Cape Horn Loop Trail is a 5.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Washougal, WA that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
This is a nice hike along the north shore of the Columbia River with great views This 8 mile loop trail will bring you to a great viewpoint over the Columbia at about 1,200 feet then drop you down to the very edge of the river along fields of lava rocks and by basalt towers. You'll pass a waterfall on the way to the Cape Horn Road that will bring you back to the parking lot as well.
A variety of scenes in this hike. Forest, fields, tunnels, rocky trails, and a mile road walk back to the park and ride. There are several viewpoints to look out over the gorge and a small waterfall near second viewpoint. Not too much elevation change, just a few short steep sections. Close to Portland and less crowded than closer in gorge hikes on the OR side.
There are some nice vistas of the gorge but it's not anything spectacular. Plus the section you have to walk on the road really put a damper on it for me. But the parking area is huge and the gorge is always a sight to see.
This hike was great for mileage and a steady incline/climb, but the trail signs are a bit confusing. Started with the upper trail that included some great viewpoints, but the signs along the trail were a bit weird. It would be marked as "viewpoint" and "horses" and you're not certain which trail leads you where, but as we discovered, it leads to one trail eventually. The "viewpoint" leads to the nice views and "horses" meant the horse trail i assumed, but was just the main trail itself, which wasnt maintained too well. The weirdest part is when the upper trail ends and you start the lower trail. Its divided by a paved crosswalk that you have to cross to continue with your hike. It opens up into a beautiful field but its just a bit random. The lower trail was interesting and a bit strenuous. It includes a waterfall, a footbridge, and tough switchbacks that were rocky and a steep decline. A tough ending trek for sure and includes a 1.25 mile paved road hike back to the beginning of the trailhead. Views were great, but didnt expect to have a hike with so many varying terrains. Not a bad thing, but this looped hike needs some more signage.
Least favorite gorge hike so far. Not well kept. While loop includes over a half mile of paved road. Creepy shed too. While there was some scenic areas, you can drive 20minutes longer for some spectacular hikes, that's what I'd recommend.
The upper part is beautiful! The lower not so much!
Very pretty, green and lots to look at. I really enjoyed this hike.
Beautiful view of the Columbia River Gorge at the top. Up hill most of the way but the trail was good. Might be slippery in wet weather.
Wow, a little of everything on the upper trail!
My first time experiencing this trail and I'm so glad we waited until the lower trail reopened! This trail offers a moderate climb and gorgeous views. Plenty of beautiful flowers and sweet little snakes along the path. The waterfall didn't flow heavily, though it's easy enough to get to and feels amazing to stand under. There are a number of signs posted to help navigate your way through the trail. Though mostly covered, there are spots along the trail that are exposed, so be prepared on hot days.
Uphill but worth the view!
My daughter and I really like this hike, we have hiked it twice and are looking forward to the lower portion to open in July. The views are beautiful!
Nice Sunday stroll in the woods! Great view at the top.
I did the upper trail since the bottom half is closed till July. The upper part is so pretty and very peaceful! It was a beautiful hike
It's officially part of the Cape Horn Trail, which has the same trailhead and continues for a few miles beyond Pioneer Point.
The trail is a constant incline until you reach the Point. Not overly challenging, but still a bit taxing. Beware frequent roots sticking up from the ground and large rocks littered around the trail.
The viewpoint at the end is worth it, though. If you're up for it, I'd definitely recommend continuing on to experience the full Cape Horn Trail (just note that the lower part of the loop is closed until July 15th).
We went recently, before the lower trail was reopened (it's closed until July 15th). Even as an out-and-back, the Cape Horn Trail was wonderful.
The first major leg of the journey is almost entirely uphill. It's not extreme by any means, but could prove difficult for beginners or those less acclimated to sudden, steep elevation gain. It is taxing, though, so be sure to have water.
There are a few scattered viewpoints on the trail, all of which offer grandiose vistas of the Columbia River Gorge. These make your efforts worth their while, especially on a clear sunny day.
Some areas of the trail are pretty overgrown, so beware of that. There were quite a few people on the trail, several with dogs without leashes. Since the lower trail was closed, our endpoint was the viewpoint at the Cape Horn Falls lookout. Seemed like a good place to head back.