Columbia River Gorge Hikes
The Columbia River Gorge hikes are some of the best in the USA. Just 45 minutes from downtown Portland, the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area covers 292,500 acres of pure beauty. The Columbia River Gorge was formed over 12 million years ago, and boasts lush forests, spectacular waterfalls and views of the Cascades high peaks. On some hikes you can even see fish spawning. If you’re going to hike here, the town of Cascade Locks, OR is a good choice for facilities. There is a great Best Western with incredible views of the river and the Bridge of the Gods. Food is basic in Cascade Locks, and the nearby town of Stevenson, WA has some good dining options as well. When I go to Portland for business, I usually try and tack on an overnight trip to Cascade Locks to get some hiking in.
|Dog Mountain Hike||6.2||Hard||Stevenson||2850||Y|
|Triple Falls Hike||3.3||Easy||Hood River County||910||Y|
|Punchbowl Falls Hike||3.4||Easy||Cascade Locks||970||Y|
The Dog Mountain hike is short, steep, and offers great payoffs at every bend. Dog Mountain rises prominently above the Columbia River Gorge, giving hikers panoramic views of the Gorge, the Columbia River, and on a clear day the Cascades high peaks like Mt. Hood. In the late spring, the higher parts of Dog Mountain are covered in wildflowers, making for some great photo opportunities. If you’re looking for a Columbia River Gorge hike that has the views, this is your move.
Stevenson, WA - 6.2 miles, Hard
The Triple Falls hike from Oneonta Gorge is scenic, great for beginners, and doesn’t have the big crowds that many other Columbia Gorge hikes have. The hike winds up above Oneonta Gorge, and you can look down on the raging creek as you hike on the trail above it. The Triple Falls hike can get crowded, but it’s no where near as crowded Multnomah Falls or Eagle Creek. And you get to see three waterfalls along the way!
Hood River County, OR - 3.3 miles, Easy
The Punchbowl Falls hike is one of the most beautiful hikes in Colombia River Gorge. This hike has waterfalls, cliffs, and scenery straight out of the Lord of the Rings. It’s easy to understand how Punchbowl Falls is a local’s favorite, and is good for all levels of hikers.
Cascade Locks, OR - 3.4 miles, Easy