Dog Mountain Hike

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
Distance6.2 miles (10 km)
Time3:30 Hours (Total Time)
DifficultyHard
Total Climbing2,850 feet (869m)
Highest Elevation2,949 feet (899m)
Dog FriendlyLeashed
Park NameColumbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
Park Phone541-308-1700

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:

Garmin inreach review

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

Fenix 5x Hiking Review

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.

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 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.

Dog Mountain Hike 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.

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