- Home - Hiking Trails - Columbia River Gorge Hikes Dog Mountain Hike
In This Guide How to Get to the Dog Mountain Hike Dog Mountain Trail Maps Turn by Turn Hike Directions What You Need To Do the Hike Distance 6.2 miles (10 km) Time 3:30 hours Difficulty Hard Total Climbing 2,850 feet (869m) Highest Elevation 2,949 feet (899m) Dog Friendly Leashed Park Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Park Phone 541-308-1700
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.
Getting to the Dog Mountain Hike
Use this trailhead address:
Dog Mountain Trail, WA-14, Cook, WA 98605.
This hike can be extremely popular, so make sure you arrive early.
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, REI, or in some local shops. Gear for the Hike
I recommend hiking gear for Dog Mountain, but you could probably get away with fitness clothes too. Here’s what I bring:
Hiking boots or trail runners Great daypack with 3L of water Trekking poles to help with the steep slopes Long pants to minimize poison oak contact Snacks to enjoy on the viewpoints on the hike A camera Survival gear in case I have to spend the night Extra layers and a rain shell – the summit can be much cooler than the trailhead If you want hiking gear recommendations, check out my full gear list . I only recommend and review gear that I actually use. No company pays me to push their product. Everything on my gear list is battle tested on the trails, and should work well for you too. See The Gear I Use Dog Mountain Trail Maps
I highly recommend bringing some form of paper map with you, and then using it in conjunction with a GPS device.
You can see the navigation gear that I use here (I’m currently using the Fenix 5x and love it). Just download the GPX file below and load it onto your GPS. Download the Hike GPX File View a Printable PDF 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. The hike to Dog Mountain is steep. You basically go straight up. Many hikers use this to train for the bigger Cascades peaks. Dog Mountain Hike 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. You can help other hikers. If you do this hike and something has changed, snap a few photos and email me the details. I’ll update the guide so that others can do the hike safely. You May Also Enjoy Gear I Use
Don’t waste your money on gear that’s no good, I’ve done that for you. All my picks are solid choices that will serve you well on the trail.
See What I Use Why HikingGuy?
Cris Hazzard, and I want to help you enjoy the outdoors. I'm sharing my knowledge, guides, and the gear I personally use so that you can go out, have fun, and be safe. Was This Guide Helpful?
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