Explore the most popular forest trails in Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
20 hours ago

Really pretty hike with a gorgeous view of the falls at the end. The trail was a bit rocky, but otherwise not too bad, just have to be aware of your footing at times.

My friends and I did this hike on 7/16 (via dog mountain) and honestly there are some things worth mentioning/knowing before you head up this trail.

1) this is definitely a harder hike. I think it was listed as a Hard hike under a different title and I'd say this is an accurate read of the hike.
2) when people say overgrowth, they mean WAY OVERGROWN. This trail, while well marked, is immensely overgrown in spots. At several spots (all past the turn off from dog mountain) you are completely unable to see your feet and only manage to get short glimses of trail a foot ahead in between trying to fight off trees and bushes to clear your path. this would make unexperienced hikers very uneasy as you often have to trust you're going the right way and follow your gut until you find the next clearing with a tree marker.
3) you really want to be wearing protective gear (i.e. pants and maybe a long sleeve). we packed light because it was mid 90s the day we went but we paid the price. All of our legs looked like a small animal attacked every inch of exposed skin. These scratches were painful and made us question whether or not the hike was really worth the battle.
4) having said all of that. this is a really beautiful hike. you get a great view of mt. hood about half way up and we followed the advice to go down a small north side trail off the summit to find stunning views of the gorge, Mt. St. Helen and Mt. Rainer. On a clear day, this view is magnificent and definitely worth the sweat..... worth the thorn bush scars... that might be another story...

Hiked this trail July 14th. Great climb, definitely some work but well maintained trailed, wildflowers at top and great amount of shade. Self registration / pay box at parking - $5 per car. Awesome views of the Gorge and both Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens from the top of Dog Mountain.

Did this October 2017. Exposed. Great views of Columbia River. Extreme wind. More mountain bikers than hikers, except at top of ridge where it is extremely steep. Had to descend quickly due to storm, but it did bring a rainbow in addition to cold rain.

I’d probably rate this as an easy trail. The falls are great and we only met a handful of others on the trail. It was pretty sad seeing all the damage from the wildfire throughout the hike.

Wonderful hike with great views, but watch out for rattlesnakes. Two times ago I had a way-too-close encounter with one. Otherwise I’ve hiked this many times without problems.

Did this on Mother’s Day. Great hike, beautiful views. Not great for our big dog—hike has no shade and rocks were too hot for his paws. Take care with dogs.

hiking
5 days ago

An easy hike with amazing picturesque views of Mt. Hood. We did this hike on a hot day in July. We came prepared with lots of water and sunscreen, since there was very little shade. Definitely use the map on the app—we almost made a few wrong turns due to poor signage, but the app saved the day! Brought the kids (ages 3-8) and they enjoyed it too.

hiking
5 days ago

Pretty tough trail but definitely worth the hike! Lots of stuff to see, unless it gets cloudy… but the sooner you get there, the less people you come across up on top. My girlfriend and me and 2 dogs have hiked this trail 5 times now and it’s normally super windy and rainy up top. There was a heavy downpour and crazy winds last time we got there and when we were approaching summit (there is this 3-way intersection) there was a group of about 8 stupid people blocking the trails on all 3 directions!!!!! And I told them repeatedly ‘excuse us, we’re coming through’ about 4 times and they ignored us… so we just zig-zagged our way through and I slipped and I hit my knee really hard on a rock AND almost rolled down the top of the mountain because I was trying to avoid stepping on someone’s backpack and these f*cking idiots didn’t even say sorry or anything, so I was furious but I stayed quiet… BUT if it had been my girlfriend that slipped and hurt herself instead of me I would have done something stupid, I’m sure! However, this older hiking couple (who were also waiting for these idiots to get out the way) saw everything and they went off on these idiots blocking the trail and told them to either move their stuff or don’t hike this sort of trails again bc they’re being incosiderate of other hikers. But anyway, I wouldn’t let this deter me from hiking Dog Mountain again it is a beautiful place. Also, on our last hike, I saw more litter than all the other times we’ve done this trail — we tried picking up as much as we could on our way down… PLEASE CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELVES AND YOUR DOGS AND TAKE THEIR SH*T BAGS DOWN WITH YOU DON’T JUST TOSS THEM ON THE SIDE OF THE TRAIL!!! If you bring something up the trail, bring it back down with you please!!!!!!

