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Steep all the way up. I went in February 2018 on a rare sunny day. Gorgeous views of the gorge. The mountain weather changes drastically up top. Wear layers or at least pack prepared. I remember the wind being brutal. I’d love to go back when the flowers are blooming. Interesting history of the mountain too.

01/13/2019
Arrived at 8am on a Sunday to only a few cars in the parking lot. Did the full loop with my dog and was back at my car by 10:45am. Passed a few people on my way up but otherwise only came across one other person the entire hike, until I got back to the junction and went the last mile ish back down the main trail, at which point there were lots more people and a full parking lot.

Towards the top parts of the trail were quite wet, some patches of snow all over the top but not much. It was extremely windy - actually quite dangerous considering some of the ridges. My 30lb dog was blown about five feet sideways and I thankfully had her on the leash. The guts would’ve knocked me over if I weren’t braced against them. I recommend avoiding this hike if the Gorge is windy on arrival.

The upper half of the hike has a lot of rocky / semi-scrambling parts. Hard on the knees but nothing like Munra Point or some other areas of the Gorge. I imagine these areas would be tricky if the ground were at all icy.

Overall great hike, good views at the top. Just get there early to avoid crowds.

The full loop is a TOUGH 8 mile hike with elevation of 2200 incline and decline. Amazing views and worth every minute. Dog friendly.

This was a great hike. It was very windy but nice and sunny!

Hiked on 1/14/19. Super steep. Went up the difficult side which I feel good about because it was harder than heck. The last 1/2 mile was fog fog fog and icy. Not safe conditions doing it alone with out proper equipment. I will definitely hike this again.

I'm so sad that this trail is closed. I had some really amazing memories there.

Beautiful, foggy day. Well maintained but not overly so.

Amazing experience! Hiked the longer trail, in and back, from the Todd Lake parking lot. We had blistered feet, ran out of water and said we would never hike the long trail again. But do plan to do the whole thing again, to introduce family, in 2019. The beautiful meadows, streams and wildflowers on the lower portion are just too hard to pass up.

Great exhausting hike, and well worth it with the views and flowers. Why bother hiking a sidewalk, hike Dog mountain because you'll feel like you've been somewhere and experienced something worthwhile!

One of my favorite hikes! Minimal views compared to some other hikes in the gorge, but not as busy and with nice paths for my dogs. Very dog-friendly, people frequent with horses so please be respectful and keep them leashes.

Dog review: This trail was the perfect length for a moderate outing. Took my four dogs and I about four hours. The way up can be a little sketchy with dogs because it’s steep and slippery this time of year. My guys have great leash skills so getting everyone up steep switchbacks and walking on narrow areas wasn’t a problem, but could be for a dog in training or inexperienced pup. Though the trail up has a couple steep switchbacks, the way down is wide and even suitable for horses, VERY easy if you have dogs. Way up is alright as long as you have good control. Only a few rocky areas, no booties needed for my guys. Lots of puddles and streams so you can pack less water than normal for the pups.

hiking
18 days ago

I made the loop counter clockwise. I wasn’t that impressed until coming back.Absolutely beautiful trail along the mountain ridge with majestic Doug Fir and Sitka Spruce. Quiet,private,meditative hike. A must do again!! If you like being alone this ones for you.

Fun hike on New Years Day. Not at all crowded early but quite a few people later in the day making their way up.

hiking
18 days ago

Went beginning of Jan when it was in the mid 40s. Not too muddy and no micro spikes needed.

Had some great views but the last 1.2 miles is just road. If you turn around at the waterfall to do an out and back it’d probably be something like 10 miles. Didn’t encounter cars on the road though which was good.

hiking
18 days ago

A really nice hike with some good elevation climbs, some beautiful flora at some points, and a perfect summer hike for some good exercise. I totally recommend this one.

I did this as a fall hike, and it was really lovely. I went up the “most difficult” side and came down “difficult”, and would recommend this if you struggle more with walking down steep grades more than walking up them. Beautiful views of the gorge, and done in almost exactly 3 hours.

Hiked the trail in the snow on Christmas day after a fresh snow fall. I have done this hike several times both winter and summer and it never gets old. But I think winter is my favorite.

Good hike. The early on waterfalls after 1 mile in were the highlight of the hike for me. A little muddy due to the rain around this time of year.

I’d rate it as moderate-hard.

hiking
1 month ago

Was able to get out mid-December on a day with very little wind and ~50deg temps. Lots of good views looking east up the gorge. Also a nice variety of terrain minus the paved home stretch. Not to mention very accessible.

hiking
1 month ago

The upper trail section is well worth it, but unless you just want the extra miles I'd skip the lower section and turn it into an out and back.

Did it 12/1 and the top had 2-3” of snow. It was incredible. Followed coyote tracks for a while. Fog blew in and out. I actually loved it.

This is one of my favorite loops for a scenic, slightly challenging day hike. It’s not too muddy yet, but high traffic areas around the Pool of the Winds are getting there. Be sure to pack a coat, as well as some gloves and a hat for the summit; there’s already some snow accumulation, especially on the north face of Hamilton Mountain.

7.5 miles round trip, 2 caches, lots of fun.

Great hike! Beautiful views. My 7 year old daughter was able to hike it, but she is a pretty determined kid.

hiking
1 month ago

I did this as my very first solo hike! A little belated birthday present to myself, too! Had an AMAZING day up there! The weather was perfect, though the chill of winter was definitely showing up! The trail was wet from rain the previous day/night, so there were a few moderately slick spots, but my hiking boots were more than enough to get past it. Had the trail mostly to myself! Took the new, scenic trail up, and the west trail back for some variation. So different-looking than in the spring! I have been on Dog Mountain I think 2 or 3 times before and the wind was the calmest I’ve ever experienced it up there. I wanted to go back as soon as I left! I think I left my heart up there! Love this hike!

Amazing hike with great variety—forested dirt-pack trail, through a pastoral field, across an old rock slide and finishing walking up a 1.25 mi up a tree-lined and pasture road back to parking. All of this with spectacular viewpoints of the Gorge. And perfect for a sunny Fall day with changing leaf colors. Will definitely do again.

Awesome hike today - took about 4 1/2 hours . Waterfalls early on awesome - and Vistas at top are killer . Howling winds yet could find reprieve along the way. Nice workout. Had to use hands bit for balance along some rocky switchbacks - very doable. Nice side shoots to explore - especially up near the rocky parts.
Very repeatable hike - will come back in spring.

hiking
2 months ago

It was a gorgeous day though very WINDY!! I loved the entire hike - the only slight bummer is you’re hiking the road at the end which is boring. But it didn’t keep me from enjoying it!

new favorite for sure! definitely plan to take 3 to 4 hours in order to complete the full loop. fall is my favorite time to hike in the gorge and so long as it hasnt been raining heavily for a few days prior to your hike the paths should still be easy to navigate. love the view from the top, absolutely incredible! worth every step!

A friend of mine and I took a few of our children - 9,12 & 14ish and they all did really well, with minimal whining. There were a couple of steep switch backs, but not quite as steep or intense as the nearby "Dog Mountain." The views from the top were not as incredible as Dog Mountain, but they were nice. I do agree with some commenters who brought out, there is really no good place to sit and have lunch at the top. The "saddle" or ridge of the trail was super windy and pretty fun for our kiddos. There are a couple of pretty awesome waterfalls and "The Pool of the Winds," which was pretty cool.

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