Larch Mountain Trail (CLOSED)

HARD 87 reviews
#2 of 6 trails in

Larch Mountain Trail (CLOSED) is a 12.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Bridal Veil, Oregon that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, nature trips, and birding and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

12.9 miles
4055 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



nature trips

trail running





wild flowers




washed out


Quiet hike down the crater of an extinct volcano, through an old growth forest, with an ancient lake that has turned into a marsh, creeks, and wild flowers. The hike begins at the Larch Mountain Trailhead, at the northwest corner of the parking lot (southeast corner if you consider the entrance to the lot as "north"), through the picnic area of an unused campground. The trail on the northeast corner of the lot takes you up to Sharrod Point, which offers great views of the surrounding mountains (Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams, etc.) on a clear day. It's a steep, but paved, walk (with stairs) to the view point and is a good warm up, as the air is thin up here and takes a bit to get used to. In the beginning, the trail (Larch Mountain Trail #441) takes you down the crater of the extinct volcano (re: downhill) with some areas steeper than others. Note: it was pretty muddy during our hike in mid-June, so wear water resistant boots. Mountain bikes are allowed along this portion of the trail, but it seemed to us that it would not be a fun bike ride for the rocks and tree roots on the trail. When you get to the old road, go straight across it to continue along the Larch Mountain Trail (note: there may not be a sign here). Two miles further will bring you to a fork, stay right to go onto Multnomah Creek Way Trail #444 (sign posted). In 2/10 of a mile you will come to a log bridge over the marsh that was an ancient lake. Notice the flora that has filled the marsh. Cross it and go right to stay on trail #444 and follow the creek upstream. It was fun to walk around the dry creek beds and look at the lava rocks and geological changes to the land from the swift waters. Finally, you will climb switchbacks up the canyon wall, which level out along a "railroad" grade, and then come to the junction with Oneonta Trail #424. Stay right. This trail will take you back out to the Larch Mountain Rd. highway after about mile. Turn right to go back uphill to the trailhead and parking lot in about 3/10 of a mile.

4 months ago

This was my first more serious day hike, my only downfall was being the first person up there in the morning... So many cobwebs to walk through....

8 months ago

long walk in the woods with rocks. closer to 14miles though. summit was beautiful. don't be mad when you get to the top and discover after all the sweating and pushing through the last couple miles to the top that there is a darn parking lot you could have driven to

8 months ago

Excellent day hike with secluded waterfalls and trails.

10 months ago

Good training hike for Half Marathons or soon to be trail runners from the parking lot to the summit its 7 miles 14 miles total out n back 4056 elevation

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Lots of snow on top and cold! The trail is still very muddy and parts of it actually had lots of running water on it. My feet got very wet! Kind of wish I hadn't worn my trail runners! Very beautiful scenery especially the first few miles along the creek! I'll definitely go back up when the weather is nicer and there is no snow on top!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Great hike. Snowy at the top.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Great hike
Not as bad as everybody has made it out to be . it is ass kicker because of the mileage , but overall a great hike

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Lots of snow above 1500 feet. Compacted so fair easy walking, but did slow things down a bit. Cold, windy, and lightly raining at Sherard Point. Limited visibility.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Not going to lie this trail kicked my ASS. The way down is nice lovely walk but coming back up can make the most in shape hikers stop for breaks. Dogs will love it.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Hiked up from Multnomah and to Weisendanger Falls. It's an easy hike once you get up the mountain from the overlook. Make sure to bring plenty of water and layer up on dress code. Wear hiking or water shoes because you will be tempted to get into the water. Do it early in the morning to avoid heavy foot traffic (Visited 9-22-16)

Monday, September 26, 2016

great hike be sure to get there early in the morning

Friday, September 16, 2016

Did this in July with my buddy. Started wayyyyy too late as this was our first time over 4000' feet, and we also didn't take into account the length. It started to get dark on the way down and we literally had to follow the river after my friend led us awry (I also take responsibility as I was self medicating, heh) after 1.5 hours of following the river back we came to the final wooden bridge we passed on the way there, so just make sure you keep and eye out for the trail the whole time as a couple times (at least when I went) overgrown plants made the view of the trail very minimal. OTHERWISE. Approaching the top is a funny feeling, as you begin to see wooden beams inserted as steps in the trail. As I wondered how they hoisted them up there, you'll soon realize that there's a parking lot right near the top. The fenced off area at elevation 4052' is awesome, with a large landing with large markers labeling all of the large mountains around them by direction, and also listing elevation for each. Went on a cloudy day but still have a nice view from the top. Pretty mellow hike, but again us getting lost on the way back changed that!

