- Home - Hiking Trails - Columbia River Gorge Hikes 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.
6.2 miles (10 km)
3470 ft (1058 m)
Great Views, tough climb, wildflowers
Dog Mountain Hike Trail Maps
Google Maps trailhead:
Dog Mountain Trailhead, Stevenson, WA, 98648, USA 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. 3D Hike 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. Hike Elevation Profile The hike to Dog Mountain is steep. You basically go straight up. Many hikers use this to train for the bigger Cascades peaks. Interactive Hike Map Dog Mountain Hike Map Downloads View a Printable PDF Hike Map Download the Hike GPX File Dog Mountain Hike Directions What to Expect The Dog Mountain hike is popular on weekends, especially in the spring when the wildflowers are in bloom. Arrive early for a spot in the trailhead parking lot. There is a bench half the way up the hike with great views, and the summit has great views. Both great places for lunch or a snack. In the summer the sides of the trail are thick with poison oak. Stay on the trail and you’ll be fine. The summit can be much cooler than the trailhead. Bring an extra layer and rain shell You need a parking pass. I use the affordable National Parks Pass, which gets me in every park, monument, and national forest. Otherwise buy a Northwest Forest Pass at a ranger station or in some local shops. Turn by Turn Directions The Dog Mountain hike parking lot is just east of milepost 53. There’s also a large sign marking the parking lot. 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. The trail climbs steadily. Pace yourself. Almost immediately you start to get great views of the Columbia River Gorge. Take breaks and enjoy the view. 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. A closeup of the trail split sign. Hike to the right. 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. Right after hiking out of the trees, there’s a bench on the right where you can take a break and enjoy the views. The higher you climb, the better the views become. After spending time at the bench, keep hiking up the trail. At about 2.1 miles, the trail splits. Keep hiking to the right and uphill. The trail will eventually clear the tree line around 2.5 miles. Guess which way the wind comes from? If it’s a windy day, you’ll be feeling it by this point. I love this part of the hike. You hug the ridge, with great views down to the river gorge. 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. More great panoramic views of the Columbia River Gorge open up on this stretch of the hike. The trail winds up towards the summit of Dog Mountain. You’ll start to glimpse views of the Cascades high peaks. Just after 2.9 miles, there’s a trail junction. Hike straight. There’s a side trail into the woods. Keep hiking on the main trail. The trail winds up along the ridge of Dog Mountain. Just after 3 miles, hike the hard left. This turn is easy to miss, so keep your eyes open for it. This is the summit! There’s no monument, just a small meadow to relax on. You get great views of the Cascades high peaks. These are the awesome views of the Columbia River Gorge that make the Dog Mountain hike worth the effort. 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. Support This Site
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Punchbowl Falls Hike
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.
Triple Falls Hike
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. And you get to see three waterfalls along the way!
My Best Hiking Gear List
I hike a lot, and I go through a lot of gear. Here’s my best hiking gear list. This list features all the hiking gear that is worth your time, skipping the junk that you don’t need. I take a high-tech and low-tech approach, giving you the convenience of hiking with technology while offering low-tech backups in case the fancy gear fails. Everything you see in this hiking gear list is what I use on every hike that I do. I update this page regularly when I test and use new hiking gear.
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.
Read More 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.
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