Also, make sure you bring tick repellents during spring/summer/autumn months! make sure your dogs have some sort of protection from ticks!!!!!

hiking
5 days ago

Hiked July 11. Well marked trail (except near the rock falls) with 2 waterfalls, a lake and views all along the trail. Went up Defiance, down Starvation. Because of the closed Wash out trail at the end we had to take on another steep ridge and cross over a log on the creek- added about 2-3 miles onto the hike. Total hike time was 9 hours and 20 minutes with 2 hours of stopping time for pics and lunch. The summit is a huge ugly power station but u can sit on the rocks that has a view of Mt Hood (too cloudy for us to see it) with the power Station at your back.

A beautiful hike. the online maps say it is closed, but it is not closed. my wife and I had no problems hiking up to the waterfall. we then went a bit further down the pct till it met with the Herman Bridge TR. we took the Herman Bridge TR back down then walked back to are start for a nice 10.7 mile hike. (the Herman Bridge TR is also open and cleared for hiking in spite of the closed that it says on line)

Fun little hike. Pretty. Short, but fairly steep so I felt like I got some exercise, too.

Still closed above the bridge.

Kicked my backside but it was worth it. Steep incline nearly the entire way to the top, but man, that view. Clouds hanging over some of the mountains robbed us of the full view but we'll be back to try again.

hiking
8 days ago

Previous reviewer got confused. The Starvation ridge trail #414 is very much open, it's the short Starvation ridge cut-off trail that is closed. Starvation ridge trail #414 can be taken from the Mount Defiance trail #413 instead of from the cut-off trail until it reopens. Hope this helps.

My three kids and I love this ride. Especially the bridge. It’s easy for my youngest who is just off training wheels. Amazing views and an easy ride.

Worth the view, many different paths to choose from. Wasn’t too busy on a Sunday.

hiking
8 days ago

I was happy to finally to made this hike happen on the 4th of July before work. This hike was absolutely one of my favorites in the gorge and recommend anyone to try it!

We got there early in the morning and there was hardly anyone there; which I hear is very rare to not come across a packed parking lot or have to get a permit to hike the trail. We brought a lunch, a jacket just in case, and made it up there in 3 hours or less.

Beautiful views along the way and the last mile can be a little steep, so get ready for a workout at that point. It was a little windy out there when we went, so I also recommend a jacket or something warm. The hike down is super easy and there are two ways to choose going up or down the path.

off road driving
9 days ago

The trail is still closed but we got a chance to view the falls, amazing view.

Beautiful falls. Not too difficult hike (we even took 5 beginners). The trail wasn’t busy- even on a Saturday.

Consider yourself a champion after completing this hike! I've seen several folks say they used the Starvation Ridge Trail to either ascend or descend, but that trail is still closed, clearly marked as such. You need to do the full hike on the Mt. Defiance Trail, only. Excellent views of Mt. Adams, Hood & St. Helens. Bring lots of water, as portions are exposed in the burn area.

10 days ago

Brutal hike! I did to the top 12miles back and out w 5k elevation gain

Went early on Friday July 6th, only one other car at TH. Challenging hike to Dog Mtn, wildflowers drying out but views gorgeous. My intention was to cross over to Augspurger. Dropped down into valley trail, very cool and well maintained. Took Dog / Augspurger trail split and had to turn back after about 1/4 mi. Trail to Augspurger extremely overgrown right now...lost the trail completely. Hike down Augspurger side of trail back to parking lot was easy, several people hiking up this route. Lot was almost full at this time. Definitely good idea to get there early

Hard!! need good shoe

hiking
12 days ago

Great trail. The wild flowers are a wonderful reward for all the hard work to get to the top of the mountain. Amazing views.

Gorgeous views from the top

Spectacular falls! Many wildflowers in early July. Blackberries and thimbleberries along the trail barely starting to ripen. Not too much poison oak.

heartbreak all the way! that was a good challenge. took my 16 year old son on the hike. it's a good hike although you are in the woods for a large portion of the hike with minimal views. once you get past heartbreak the views are great.

A great hike but not for the occasional hiker. You'll be gaining almost 1,000 ft per mile. After the first 0.6th of a mile the trail divides and you're given two choices: "difficult" to the right and "more difficult" to the left. Chose wisely.

Great, relatively short hike. Beautiful views.

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