Dog Mountain Hike
|In This Guide|
|Distance||6.2 miles (10 km)|
|Time||3:30 Hours (Total Time)|
|Total Climbing||2,850 feet (869m)|
|Highest Elevation||2,949 feet (899m)|
|Park Name||Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area|
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
My Top Gear Picks
Do you have the right hiking gear? Will it stand up to the test? I waste lots of money testing hiking gear every year so that you don’t have to. My gear picks are solid choices that will serve you well on the trail. I don’t do sponsored or paid reviews, I just the share actual gear that I use all the time that’s made the cut. Here are my top picks:
- Garmin InReach Mini Emergency Beacon – Hiking out of cell phone range? Make sure you have one of these two-way satellite texting devices in case your hike doesn’t go as planned. You can read my full review here.
- Injinji Sock Liners With Darn Tough Hiking Socks – This combo is a great way to avoid blisters out on the trail. I have some insider-hiking tips for avoiding blisters here. Pair them with modern, high-tech hiking boots (for women and men) and your feet with thank you.
- Garmin Fenix 5x Plus – It’s a little pricey, but man do I love this thing. Not only does it have all the topo maps and navigation tools on my wrist, but it also acts as a long battery life, rugged, outdoors version of an Apple Watch. Track your workouts, sleep, heart rate, all that stuff.
I have lots of other great, sponsor-free, trail tested gear picks on my “best gear” page.
See My Full Gear List
Dog Mountain Trail Maps
I highly recommend bringing a good 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 Plus and love it). Just download the GPX file below and load it onto your GPS.
Many people also print out this web page for the turn-by-turn images. And if you really want to get tricky, YouTube Premium lets you download videos for offline use, so you can download the hike video and save it.
Download the Hike GPX File
View a Printable PDF Hike Map
Dog Mountain Hike Directions
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