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Tam-a-lau Trail at Cove Palisades State Park

MODERATE 97 reviews

Tam-a-lau Trail at Cove Palisades State Park is a 6.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Culver, Oregon that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.5 miles Elevation Gain: 807 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

hiking
fee
1 month ago

A pretty steep climb but worth it... beautiful rocks below and crests to a neat view with gorgeous view of mountains on a clear day! Was beyond muddy in some parts with the prior snow a few weeks earlier. No shade on the upper loop hike once the rim is crested.

hiking
rocky
washed out
2 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

My favorite hike! the first mile is ascent and I had to take a couple of breaks but once you get up there it is so worth it! there is something beautiful to look at the whole way. it's cool to go up there and see some trees that have been struck by lightning and different birds. I will do this hike every year when I go to lake Billy Chinook.

running
5 months ago

Great trail run. Beautiful setting and views.

hiking
7 months ago

Wonderful hike. Incline the first mile - the loop is flat. Amazing views.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

Hiked this on 6/15/19. Left the campsite about 8 am and returned about 11:30 am. That allowed for a very leisurely pace with lots of stops for pictures on the plateau. The elevation gain is all in the first mile, which is also the last mile. The trail to and from the plateau is narrow and has loose gravel in spots. There’s little shade to be had and it got hot and dry, so plan accordingly.

What a beautiful hike! I got up early andbhiked it as the sun was rising. but when I reached the point, I unwittingly took the ATV trail to continue the loop. dont do that. find the trail.

8 months ago

Beautiful spring hike! It was an overcast day with some sprinkling rain and this hike was perfect. While the inland part of the plateau was not as exciting as the rim, it was still nice to do the loop and there were some interesting wildflowers and trees. The views from the rim, even with clouds covering the mountains, were amazing.

hiking
8 months ago

It’s a great local hike and has awesome views

The climb to the rim is very cool, but I suggest not doing the loop. Climb the mile to the rim and at the junction, go left (clockwise) until the tail goes away from the rim then turn around and come back the same way. The rest of the loop is very boring with nothing to see.

hiking
9 months ago

This a a nice hike and not very crowded. Wildflowers are beginning to bloom. From the rim, you can see several mountains on a clear day and might spy an eagle flying around over the lake.

rocky
10 months ago

Due to one part of the trail going up and down I wouldn't take kids younger than 9, it narrows to about to feet wide about half way up, but you can see 3 or 4 different mountains on that side!

hiking
muddy
snow
10 months ago

hiking
snow
10 months ago

Did this one 3/15. Just enough snow yet to make it difficult, but also made for incredible views. Didn't do the whole loop at the top since the trail was pretty soupy with snowmelt. Would definitely visit again.

Sun Jan 13 2019

nice views

hiking
Sun Aug 19 2018

This hike was completed in August 2018. It began in the mid morning and was rather warm with the temperatures rising. There was also smoke lingering from wildfires in the region. This obscured the views. We were camping at the state campground and started from there. The grade was steep and there were lots of switchbacks. Overall the trail was in great condition with several view points on the way up. Moderate is a good description of this trail. There are some areas with loose rock and narrowing trail with drop offs so be aware. Overall the trail was great. Photos posted.

hiking
Thu Jul 12 2018

Really neat. Initial ascent is difficult but I’m a beginner and did ok. At the top of the plateau, I personally would skip the right side of the loop. It’s just a flat trail through brush. When you reach the loop sign at the top, I recommend going left to see the cliffs, then turning around when you’d like. You’re not missing any views or interesting terrain. Also, the sun beats down a lot harder up there! I got burnt with a good layer of sunblock.

hiking
Tue Jun 19 2018

Super cool hike!! First section up is a pain, but once you get up top it’s smooth sailing with lots of great views of Jefferson, Washington, Three Sisters, etc. and Billy Chinook below. Decent amounts of shade and not too crowded. If you’re going during the summer DEFINITELY wear and bring sunscreen, and lots of cold water. Very direct sun and very hot (6/19/18- about 80-85 degrees and no cloud coverage, did between 1pm-3pm).

