Explore the most popular hiking 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.

Lovely but crowded with people and a few rattlesnakes.

2 days ago

Did this hike last week...and I’ll probably never sign myself up to do it again. Near the bottom, I thought to myself “I’m glad I did this, but I’m even more glad to be done.” We started with Starvation Ridge, and had plans go back down Mt. Defiance trail, but we made a wrong turn and ended up back on Starvation. The uphill is brutal, the downhill is brutal. I’d recommend anyone with bad knees to steer clear! We had amazing views of Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams (I think) on the way up and Mt. Hood at the summit. I was a little disappointed, anticipating an open peak with a 360 view of the the cascades, but that wasn’t the case. Either way, beautiful with tons of wild flowers! We had the trail mostly to ourselves and only saw two other people coming down as we were going up and one more going up as we were coming down. Brings lots of food and water! I would’ve surrendered myself to the trail had I not had my two sandwiches, an apple, an orange, a granola bar, nuts, and two liters of water. After all was said and done, difficult, but worth it!

This hike set the bar too high for the rest of the hikes in my life. BEAUTIFUL scenery. Can get pretty crowded but totally worth it.

The hike to tunnel falls was one of my favorites when I lived in Portland. Granted, it was always extremely crowded, but stunningly beautiful. It’s a shame that it was destroyed by careless people playing with fire.

The top has great views of the gorge. My sister and I did this hike around 7pm and we had the trail to ourselves. Careful walking across the rocks, and the grasses under the power lines are pretty overgrown (but you can still see the path).

My sister and I tried to do this trail Saturday morning. At a place just above the highway the trail splits, and you are supposed to turn right. We accidentally turned left, so we didn’t end up doing the actual trail, but it was still a nice out and back. Not a lot of trees so bring sunscreen!

Careful with loose rocks. Great hike.

Hike up via Mt Defiance Trail and down Starvation Ridge Trail. Unexpected rain reaching the top was wet walk through fog coming down. Caught a glimpse of Mt Hood through clouds. Lancaster Falls and Warren Lake, overall a good hike.

3 days ago

Fun, popular trail. Harder than you might think, especially at the beginning. Also, the parking lot can fill up. Plus, you have to pay for parking. Lastly, this trail can get very crowded. That being said, it has great viewpoints, a spacious summit, wildflowers, and it's wide enough for people to walk side by side. Great trail when it's not peak season, or if you can get out there on a weekday.

was an amazing hike. Beautiful scenery

Great hike - thought about mtn biking it but glad I did the hike.instead— we walked out along the entry path and took the east side loop and returned on the west side along the bluff. Couple of steep pitches but not bad at all. Amazing terrain. Felt like 4 different hikes // open grassy, labyrinth of Rocky agate, vistas beyond belief, meadows and then up on top.a Forrest. Beautiful. Did not see waterfall. I guess next time. Flowers past season.
Great workout and not as hard as I thought it would be.
All trails map helped navigate the various paths-pretty easy.
Will go again for sure earlier next year.

5 days ago

Very busy trail. I hiked this a couple days ago (on a Wednesday around 1130) and the parking lot was full. The wildflowers are on their way out, but still a beautiful hike. I could see the tip of Mt Hood over the ridge and St Helens at the top (it was a very clear day). I also agree with previous reviews that it's easier than Kings Mountain in Tillamook. Go early, take your time and have fun!

Hike is now open. Steep uphill, couple spots with rock scree, great workout. Amazing view of the Gorge from the top.

5 days ago

This was a great intense workout! The mountain views are fantastic! It was cold & windy at the top!

Beautiful hike!! Totally worth doing the more difficult trail if you are an avid hiker. The top is gorgeous but it is windy and cold. Bring layers. We went on a weekday and the parking wasn’t terrible. Amazing views!

8 days ago

Make sure you get a permit! They are serious about it. When I went a few weeks ago on a Sunday they had rangers at the base of the trail. The effort to get a permit is worth it though! Amazing wildflowers and views. Bring layers for the top and lots of water.

The fire didn’t get to this one and the trail Is in real good shape. Except for a slight wash out almost as soon as you begin on the connector the route is great.

8 days ago

I took my friend who has never seen the Columbia River Gorge before here. It was a good hike to start with due to the short, easy-to-walk loops to both falls.
He immediately fell in love with the beautiful scenery.
We spent a good amount of time exploring around Lower Latourell; admiring the rock formations, feeling the cool mist from the water rain down on us as we adventured closer and closer to the fall, and finally capturing a couple spectacular photos before we continued on up to Upper Latourell.
Bug bushels of Queen Ann's Lace and Trillums in various shades of pink and purple were sprinkled throughout the lush greenery that guided us along to our second waterfall of the day. The not-to-distant sound of rushing water complimented the pitter patter of our feet almost the entire hike.
I encourage anyone who does the full loop to stop and be a little daring: checkout the cliffside viewpoint!
It's an rocky little walk down to a spectacular view that looks out over the Columbia River Gorge. We caught it at about sunset, and had a full two minutes to sit down and take it all in before the clouds unleashed a very sudden down pour, but even so, we sat out on that cliffside and didn't let a little rain ruin our parade.

