Spring at Rooster Rock is where spring fever happens. Imagine the first warm, sunny days of spring where meadows of wild roses and the spicy scent of Oregon grape combine with an endless panorama of the Cascade mountains, blue sky and the deep blue waters of the Columbia River. During the first sunny days of spring, people suddenly call in sick at work or school. That's when our parking lot fills up! Summers and Rooster Rock are like peas and carrots; they just go together. Three miles of river access brings out the crowds (sorry, no dogs on the beach). The river swimming serves visitors who want a natural experience. It's even more natural the farther east you go at Rooster Rock (where you'll find one of Oregon's two designated nude beaches). By design, the nude beach area is completely separate and not visible from the clothing-required area of the large park. The two areas coexist in harmony. Rooster Rock offers not one, but two disc golf courses. The west course is fun and challenging for all skill levels. Looking to test your skill? Try the more technical east course. Our covered picnic shelters and tables serve families and groups of all sizes. Rooster Rock's boat ramp is located in the scenic lagoon at the base of looming Rooster Rock. You'll find some of the best bass, steelhead and walleye fishing around here. Fall colors blaze at Rooster Rock. For an easy hike, try the 2 mile Volkswalk trail at the east end of the park. The trails will be covered with huge maples and oaks as you take a flat hike above the Columbia River. Blacktail deer, swordgrass and mushrooms grow large in the beautiful forests and meadows along this trail. Wintertime at Rooster Rock State Park can be challenging, but it's paradise to those who love life on the edge. Windsurfers know this -- they come here when others stay away. When east winds barge down the Columbia Gorge at 25 to 40 mph, windsurfers come out of the woodwork to ride the whitecaps on the Columbia River. Winter wind speeds at Rooster Rock have been measured at 110 mph. In the winter, Rooster Rock becomes the gateway to winter recreation in the Gorge and the Cascades.
The trail path itself was nice - not difficult but with enough ups and downs to stretch your legs. I went early enough on a semi-chilly summer morning to avoid any surprises from nudists, but it was a miserable hike. Absolutely no view - couldn't even enjoy the trees because I was so busy waving the swarms of mosquitoes away (I even had to zip up and tighten my hoodie to keep them out). When I finally arrived at a small clearing, it was a very brief glimpse of highway with some of the river. The rest of the hike was accompanied by deafening highway noise. Not one I will be repeating - especially when there are much more beautiful and less bloodletting trails just minutes up the road.
Easy hike through the woods. Used this as my 6month old puppy's first hike. We couldn't complete as a loop because part of the trail was totally flooded over and we had to turn back. Would like to do it again when the water has receded some so we're able to see the Rock and some views of the gorge
It's not too bad of a hike. Quick and relatively easy. This trail is definitely more enjoyable in the Spring/Summer seasons. Go into it knowing that the trail is primarily wetlands/marsh. Your shoes will probably get more than a bit wet. The trail is pretty close to I-84, so you'll more than likely hear the sounds of passing vehicles.
Also, be prepared for nudists.
The Rooster Rock trail leads down to a small sandbar called 'Sand Island', which is designated as a 'clothing-optional beach.' You are warned of this before you set foot on the trail, though--the powers that be are kind enough to have posted a warning/information flyers about the ensuing nakedness.
Mind, the nudists who frequent Rooster Rock don't necessarily stick to Sand Island, especially when the water level rises in the channel between the shore and the sandbar. During my last trip I found at least four to five very naked, but very polite middle-aged men just kinda loungin' in the shrubs and bushes that line the trail. Bear in mind that there weren't any 'crazy' people out here--just people who are quick to take advantage of clothing optional areas--but with this recent heat, who wouldn't, really?
But they were kind. One guy was cooking hot dogs and offered me one. I had to decline.