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My favorite hike on the Columbia Gorge. Definitely a workout but the view is totally worth it!!!

hiking
18 hours ago

tough hike up and down. beautiful views

hiking
20 hours ago

Tough hike but worth the effort.

I hiked this yesterday, it was a lovely. Coming from the Eugene area, it was a nice getaway, but not something I would drive very far for. The climate this time of year is very dry. Most of the grass and moss at the top of the hill in the clearing was seemingly dead, and the dirt was very dusty. For this reason I suggest wearing good grip shoes and bring a hiking stick if that is available to you.

I recommend using TJ Banker’s directions as they were very clear and accurate - thanks for sharing!
Also just to clarify - when you reach the end of Marcola Rd. where the road forks, near the Shotgun creek map, take the paved road to the right rather than following the road immediately upward.

Happy trails!

Such a good trail! Definitely expect to be climbing, lots of switchbacks, but it’s well maintained and the view was stunning at the top. Stopped by a small picnic table on the way back down to give my pup a short rest and eat a snack. Very dog friendly but i’d recommend your dog be in pretty good shape because it’s all straight uphill with almost no flat spaces to recover on.

This is a difficult but fun trek up to a beautiful summit. The last bit is a challenge but the 360 degree view is incredible and well worth it. We saw a lot of wild flowers, berries and fungi along the way and made several photo stops as the view is spectacular at several points along the way. Bring water and sunblock, there’s a good portion out from under the trees.

Trail is very steep in certain areas. Make sure to read previous reviews on how to get there and it is definitely worth it. We followed ROG's review and saved a ton of time.

awesome, grin a bare the last 2miles. But it's worth it!
Take food and water for lunch at the top

Definitely a workout on the legs and knees, but worth it. Always come prepared! It can be quite chilly and windy at the top. We took a little side trail loop on the way down - it was a nice change in scenery and much warmer.

Very steep trail that is more dangerous coming down than going up. Loose rock on the trail rolls easily under your feet. USE TREKKING POLES!

hiking
7 days ago

Great hike - be prepared that it's all up hill going out. The ending is worth it though!

This is my second time on the Kings Mountain trail, my husband runs the Elk-Kings route routinely. The beginning of the trail is covered in majestic ferns and the end in wildflowers and views of Mt Hood and Coastal Range. One is deep within the forest almost to the top and this is why we felt it would be safe to take along our very energetic 5 year old. To our surprise he made it to the summit within 2.5h with lots of breaks and a picnic on the way up (and down). The trail itself has a lot of scree so he held onto us for those sections. He did fantastic scrambling. He was equipped with proper shoes and a vest. For a strong single kid with two parents to mind them this is certainly feasible.

Nice quiet trail but the climb back up was a bit tiring, after 6 miles down hill ...

hiking
7 days ago

Easy to find and mostly well kept trail. Picking through the rock slide was difficult as the trail there wasn’t well marked. Beautiful view and not busy on a Sunday morning! Sure I’ll be hiking it again

absolutely beautiful. the trail is rough and can be hard to find at times. I attempted three time before I finally found it. but it was so worth it

READ ROG’s review as well as other’s below before doing this trail!! Looks like Rog and I went the same day.

I’m going to keep it short bc others have already written detailed instructions. Scary drive across unpaved gravel and craters at hairpin turn, but I made it to the white gate. The descent is steep. Wear shoes with traction. I stupidly wore my sneakers instead of my hiking shoes and fell down the descent. Luckily didn’t hurt myself. IMHO waterfall was pretty but there are much prettier ones in the area. Oneonta Gorge is a favorite but closed now due to the eagle creek fire.

hiking
8 days ago

I agree with Rog's review below. My husband and I were there yesterday also and we took the wrong path down too. We had a couple behind us that almost got hit with rocks coming loose. PLEASE READ ROG'S REVIEW AND LOOK AT HIS PIC'S!! Everyone says this is a steep climb up and down. They mean it! No joke! I think it was like a 5 to 10 degree vertical climb. Also want to add that once you get to river you need to stay left also on river bank. Do not cross! You will run out of river rock on the right forcing you to cross back to the left side. Please wear proper shoes. Lastly please be respectful of others. Everyone is there to take amazing pics and take in all the beauty!

hiking
8 days ago

Take the correct trail!

