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Dog Mountain Hike

Dog Mountain Hike

The Dog Mountain hike isn't easy, but it has the best panoramic views of the Columbia River Gorge and Cascades high peaks. It's also a great hike to avoid the crowds that you'd encounter on easier Columbia River Gorge hikes.

Rating:
5 / 5
Distance:
6.2 miles (10 km)
Time:
3:30 hours
Difficulty:
Hard
Climbing:
3470 ft (1058 m)
Trail Condition:
Marked trails
Challenges:
Climbing
People:
Moderate
Known For:
Great Views, tough climb, wildflowers
Best Time:
Clear days
Dogs:
Leashed
Bathrooms:
Yes
Parking:
Fee

Dog Mountain Hike Trail Maps

Use this address in Google Maps to get to the trailhead:
Dog Mountain Trailhead, Stevenson, WA, 98648, USA

Dog Mountain Hike location

The Dog Mountain hike trailhead is about 1 hour east of downtown Portland, and about 25 minutes east from the Columbia River Gorge hub of Cascade Locks, OR.

Dog Mountain Hike 3d map

The hike climbs up from the Columbia River to Dog Mountain summit with some broad switchbacks. The prominence from the river is what gives this hike its great views.

Dog Mountain Hike elevation

The hike to Dog Mountain is steep. You basically go straight up. Many hikers use this to train for the bigger Cascades peaks.

Interactive Map

Dog Mountain Hike Map Downloads

hiking map on garmin fenix 3

If you have GPS device (I use this one by Garmin and I love it) for your hike, load the GPX file below into your device to navigate the hike. For help on loading the GPX file, read this article on converting and transferring to a Garmin GPS.

Also, don’t rely on electronics as your sole means of navigation. There’s a basic printable PDF map below, and I strongly picking up a good topo map too.

View a Printable PDF Hike MapDownload the Hike GPX File

Dog Mountain Hike Directions

Dog Mountain Hike

What to Expect

Turn by Turn Directions

Dog Mountain Hike parking
The Dog Mountain hike parking lot is just east of milepost 53. There’s also a large sign marking the parking lot.
Dog Mountain Trail sign
From the parking lot, take the Dog Mountain Trail. There are other trailheads, all signed. Just double check. A bathroom is just past this point.
Dog Mountain Hike trail
The trail climbs steadily. Pace yourself.
Dog Mountain Hike view
Almost immediately you start to get great views of the Columbia River Gorge. Take breaks and enjoy the view.
Dog Mountain Hike trail
At about 0.6 miles, the trail splits, hike to the right. Both trails go to the same place, and the right fork is easier.
closeup of the trail split sign
A closeup of the trail split sign. Hike to the right.
Dog Mountain Hike trail
At about 1.6 miles, after what will seem like a climb that lasts forever, you hike out of the trees to an open section.
Dog Mountain Hike views
Right after hiking out of the trees, there’s a bench on the right where you can take a break and enjoy the views.
Dog Mountain Hike trail
The higher you climb, the better the views become. After spending time at the bench, keep hiking up the trail.
Dog Mountain Hike trail split
At about 2.1 miles, the trail splits. Keep hiking to the right and uphill.
Dog Mountain Hike trail
The trail will eventually clear the tree line around 2.5 miles.
Dog Mountain Hike tree
Guess which way the wind comes from? If it’s a windy day, you’ll be feeling it by this point.
Dog Mountain Hike views
I love this part of the hike. You hug the ridge, with great views down to the river gorge.
Dog Mountain Hike rest area
At about 2.6 miles, there’s another area to relax and take in the views. Put on your extra layer here if it’s getting cool.
Dog Mountain Hike views
More great panoramic views of the Columbia River Gorge open up on this stretch of the hike.
Dog Mountain Hike trail
The trail winds up towards the summit of Dog Mountain.
Cascades high peak
You’ll start to glimpse views of the Cascades high peaks.
Dog Mountain Hike trail junction
Just after 2.9 miles, there’s a trail junction. Hike straight.
Dog Mountain Hike trail
There’s a side trail into the woods. Keep hiking on the main trail.
Dog Mountain Hike trail
The trail winds up along the ridge of Dog Mountain.
Dog Mountain Hike trail
Just after 3 miles, hike the hard left. This turn is easy to miss, so keep your eyes open for it.
Dog Mountain Hike summit
This is the summit! There’s no monument, just a small meadow to relax on.
 views of the Cascades high peaks
You get great views of the Cascades high peaks.
Dog Mountain Hike views
These are the awesome views of the Columbia River Gorge that make the Dog Mountain hike worth the effort.
cris hazzard on dog mountain
Give yourself a pat on the back, you just burned a bazillion calories on this hike. Turn around and hike back down the way you came up.

A quick note. These directions are meant as a guide for the hike, and not a definitive source. Conditions change, and the information here can be different based on time of day, weather, season, etc. There can be small side trails that you might see but I missed. I have made every effort to include all the information you need to complete the hike successfully. I recommend using this guide in conjunction with a map, GPX file, common sense, and call to the ranger station or park office. If you do the hike and notice something has changed, please contact me and I will update the guide.

Browse more articles on: Columbia River Gorge Hikes