Great hike! Not too hard. Just a couple steep inclines. I would categorize it as moderate. Warning thought!! Check yourself for ticks! Ran into a bunch of blacklegged ticks yesterday.

A very tough hike—relentlessly steep. I went up Defiance and down Starvation Ridge in a little over 5 hours. Do your knees a favor and bring hiking poles. Parts of the trail are pretty overgrown but overall it’s in good shape. Sections of Defiance got scorched along the ridge line but Starvation was mostly spared.

10 days ago

Short hike right next to I-84. Hiking to Mitchell Point is well worth the stop, the views from the top are incredible. Very steep climb, it will definitely get your heart pumping. Took my wife, dog, and I about an hour to make the round trip.

A classic Gorge trail. Word is out, and you need a parking permit to hike on weekends during the summer, but it's worth the trip. Go EARLY in the morning, or on a weekday if you can. Steep in sections near the top.

If you're looking for a real challenge, this is it. The only access is from Bonneville Trailhead, making it a roughly 15-16 mile hike roundtrip. The last 1-2 miles nearest the summit are sketchy, including loose rock talus slopes and STEEP inclines--but make it to the top & you can call yourself a champion!! Amazing, diverse wildflowers near the summit when I went in late May.

Difficult hike for an avid hiker. straight up hill, then straight down. I highly recommend going in mid May as the flowers are stunning.

14 days ago

Hiked May 25th. Very steep hike. Trail options are Difficult & More Difficult, both appropriately labeled, even for an avid hiker. Was sunny at the bottom of the trail & at the first viewpoint. But foggy & windy and super cold at the upper Meadows & viewpoint & summit with no view due to fog. Then sunny again at the first viewpoint when we descended. So bring a small jacket just in case of the weather change. Wildflowers made up for the lack of view. Moderate traffic on the trail. Get there early even if not on a weekend.

14 days ago

Went to do this beautiful hike, but was really turned off by how windy it was. I almost lost my hat 4x and even my dog was blowing over. The loop at the top isn’t well marked and we couldn’t find the part that scaled along the wall. The lower hike area reminds me of SF hiking and it was gorgeous, but tons of poison oak around so be careful.

Overall, not a very hard hike. I’d rate it as medium since the middle to top area is where you are really climbing, but it’s not for that long. The top is flat and the bottom is a steady incline. Nothing too hard though.

Great hike, checked it off the list, may do this again years from now. For now, that wind was enough for me!

15 days ago

Need 2 trekking poles for descent. 2 liters of water, 3 for a hot day. Loop completed with lots of breaks, picnic at Warren lake and stop at the top in 8 hours. Tougher than Table Mt. (from Bonneville TH) and Larch (from Multnomah Falls TH). Should be able to Dog Mt. without difficulty before attempting this. Do not take Starvation Ridge Cutoff Trail. Part of it is washed out and penalty for failure would be severe.

16 days ago

My son and I started at Defiance and came down Starvation (where there is a part of the trail that has been washed out just before the end of the trail. BE CAREFUL). Hardest hike hands down in the Gorge! 2nd time I have done this, started at Defiance this time. Up hill for 4 miles. The down trees - burnt - eerie feeling. But Nature wins, and it is already growing.
- we also saw a bald eagle flying so close to the ridge , we could see his eyes - really amazing.

This was the hardest trail I've yet to attempt, including Kilimanjaro. Maybe it was just not my day, but this was grueling for me. I've been walking daily for almost 10 months, but just started hiking a few weeks ago. Hamilton Mountain Trail was challenging, but easy enough. Dog Mountain, too. I'm slow as molasses but i got up and down Dog in less than 4 hours. But Defiance was rough. I went up Defiance and down Defiance and met a young man, a runner, who goes up Starvation and comes down Defiance in 3 hours. Youth is wasted on the young... This trail has only recently opened back up so you'll see lots of fire debris and damage and have lots of places you have to navigate fallen limbs and trunks and such. There certainly are better views, but for the workout and the challenge this is doable even for a slow, getting older and no better fellow who just plods along.

This longer loop is absolutely worth it. I would highly recommend getting to the parking area early, since it fills up quite quickly. The elevation is high and windy at the top, so be sure to bring layers. Footwear is key on this trek as well, since many of the upper switchbacks get quite steep. Also be advised, that day-use fees are not obligatory throughout weekdays. Overall, this is definitely one of the best hikes to compliment the fewer trails available to explore with the closed Oregon-side trails.

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