This is a beautiful area. But there is an easy way and a crazy way. This location is on private property so there are no trail markings letting you know which way to travel. My friend and I went down a trail which matched some of the descriptions we read below, but little did we know there are a few trails down which match the descriptions below. The trail we took was a death defying Triple Diamond decent for experts only.

Here are some tips on how to avoid the nasty trail.
1. At the very end of the road you'll notice a trail to your East located about 2 car lengths back from the gate (dead end). There will be a big black and white sign explaining that this is private land and to play it safe.

2. Shortly after that big sign the trail will seem to split. One path has a fallen tree crossing the trail. The other path, to your right, looks well traveled.

3. STAY TO YOUR LEFT. WALK OVER THE FALLEN TREE. Shortly after you cross over the log you will see an identical black and white sign. You'll also see a long knotted rope anchored to the base of a small tree. This is the trail you want to be on.

Further down the correct trail you'll get to a point where two large trees have fallen down parallel to one another, leading straight down to the rivers edge. There is a rope which leads down the entire length of these logs. This is the easiest way down to the valley floor.

Back at the Y, if you chose the trail to your right you will see the following clues that your on the wrong path.
1. There will be a nice clearing covered with short grass. This spot has a great view of the valley. The path leading to this point seems very well used. TURN AROUND YOUR ON THE WRONG PATH.
2. Shortly after the grass clearing the trail will narrow down to a single path of loose sharp stones and dust. The topography will become very steep. The path will make several very quick switch backs. TURN AROUND YOUR ON THE WRONG PATH.
3. You will see a rope tied to a dead tree trunk. The rope is tied about 4 feet above the ground. A notch has been hacked into the tree trunk for the rope to nest in. TURN AROUND YOUR ON THE WRONG PATH.
4. The rope, tied to this dead tree, has no outer sheath, and looks very old. It also happens to be just long enough to lead you to think you can make it to the next rope tied to a root, but you cant. and by that time you'll find it hard to retreat. TURN AROUND YOUR ON THE WRONG PATH.

At this point you should turn around and head back. Dont bee foolish like me and my friend. When we reached the second rope tied to the root we discovered it was nothing more than a 3 feet long nub. We were too far down to climb out. The entire area is made of loose jagged rocks anchored by nothing but dust. It is sketchy as F. Some boulders broke free while I was making my way down, sending an avalanche of rocks, dust and broken tree trunks clear down the gulch to the rivers edge. Thank God no one was below us.

The trails leading down the falls are not marked at all. To me, a fallen tree crossing a trail means dont go this way. So I naturally chose the trail which looked obviously open. I had understood the trail down to the river had a rope, so when I saw the rope tied to the dead treed I assumed this was the trail. Someone needs to add some signs, or drag some logs across the bad trail and cut an opening in log crossing the good trail.

Parking: Parking is located in small nooks along the single lane dirt road. The further down you go the sketchier it gets. There is a big wash out and some huge craters about 3/4 of the way down the road. The road heads down hill. So when you are leaving you'll be climbing out of the valley, and that washout with the craters is located at a hairpin turn, so you cant get much of a run at it. To be fair, there were several nice sedans parked below washout point. But I was glad that we parked above this point.

Now as far as the falls are concerned. It is a beautiful area, it is secluded and the geology is amazing to behold. I feel that it is a great place to visit. But in my opinion, the Silver Falls area is equally as nice, if not more scenic.