hiking
Thu May 03 2018

was amazing, a little rough going up well worth it gorgeous up top bring lots of water

hiking
Mon Apr 09 2018

I loved this hike! I camped at Lake Billy Chinook campground , that was a super convenient way to hike the trail. I hiked this 7/31/16. I started first thing in the morning while the campground was still quiet (6am-ish). This was a perfect time as I never got too hot during the hike. I didn’t complete the loop at the top. I finished at about 8ish. It is a desert type hike. The views were amazing! Make sure you have a camera! I only saw two sets of people on the trail this early. I did like the campground. However, it was super full with lots of people. Not my favorite kind of camping, but was just fine for one night en route to Eastern Oregon, with a pit stop at Smith Rock along the way.

hiking
Thu Jan 18 2018

I visited The Cove Palisades State Park on an overcast mid-January day. There are apparently 3 ways to get to the trailhead: park at the day-use or boat ramp parking lots ($5) or start from your camp site (if you overnight there). From the trail-head information panel (sign up the register there if you'd like) it is about 1.25 uphill for a 600ft elevation gain. A bit of a workout but not really too challenging (depending on what shape you are in of course). The trail is sometimes narrow and (I got there after a few days of on-again/off-again rain) muddy. There are a few wooden steps sections in the first half but, again, nothing to put too much of a strain on joints. Once on the plateau, the main objective is to complete the Tam-a-Lau loop (about 3.5 miles). The loop includes a 1.25 miles traverse between the Deschute River and Crooked River canyons, and hugs the edge of the plateau, above the rivers, for 1+ miles each side. As the trail stays very close to the edge, there are countless opportunities for carefully looking over the edge and taking pictures. I decided to extend the standard loop by continuing on the dirt road on the west side of the Crooked River Canyon for about 0.66 miles until another dirt road branches at 90 degrees on the left to connect with the South Peninsula (dirt) road after .2 miles. I then descended the South Peninsula Rd for another .75 miles to the edge of the lower plateau above the Crooked River. I then got off the road and followed the edge of the lower plateau for a while; the views a quite amazing on that section too... but stay extra vigilant as it is a fully vertical drop to the river below and the edge is sometimes eroded and starting to separate from the main landmass. Rather than retracing my steps up the South Peninsula Rd, I followed a use trail directly up to the summit plateau and the Tam-a-Lau loop. I did give 5 stars on account of the stunning views of the river and the canyon walls (not to forget a short visit to the Crooked River petroglyph just off the road). You have however to love the desert to completely share my enthusiasm; not lush forests, no (accessible) water, sparse arid scrubby vegetation... this is likely a very hot and dry place if you visit it during the warmer times of the year. Of course, in you are here to enjoy water sports too, you would have many options to compensate for a sweaty day on the trail.

hiking
Sun Jan 07 2018

We just did this hike for the first time today. It is such a nice hike. Once we made it to the top we enjoyed a panoramic view of the mountains, the cove and the sounding landscape.

hiking
Mon Sep 11 2017

Cove Palisades state park is a hidden gem, great facilities, lake, picnic, boat rentals, etc. The hike is 7mi round trip from trailhead parking. You can park is lower lot and head towards campground….saves 1mi and trail runs right next to the lot. Nice views from the top.

hiking
Sun Jul 30 2017

Recently hiked this trail (7/29/17). It was beautiful, and we saw so many animals including a doe, a rabbit, lizards, vultures, etc. I recommend doing this hike early in the summer because of the heat and there is no shade once you reach the loop. The elevation gain is all at the beginning of the hike and the bulk of the trail is flat. Great views of Mt. Hood, Bachelor, and the Three Sisters, as well as the amazing green color of Lake Billy Chinook.

Tue Jul 25 2017

Really hot and long to do in July. Probably better in a cooler season.

running
Fri Jul 14 2017

I'll second Charyl's review. "Low Effort, High Reward."

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