Explore the most popular birding 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.

Closed for fire rehabilitation

https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/crgnsa/recarea/?recid=30070

I would call it more than moderate for some parts of it

A bit of a workout which was nice. Plenty of inclines, plenty of viewpoints, plenty of resting points. Lower trail is a bit rocky. Trail is well marked with signs everywhere, there's a parking lot with an out house. Enjoy!

A must do in the Gorge. Definitely deserves the “hard” rating, but more than worth it.

If you are feeling good at the Table Mountain kiosk (about 6.5 miles in) I’d recommend taking Heartbreak Ridge up (right trail). It is extremely STEEP and unrelenting, but a very fun challenge. It includes very steep and short switchbacks and a large rock scramble. Poles definitely recommended for this section. Take the “easier” route on the way down from Table Mountain.

From parking lot to parking lot it took me 5hrs 4mins for 16 miles. I was on a tight time schedule and didn’t have any time for stops.

great views!

Beautiful way to spend an afternoon in fall.

Amazing view!

hiking
27 days ago

I can only speak to the upper trail, because the lower trail was closed when I went due to the falcon mating season, but I have to say that at least the upper trail is way overrated in my opinion. It is dominated by new growth trees and weeds - some pretty wildflowers mixed in, but mostly just weeds. Compared to most other trails in The Gorge, this trail is sorely lacking in aesthetic beauty.

You would think the views would more than make up for that, but it takes a couple miles of mundane switchbacks just to get to the first viewpoint, which is just above and practically identical to the view you get from the Cape Horn Lookout, which you can reach by simply pulling your car over on Route 14. Along the way, you will be enjoying the company of many other hikers talking loudly, on their phones, with their dogs, and see several bags of dog poop left behind by careless owners, and rude joggers who expect you to step off the trail so they don’t have to break their stride.

Even though I always welcome the opportunity to go hiking and get a nice view of the gorge, I couldn’t help but feel annoyed and underwhelmed after this one. Perhaps we should just leave this area to the falcons. Do yourself a favor and just pull over the Cape Horn Lookout off 14 instead, and go one one of the countless other amazing hikes in the area that are more beautiful and less crowded.

Some good view points. Start with upper and then loop your way down. You will pass a waterfall, and some rocky steep sections. Last mile or so is on a old country road.

hiking
1 month ago

We found the trail easy beside the parking lot. The trail to the upper loop was fun to hike and beautiful. There are a few spots to rest that allow views of the Columbia river. We pushed a bit further across a road to the official upper loop and it was stunning. It was worth every step. We did not complete the loop by going to the lower section. I read not great reviews of the long walk back. We went back the way we came and the whole hike was perfect. Probably 4 Miles or so. ( that’s a guess )

We stopped at the peak before Dog Mountains peak. Thank goodness! No 360 degree view, but some great views. Out and back to Dog Mountain peak would have added 2 miles and an hour to our trip. We didn’t start early enough for that.

I did table mountain today. I parked under powerlines and took an access trail to carpenter lake which then hooked up to the PCT so it was only an 10 mile hike to the top of Table mountain and back. I didn't turn in the trail when i got to the view spot so i did a pretty intense scramble up the side of the ridge instead of the boulder field which I did on the way down. I started at 6.30am and was back to my car by noon

hiking
1 month ago

Alright view. Several viewpoints of the same thing.

VERY popular!

Some would say Mt. Defiance across the Gorge is a more difficult hike, but having done both of them multiple times I'm still not sure. The first 6ish miles of this trail on the PCT are easy, going past lakes, excellent views. But that last 2 miles will kick your everloving butt. Two options to make that final climb, both of which include STEEP inclines & sketchy talus slopes. Bring lots of water, and expect to take AT LEAST 9 hours to complete this fantastic hike.

hiking
2 months ago

The upper Cape Horn hike is great, not too difficult but also a good workout. Lower Cape Horn is ok, the rocky part is a tad tedious and the final portion which is about 1.5 miles of paved road is a slog.

hiking
2 months ago

I really like all but 1 mile of this hike. The last mile for us was on a road and it was unclear if you walked on the road or if there was a trail we missed. Other than that last mile the hike is really pretty, seems like most folks do an out and back so after the viewpoint at 2ish miles there was hardly anyone out there.

Top 5 favorite hikes in the area. Go in May!

hiking
2 months ago

unbeatable views

Tougher than moderate and longer too. Views are incredible.

hiking
2 months ago

About 8 miles. Took us almost 3 hours. I’d say moderate is a good description if you are in shape. We started with the upper trail and did the loop. Glad it wasn’t any hotter or we would have really suffered. Not crowded. People were nice. I would not take small children or dogs. Lots of loose rocks and narrow passages.

Nice trail! Beautiful look out!

hiking
2 months ago

The trail was about 7.2 miles total. Some really great switchbacks, views, and different terrains. You can stay a pretty steady pace, as the trail isn’t too difficult.

Great view. Easy

Wow, this kicked my butt. Much harder than moderate! The rock scramble was pretty scary but a fun adventure. I’d totally start going up then do the whole loop. Bring extra water as I’d say half is not covered. It’s a beautiful butt kicker!

I really enjoyed this one.
I started with the upper trail, and I'm glad I did.

Amazing drive, simple hike, stunning views of Hood, etc!

hiking
2 months ago

The upper Trail is a moderate though continuous upward climb with a beautiful full gorge view as your capstone. It was 95 degrees and the tree canopy was a delight BUT the lower trail that had just reopened (July 16) was NOT moderate. The last 2-3 miles is full-on rock in full-sun with difficult footing- this is followed by a closing loop along an asphalt road. Hot hot hot! Very little water in the waterfall. I was told by a regular user it is actually 8.2 miles. I would not do the lower trail again.

busy, lots of thistles and blackberry brambles. beautiful views

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike. Started on upper trail which left the waterfall for our lunch break.

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