Saturday, July 09, 2016

Started at upper trail head so you bypass the 5 mile climb up from the Columbia and enjoy the trail above. Still very muddy in July. Not many inclines so doesn't feel like much of a workout. Just a 7.5 mile stroll. :)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ok the hike is worth it but the crowds at Multnomah Falls and at the top are the only dissatisfaction I found other than that there's lots to see plenty of waterfalls and streams 4052 feet is the actual elevation the view from the top is pretty amazing you get to see Mount Saint Helens Mount Rainier Mount Adams Mount Hood Mount Jefferson in a 360-degree view at the top another downfall is there's a parking lot about a quarter mile from the top and people can just drive up there and park and get out and walk to The Summit like you just didn't bust your ass for the last seven miles

Sunday, May 22, 2016

path was rocky with pretty good incline very quiet people wise with lots of water features

Monday, May 02, 2016

Do it.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Decent hike. The almost 15 mile distance makes it a little difficult. The elevation gain almost disappears because of the total length. Once at the top of multnomah falls the crowd mostly vanishes (which was a big relief).

Sunday, February 14, 2016

I started this trail from E Larch Mountain Rd. About a mile and half from the trail head the road was closed and the cool day and fog with the utter quietness was a beautiful eerie feeling. Snow appeared on the road just about where the trail head is located (Near the big U turn). The forest is beautiful right now up there. The trail has some snow cover patches but is doable for anyone. Once you reach the parking lot on the other side your gonna hit deep non-compacted snow. I was sinking in to my knees attempting to get to another trail head in the parking lot. Its quite peaceful there, saw 3-5 people tops.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Like people have said, once you get past all the tourists this turns into a great trail. On the day I went I was very nervous when I realized the trailhead started at Multnomah Falls, the parking lot was absolutely packed. The first mile or two is on a paved path which goes through switchbacks until you get over the initial face. That's where 90% of the traffic was. After the paved path ends at the top so do the flip flop wearing, Starbucks cup holding shoobies.

About 2 miles from the top we had to turn around because my Husky pup refused to cross a single-log bridge that only had a railing on one side. But besides that the rest of the trail was very dog-friendly. Wish we could've made it to the top.

Monday, October 19, 2015

15 miles, zero larches, and over 4000ft of the easiest gain you’ll find anywhere.

Larch is a great conditioning hike if you’re willing to cope with the human zoo that is Multnomah Falls. After battling through tourist families from Gresham to Guatemala, this can be a nice and quiet way to pour on the miles, put some rocks in your pack, and see if your legs can take it.

I’d highly recommend starting off from the much quieter Wahkeena Falls trailhead and adding a little distance, but if you just must start out with a coffee, a mile of paved switchbacks, and legions of pre-diabetic teens munching vanilla cones, well, that’s up to you.

Yes, Larch Mountain has its drawbacks: it’s a busy trail network on the lower end, there’s a paved road near the top, and it’s utterly devoid of views (save Sherard point, which I’d be remiss not to recommend). That said, it has the most mellow gain profile I’ve ever encountered. Once you’re out of the gorge, the trail is incredibly friendly and well-kept. Even though it’s 15-miler if done right (stay left at the top), it’s some of the friendliest ascending you’ll ever do.

It’s all up, but never straight up (and never actually that steep). Any time you’re pushing yourself and your legs start to burn a little, you’re rewarded with a lessening in grade or a flatter section. It’s almost as if the trail knows you and is actively encouraging you to never stop or take a break. Want to bolt 7.5 miles from Multnomah straight up to the top of the Gorge without stopping a single time? You can; rather, the trail encourages you to do so. And while it may be lacking in views, there are plenty of falls and old growth to keep you company. Adding a little over a mile at the top and looping-in the uppermost part of the Oneonta Trail will also reveal a hidden mountain wetlands and a very interesting stand of old growth reminiscent of the “fairy trail” returning from Ramona Falls. For mushroom hunters, the amount of varied fungus in these areas is remarkable.

•Irrespective of signage, it’s about 15 miles. You could make it the listed 13.6 and stop at a trail junction in a viewless grove of trees just short of the summit and viewpoint, but why?
•There are many opportunities to refill water along the way. You’ll be fine starting out with 1 litre and a filter, although there are no water sources within 1mi of the summit.
•Visit Sherrard point: it’s arguably one of the best views anywhere in the Gorge. The site of an old fire lookout, it offers Jefferson, Hood, Adams, Rainier, and Helens on clear days. Yes, people can effectively drive up there, but you’ll be better: because you hiked. To get there, stay left when it feels like you’ve reached the top and see paved trails, then walk down large timber-hewn steps then up some more (otherwise you’ll find the Larch Mountain parking lot).
•If you’d like to add the upper Oneonta Trail loop to your hike, stay left when coming down from Sherrard point and head to the parking lot. Walk down paved the road for about ¼ mile and you’ll see the Oneonta trailhead clearly marked on your left. Always make left turns on this trail, and you’ll be looped back to the Larch Mountain trail in a couple miles. Enjoy the mushrooms if you go!

