The Best Columbia River Gorge Hikes
Ready for Columbia River Gorge hikes? Hop in the car and head west—the Columbia River Gorge is the perfect destination for hiking, biking, and sightseeing. Here are some of our favorite hikes in this beautiful landscape that are great for the whole family.
Wahkeena Falls Loop
Chase waterfalls with family and friends in Wahkeena Falls. This popular loop has six waterfalls, countless cascades, and other intermittent falls and can be hiked in whichever direction. The Wahkeena Falls Loop trail is a great place to start walking and exploring the Columbia River Gorge. The trail is not too difficult, but it’s long at about 5 miles round trip. If you don’t want to hike the entire loop, you can park at Wahkeena Falls and walk down the paved trail for about 1 mile to see stellar views of the waterfall. You will then have to turn around and return the same way you came because no official trail connects from here back up to Multnomah Falls (the main parking area).
The Wahkeena trail is well-maintained and easy to follow. There are a few muddy areas, and very minor stream crossings are required during rainy times. During winter, icy conditions may make for hazardous trail conditions. Prepare the right trekking gear to avoid possible accidents.
Latourell Falls is the second-highest year-round waterfall in the Columbia River Gorge and is a popular destination. It is a short, beautiful hike with impressive views, one of the closest hikes to Multnomah Falls. Exploring these Multnomah Falls and Latourell Falls together makes for an excellent day trip from Portland or the Columbia Gorge along the Historic Columbia River Highway.
The Latourell falls hike is about 1.6 miles round trip, but it’s easy with little elevation gain. There is a parking lot at the trailhead, and signs mark where you should begin your hike along Latourell Creek Trail. The trail is paved and well maintained; however, due to its popularity, there may be other hikers on this trail and people fishing along its banks.
Dog Mountain Hike
The Dog Mountain Hike is not for the faint of heart. It’s a 7.4-mile trail in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, and it’s best visited from Mid-May to June, so you can see wildflowers in full bloom. The trail is popular because it’s easy to access from Portland, Oregon, and there are miles of trails for hikers of all skill levels. You’ll see mostly Northwest Balsamroot with some Columbia Gorge Lupine, Harsh Paintbrush, Spring Gold, and others mixed in. It’s generally best to go during late May or early June. The window only lasts a couple of weeks, so don’t wait too long!
McCall Point Trail
If you can’t wait for the Oneonta gorge hike to open, then head better check out some spectacular trails. During the springtime, wildflowers engulf this enchanting trail located in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge. The McCall Point Trail is a two-mile loop that offers magnificent views of the river and surrounding hills. Getting to this overlook is an absolute delight and a very straightforward trail that can be done by just about anyone. If you want to immerse yourself in the splendor of Oregon’s blooms without having to deal with too much foot traffic, try going out early in the day. Otherwise, this inspiring adventure is well worth waking up for!
Hiking Columbia River Gorge is one of the best things you can do to explore any different trails that take you through beautiful scenery and allow you to experience nature at its finest. While on your mission to explore Columbia River Gorge, Ponderosa Inn will make your Portland stay more comfortable and cozier. Our friendly staff and modern amenities will make you feel at home after a long day exploring nature, appreciating idyllic views, and enjoying wildlife sightings. For reservations, give us a call at 971-220-1002 or book directly below.