Explore Hard Ideas - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Hard Ideas Map
VIEW FULL MAP

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.

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
5 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
5 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.

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!

hiking
10 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.

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
12 days ago

Hard but totally worth it!! The view at the end is breathtaking!!

Unmatched views of St.Helens. This trail is very long and completely open. Recommend bringing a hat and sunglasses or the sun will wear you down.

love & will always recommend this hike. although difficult, it's a fun workout and if you keep going upstream you will find at least 2 more waterfalls that are also beautiful and empty!

Nice cool shaded hike below until you start the face where you are exposed. The first mile is the toughest as far as elevation gain which doesn’t seem like it should be but it is - get past that and you will be alright :) Foliage up top was all brown and dried up so I’d recommend going earlier in the summer.

hiking
16 days ago

Great little hike (more of a walk down a road until you get to the cut down to the river)and well worth it. Falls are much larger early Spring but still impressive later in the summer.

off road driving
16 days ago

Took the trail down to the falls today. You can drive about half way down the “hike” as it is along a gravel road for a while and isn’t bad until you hit a fairly large wash out which I wouldn’t recommend trying to pass unless you have some experience with off road driving. The falls were magnificent and the water was gorgeous (great for a dip! Don’t be a baby, just get in quick). Will absolutely be hiking this again with my brother as the views are too great to miss it.

hiking
18 days ago

Hiked up just past where ape canyon trail intersects loomit loop, ate lunch, hiked back down. Clocked it at 10.3mi in 5 hrs including stops (doggy sniffing included).

* dusty and dry. BRING WATER especially for furry friends - there are 0 spots for them to drink from any bodies of water. Period.
* pretty flat footing all the way up since it’s a mixed use trail used by many mountain bikers.
* steady incline with a few ups and downs. No steep bits. I would put this on the easy side of moderate, with the only moderate part being the length. It really was quite an easy hike.
* all the mountain bikers we ran into were super respectful and conscious of hikers being on trail.
* great views of St. Helens, Adams, and even Rainier!
* bugs weren’t bad in the morning, but got bad as the day got hot. There were only a few mosquitoes towards the beginning, and the rest of the way up it was just a lot of flies. They were more annoying than anything. We got very few bites from the mosquitoes and the rare biting fly. Once we popped out onto the plains, there was an amazing breeze and the bugs were gone.
* LOTS of other trails to connect to and directions to go in once you reach the plains if you’re looking for a longer trek.

hiking
18 days ago

We enjoyed the trail down to the river, but most of the distance is on a gravel road. 1300’ down, then back up to the car.

on Abiqua Falls Trail

20 days ago

Went towards the end of July. Water was low so the rocky hike once you reached the creek wasn't slick. But this is one amazing workout, and a beautiful view at the end of the hike!

hiking
20 days ago

This is one of my favorite places in Oregon. It is totally worth the steep trail! Be warned: the gravel road is not very accessible. I had to park my car 2 miles up the road due to large potholes full of water. There were tons of cars but I was alone at the falls, so I am not sure if there is something else to do nearby. Bring a lot of water, more than a waterbottle. Its hot, its steep, the road is uphill on the way back.

**Found**
found a sleeping bag on the northwestern side of the mountain, in a glacial valley. Packed it out. Describe it to me and I can mail it to you. send me a message on Instagram, @sam_joe_carl

Beautiful wilderness! Spent two nights and three days. My GPS showed the final milage to be more like 43.5

Make sure to bring some type of insect repellent but overall very beautiful and gracious. I did bring my dog and should’ve had dog booties for her because of certain terrain. Enjoy!

hiking
21 days ago

We hiked Dog mountain last week while vacationing in Stevenson, WA. This hike is not for the faint of heart. It’s a heart pounding climb from the first step onto the trail. You need to be in good physical shape for this hike. There is ALOT of exposure near the top so if you have a fear of heights this one might not be for you. This hike was AMAZING! It is worth every bit of hard work getting to the top....the views will leave you speechless. We were there on a Friday and there were maybe a dozen people we saw along the trail. We will definitely do this hike again.

In the heat of the summer, this trail is worth hiking if you are simply looking for a leg and cardio workout. It is popular with trail runners and folks training for races because of the steady elevation gain. However, in the spring when the flowers are blooming, it's incredibly beautiful and really worth the effort. In May there are Balsamroots galore, Indian Paintbrush, Lupines, and more (plus tons of other people). My favorite time to go is late afternoon to avoid the crowds and watch the sunset. (Bring a headlamp for the end of the trail.) This trail isn't overly difficult for avid hikers, but would be really challenging if you aren't used to long uphills. Note: you don't have to pay the $5 parking fee if you have a Discover Pass.

hiking
23 days ago

Definitely a leg burner up and down. Amazing views at the top.

Loved this trail. The first half mile or so is steep switchbacks until you get to where the trail splits for difficulty to more difficulty. The. After that it is moderate with the exception of some steep switchbacks. The view up is amazing and so is the end. It’s windy up on top so bring a light jacket. We woke up at 4 am and got to the trailhead at 5. There was only one car in the parking lot. And we only got passed once by a couple. On the way down we could hear tree branches breaking so that was a little scary especially since no one else was on the trail. Once we got back down to where the trail splits we saw a couple heading up and then another couple going up as well. It’s not very busy during the early morning

great hike beautiful falls

hiking
26 days ago

It's definitely not 'hard' as the description would indicate, as the inclines are manageable, and it's not too long. That said, it is definitely buggy, and you should plan to be harassed by the bugs for your entire time in the trees. It's a gorgeous trail though, and one I'd recommend for sure. Btw...I just read some of the other reviews from the last day or two. the bugs aren't as bad as the others let on. I mean...you're out in the woods...sheesh. Wear some sleeves and a hat and you'll be fine. I don't ever wear bugspray and didn't have many bites.

Also - note that this trail gets a LOT of MTB traffic. Plan accordingly for that if you're going to head up it. I personally start early in the morning so I get all of the bikes on their way up. If you catch them all headed downhill I could see this being pretty sketchy.

hiking
27 days ago

Totally worth the trip

on Abiqua Falls Trail

29 days ago

Getting to trail not very easy. End part of road is gravel and rock. Parts of the road is only wide enough for one car! A cool figure is the going down and up with the help of ropes tied to trees. Once down, very rocky trail to waterfall. Could bring water shoes and wade through freezing river! Awsome waterfall!

hiking
29 days ago

Went on a Wednesday and only passed a few hikers and bikers. The bugs we're out but as long as I was moving and had my windbreaker zipped up they we're tolerable. (but literally no stopping allowed) once you get out of the trees (~4miles) the bugs are gone and there are wide open plains to walk through with spectacular mountain views. around mile 5 the trail intersects the loowit River trail. I believe you are "supposed" to take the right fork as far as you want. There is a good stopping place around 5.25 miles but I wanted to make it an even 6 so I continued on through the planes. the incline was very mild and even though you climb quite a bit, it is spread out evenly through the whole hike so it is never too much of an ass burner! I could do without the bugs but all in all and great hike. (finished 12 miles in 4.5 hours- a PR for me!)

off road driving
29 days ago

The waterfall was very difficult to find unless you use the provided map on this app. The off-roading was amazing but not suitable for every car. It is a very bumpy ride. The trail that leads to the waterfall is also tricky to find however the map makes it easy so do not attempt this trail without the map. There is no service so make sure to download the map before hand. The trail is not an easy trail!!! The waterfall was one of the most beautiful waterfalls I haver ever seen. The trail has to be hiked and can not be driven to so make sure to bring water and proper shoes. 100% recommend to anyone.

Load More