Explore the most popular wild flowers 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
3 hours 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.

on Cape Horn Loop Trail

6 days ago

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
10 days 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
17 days 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
1 month 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
1 month 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!

Tougher than moderate and longer too. Views are incredible.

hiking
1 month 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
1 month 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.

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.

hiking
1 month 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
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month ago

I'm glad I started early since it got 96 degrees later on. But then I defeated that purpose by doing Hamilton Mountain at the hottest part of the day! Cape Horn is a beautiful hike with many viewpoints of the gorge and pretty vegetation along the way. I should have read the signs at the trailhead better because I still don't know what Cape Horn is. I didn't see anything that looked like a cape. I told two people about the hike so far, and both asked, "Oh, is it at the beach?" Fair question, since it does sound like a beach feature.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely gorgeous! We started on the lower part of the trail which proved to be a steady climb on a single trail. Most hikers came from the other direction. Plenty of tree cover with a cool breeze. The views were outstanding. There were lots of beautiful flowers as you reach the top. Enjoyed thimbleberries most of the way. Lots of uneven, rocky steps and tree trunks.

This is one of my favorite hikes. A little over grown on the lower half. I am sure that will be gone soon! Amazing views.

hiking
2 months ago

This was such an amazing hike! The Upper Trail has absolutely stunning viewpoints and the incline to get there isn't too bad. If you're feeling like you're up for a long hike, the lower trail is open now, it took 3 hours to finish the whole thing. I recommend doing the Upper Trail first because there is a small waterfall about 3/4 of the way through the hike to help cool you down.

The Lower Trail is now open.
The start from Upper Trail is steep and takes some stamina but the views are worth it. The hike to viewpoint is less than halfway around the loop. Lower Trail/2nd portion of loop starts out ok but gets tricky with lots of narrow pathway, loose rocks, and slippery ground. After walking over lava rocks in summer you want to jump in the waterfall but the waterfall itself is rather skimpy right now.
Overall, an interesting hike with varied terrain but footing on lower trail is challenging (hiking shoes suggested) and total loop is def closer to 7.5 miles, as other reviewers have stated.

hiking
2 months ago

UPDATE 8/8/18
We actually got to hike the entire loop today. Loved it. It’s just over 6 1/2 miles. There are two huge outcroppings of rock that you really need to pay attention to. The views are beautiful (of course bc it’s the Gorge) but we never tire of them. Lots of switchbacks to keep it interesting. Great maintenance on the trail as well.

Beautiful hike but a little disappointed that about half of the trail is closed due to falcon mating season and a fire. We went about 2 miles one way then turned around and came back. Looking forward to the entire loop being open. Didn’t pass that many hikers and the silence is golden.

hiking
2 months ago

The views are great. There are lots of roots and rocks on part of the trail, but otherwise it's in good condition. The loop is still closed, but you can go out about 4 mi and back for a nice 8 mi hike. The amphitheater is a cool lookout and lunch spot.

Great trail, something for everyone, views, water fall, lots of activity areas, get there early, parking fills up fast.

hiking
3 months ago

Loved it! Great views, good workout!

Did this hike back in January of 2017 and it was icy and slick which made the trek harder than it would be in the spring or summer months.

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