Maybe this was just me, but I had a hard time finding this trailhead. It’s unmarked and beyond a little rock wall and through a fence. The trail through the rocks was kind of hard to notice and from the parking lot, it doesn’t look like there’s an opening in the fence. But you do go up the wall and through the fence, and you first get some nice forest views and then you get to the ridge and get an awesome view of the valley.

hiking
9 days ago

Great hike but very rainy day. Was not prepared and did not bring trekking poles. We got to within half a mile of the summit and turned back when the wind kicked up and light hailing started. Will return soon to finish and possibly do the elk loop. On the way down I felt we didn’t need trekking poles tho they would have made it safer. Even with very wet conditions and proper shoes, our footing was solid. Got passed several times on the way down by gazelle like trail runners.

hiking
10 days ago

amazing! absolutely worth it!

we drove as far in as we could. the first turn off the "main" gravel road was not marked by a sign but rather an empty sign frame. we kept feeling like we were going wrong but it was right. the road is ROUGH but in dry weather, our Acadia made it fine. once you've driven as far as you can, there is a closed gate. there is parking for about 3-4 cars down that far then parking along the road. you'll not want to go through the gate but rather head back up the road about 100 feet and you'll see the trail which is marked with a sign up on a tree. the trail forks, stay left then head down. the trail has steep areas but you can go up and down with the assistance of ropes someone has left. once you've hit the stream, still head left and once you see the waterfall, the trip become worth every struggle. take a picnic, enjoy your time and really take it in. There was less than a dozen people there and it was the hottest day in July - but still too cold to swim (for me) - others were swimming.
I'm a very beginner and enjoyed it. we also took a dog who LOVED it. enjoy!

I completed this loop yesterday. It ended up being about 7.5 miles for me (maybe because I got of trail a few times for photos). The first 1.5 miles is quite challenging, especially with the loose gravel. Many good view points on the way up. There is a notebook at the summit to sign,but I had no pen. I contemplated going back down the way I came for the sake of time, but glad I didn't (I can't imagine going down those steep grades without a pole). After the summit, you do have some rocks to get down, so you'll need to use your hands. Around mile 3 it's smooth sailing. The junction point is well marked and there are pink/orange ribbons to follow.

Once I got on the Elk Creek Trail I decided to do some trail running (mostly trying to beat the sunset). The trail is generally smooth (I did hit a couple rocks,so be careful), and it's downhill, so I was back at the trailhead in no time.

The views are beautiful, but I imagine you could get similar views on a less challenging trail. Bring plenty of water!

hiking
12 days ago

It was a wonderful 5.5 mile hike up to Mary’s Peak, another mile will take you up to the highest peak. The trail was clear, switchbacking, and cool under the trees. There was a bit of a haze due to Oregon fires, so we couldn’t see the mountain range. The crickets were fun to watch.

CLOSED TODAY DUE TO “DANGEROUS CONDITIONS”.

hiking
12 days ago

Don’t be fooled by the name. I did not see one dog on Dog Mountain. It is dog friendly though, so I assume it’s a BYO situation.

The assent is hard. With a very steep incline. When the path forks go to the right of you want to really feel the burn. Better views on the left fork, but you can loop back in the opposite direction on the way down.

The peak is confused. We did go off the AT main trail to find a higher point. Views of the Gorge are pretty good. Hard trek. Recommend swimming down at Little White Salmon to freshen up on a hot day.

Signs at the trail head still say closed. The area that “closed” the trail is a dried washed out creek. Easily crossed considering the the rest of the hike takes good footing with loose rock. Also passed the park workers replacing the bridge. Second time hiking this, always love the burn towards the top. Bug spray would be helpful :)

I didn’t do the full loop, just up to the summit and down due to timing but in retrospect it was very difficult going down. The views at the top of the summit are great. About a mile in it starts getting rough with having to scramble up a few tough parts and towards the end there are a few saddles. I was a little confused with how to get there but just look for the elk creek campground and drive a bit past there. Definitely a challenge, and a leg killer. I wouldn’t bring a dog or children.

Steep but rewarding hike. Get there early on a weekend to avoid the crowds. I wish I would have brought trekking poles; there are many areas with loose gravel going up.

Tough hike with absolutely beautiful views!

Note: The Discover Pass does not work as I found out with my $5 ticket. It is $5/day or an interagency pass will work.

hiking
14 days ago

This hike is a challenge! We took the longer, less steep route, but it was still a major climb. The terrain remains the same throughout the hike and isn't as beautiful as many of our Oregon hikes. The view from the top is a treat after making the climb though!

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