Pacfiic Northwest Hikes
Pacific Northwest (PNW) hikes are some of the best in the USA. You have National Parks, forests, and the peaks of the Olympics.
|Eagle Creek Trail Guide||4.2||Moderate||Cascade Locks||525||Y|
|Timberline Trail Guide (Mt Hood)||41.5||Hard||Government Camp||10800||Y|
|Hoh River Trail to Blue Glacier Hike Guide||36||Hard||Forks||5400||N|
|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|
You can’t go wrong with a hike on the Eagle Creek Trail, considered the signature trail of the Columbia River Gorge. Right from the start, the Eagle Creek Trail offers dramatic views of waterfalls, a raging mountain stream, dense PNW forest, and towering basalt cliffs. Most hikers enjoy the short 4.2-mile roundtrip hike to Punchbowl Falls, but I highly recommend going farther if you have the fitness. You can even make it an overnight backpacking trip, ideally hiking to the end of the Eagle Creek Trail at Wahtum Lake, high in the mountains. Whatever option you choose, you can’t go wrong here.
Cascade Locks, OR - 4.2 miles, Moderate
The 41.5 mile Timberline Trail, which circles Oregon’s highest point, Mt Hood, dropping in and out of glacier-carved canyons, is a classic that should be on everyone’s bucket list. There’s a lot to love about the Timberline Trail: a well-worn path above and below the timberline (the altitude where trees stop growing), epic views of Mt Hood and the other peaks of the Cascades, glaciers, waterfalls, volcanic rock, alpine meadows, wildflowers, and rich history (it’s also a National Historic Trail). Numerous tent sites along the trail and an easy permit system make tackling the Timberline in 2-4 days straightforward. In this guide I’ll explain everything you need to know to plan your trip, and then do the hike.
Government Camp, OR - 41.5 miles, Hard
The Hoh River Trail in Olympic National Park is a bucket-list worthy hike. You’ll start the adventure by hiking along the Hoh River, which is fed directly from glaciers, making it a cold, milky-gray color. The trail winds through what most consider is the best-preserved rain forest in the northern hemisphere, also located in one of the most remote areas of the United States, the middle of the Olympic Peninsula. The temperate rainforest is covered in ferns, mosses, and massive trees, some of which are over 1000 years old. And then the Hoh River Trail turns upward, over a spectacular whitewater gorge, climbing through alpine scenery until it reaches the spectacular Blue Glacier at the foot of Mt Olympus. Most people take two to four days to backpack the Hoh River Trail, and in this guide, I’ll give you all the information you need to plan and enjoy this epic hike.
Forks, WA - 36 miles, Hard
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