In summation, Larch Mountain is a different kind of trail, but a good one. I was expecting to dislike it and simply check it off the list. Instead, I had an incredibly pleasant and mellow 16+ mile afternoon in the old growth.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

As the days get shorter so do my hikes, wanted to take one last hike up to larch mountain today, view was amazing as always, since it was a Saturday the summit was packed, managed to get up in 4 hours and down in 3 hours, see you next year larchy!

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

I am thoroughly and sufficiently fatigued. Out and back (bottom, top, bottom), 7 hrs with lunch.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Beautiful trail! So quiet and green, the morning light made the hike so Erie, as if I was In a dream, I will definitely be going here again pretty soon!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

This is a steady climb with only a few what may be considered steep parts the end result is a clear view of the areas mountains. Apart from Rainer, Adams, St Helens and Hood if it is clear enough you can make out Jefferson in the distance. The only slight disappointment is you share the view with many others who make it my car; however you can congratulate yourself that you made it on your own power. For the best time try a clear day early spring or early winter when the air is crisp and fresh, then the view is not just fine but magnificent and maybe even the road up may have closed.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Super trial. Tree covered so the sun didn't hit us even though we did it during the day. Started at 11:40 am and were at the top at 3:30 on. The view from the top was worth the climb. Started back down at 4:45 pm and were back at about 7:50 pm. Stopped for a bit to take a dip in the pond below one of the smaller falls along the trail.

trail running
Friday, January 30, 2015

Excellent cardio conditioning. We tracked 7 miles, 4000 elevation, and the run back down was a lot more fun than the climb up; but I have a bias for running downhill. Beautiful views any time of the year - just make sure you plan a day when there is less windy.

Monday, August 11, 2014

This is one of my favorite hikes I've done (this far)! Yes, it's difficult but, it's fun and plenty of good views all the way up to the summit! Bring more water than you think you'd need is one of my suggestions, depending on the route you take. Trail junctions are marked clearly, along with the miles until the next check point. Start early and don't be intimidated by the switch backs at the very beginning of the multanoma trail. Sure, it doesn't get easier from there but everything on the way up will be worth it. I'll definitely be back to do this mountain again.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

What a trail.

Arrived at the falls around 7:30, topped out at 10:40 and back down by 2 with nice summit break. Highly suggest the early start for heat and to find a parking spot. If you're smarter than me, shuttle (or beg for a ride) down and save yourself the repeat.

The trail was an all around fun adventure and super well maintained after the pavement at Multnomah overlook ends complete with signs nearly every mile. The next few miles from following the river were amazing with at least a half dozen waterfalls flowing from the summer run off (no snow of course). Almost everything was shaded, save for a quarter or so mile across the rock field after which the trail moves far away from water and gets a little repetitive for the last 3 miles.

The 3 bridges were all in good shape and made for some fun photos (the metal one still has the damage sign but felt fine, granted I'd stick to the current one-at-a-time rule). Restroom at the top and bottom, BYOTP otherwise and don't drink untreated water people!

The trail is rated as difficult or strenuous in most books but I'd give it a moderate tag; the start is by far the steepest with a couple similar runs near the end but mostly it's a pretty gentle incline, just lots of it over those 7 miles. Highly advise poles for doing the round trip and so you can confuse people who drive up to the top by looking "so serious."

scenic driving
Saturday, June 29, 2013

This review reflects the trail from the PARKING LOT to the viewing area. OK, we cheated and drove up, but when the clouds clear, you need to rush up there to see the volcanoes while you can. We talked to a person who did the trail around the caldera, and she was underwhelmed. Not much to see. So we were happy we saved our time for better hikes and had amazing views of 5+ volcanoes (could barely see Sisters). The road is at the end of the historic highway and is called, amazingly, Larch Mountain Road. This road opens pretty late, I think it was the Sun. after Memorial Day this year.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I'm not sure what went wrong, but we used the William Sullivan guide book and began at the trail head just off Larch Mountain Road. There was a junction after about a half mile and we headed up, towards the top of Larch Mountain. When we got there, we were incredibly disappointed to find a parking lot filled with RVs and picnickers. I had no idea you could drive to the top! We were a bit confused and not even sure we were on the right trail at all, so we headed up to Sheridan Point and turned back towards Larch Mountain Road. Evidently, the trail continued on the other side of the parking lot. Bummer. There are no maps posted at the parking lot kiosk and the trail junctions are not clearly marked. I would recommend a topo map before attempting to make the loop down to Multnomah Creek and back.

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