travel 10 miles to the trailhead. To feel the mist from the base of the falls make sure to walk down the short path to the right of the parking lot.
NOTE: No pass required

Multnomah Falls/Wahkeena Falls Loop Trail
waterfall • view  |  Level: More Difficult  |  5 miles round trip, Elevation Gain: 1,500 ft.

This is a waterfall lover’s dream! There are eight waterfalls on this trip including well known Fairy Falls and Wahkeena Falls. Although Multnomah Falls is the Gorge’s signature icon and the most visited attraction in Oregon, don’t let this hike scare you away. Once you reach the top of Multnomah Falls the crowds will fizzle and this hike is well worth it. The hike is steep at times and is paved near Wahkeena and Multnomah Falls.
Getting there:
Traveling on I-84, take Exit 28 or Exit 35 for the Historic Highway and drive to start the hike either at Wahkeena Falls or Multnomah Falls.
NOTE: No pass required

Upper Horsetail Falls
waterfall • view  |  Level: Easy to Moderate  |  1.6 miles round trip, Elevation Gain: 440 ft.

Begin at the base of beautiful Horsetail Falls on the Historic Highway. A nice trail takes you to the upper falls, which flows over a cavern for relaxing and taking in the view.
Getting there:
Travel west on I-84 to Exit 35 for Ainsworth State Park to the old scenic highway. Parking lot is on your right at the base of Horsetail Falls.
NOTE: No pass required

Martin's Gorge Tours offers guided tours to popular hikes in the Columbia River Gorge

Martin’s Gorge Tours

LETS GO HIKING!

Explore the Columbia River Gorge like a local. With Martin’s Gorge Tours you enjoy custom experiences. Discover area attractions from waterfalls to wineries, breweries, cideries, historical sites, scenic drives, invigorating hikes and interpretive nature walks. Our local premier guides are experts in all things “Gorge” and they want to share their passion for The National Scenic Area. Individuals, couples, groups, weddings, reunions and more — we have you covered. Shuttles also available.

503-349-1323     visit website

As a 4-season premium outdoor retailer, Pure Stoke (previously called 2nd Wind Sports) has everything you need

Pure Stoke

OUTDOOR GEAR

You know us by our former name, 2nd Wind Sports! Over 34 years we OUTGREW that name and became our motto: Pure Stoke! Pure Stoke is a 4-season premium outdoor retailer. We have everything you need: camping, hiking, kiteboarding, SUP, skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoes and apparel for everything. We have the SAME owners, SAME new & used options, local knowledge and the hands-on gear knowledge you love!

202 State Street, Downtown Hood River, OR     541-386-4464     visit website