Dog Mountain Trail

HARD 242 reviews

Dog Mountain Trail is a 6.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Home Valley, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2900 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

A straight and steady leg-burner of a hike with some nice payoff up-top.

5 hours ago

hiking
19 hours ago

great hike. parking really sucks. We parked 1/2 mile away from the parking lot. very busy and alot of dogs. Trails were in great shape.

1 day ago

1 day ago

We were told the trail to the right was the harder one. So we went left going up. Turns out left had the higher incline. If you're in good shape then its all good. This hike is well worth the view at the top. Forest is beautiful.

hiking
1 day ago

I had always wanted to do this and I did today!! It was very challenging but doable.

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
3 days ago

WOW what a GORGEOUS hike! Definitely very different scenery from Southern California and I am so glad I chose this hike! I will tell you though that this hike is quite steep and it is almost all incline to the summit. Not many switchbacks either. Just straight up climb. So if you don't like to sweat a lot, don't do this one cuz you will be sweating a lot! On the positive note, it's only around 3 miles to the summit so the huffin & puffin won't last too long. But trust me, the climb is definitely worth it because the reward up top is so breathtaking!

I got to the trailhead at around 12:30pm or so on a Friday and this place was packed! There is a small parking lot at the trailhead and several places to park along the Lewis and Clark Hwy. No luck in finding parking at the lot so I ended up parking about 0.5 miles away from the trailhead. Not too bad, but it was a bit scary walking on the side of a highway when there are giant trucks flying right next to you & it's super windy. A Forest Pass or America the Beautiful pass is required to park, or you can pay $5 at the trailhead. Pit toilets are available by the trailhead.

Enough of the parking & toilet mumbo jumbo (although important!). So it seems like there are several ways to get to Dog Mountain: #1) The really long route starting from the left side. I did hear from fellow hikers that this route has a more gentle grade (easier for the knees when going down). #2) Veering towards the right along the wooden post after going about 0.5 miles up the Dog Mountain trail. I guess this one is the more scenic and newer trail with a gentler climb. #3) Going along the left side of the wooden post after going 0.5 miles up Dog Mountain. This is the "old trail" and is shortest but steepest.

I chose route #3 to go up and route #2 to come down Dog Mountain so I can enjoy a loop. I will tell you....yes, taking the "old trail" is steep. According to the Strava segment, the average grade from the trailhead to near the summit (dunno why the Strava segment ends slightly before the summit) is 21%. If you do not like to do a lot of steep climbing, this route may not be your best option. As long as you are somewhat fit and have some experience going uphill for several miles, it is definitely do-able if you pace yourself and rest when you need to. The terrain is not technical at all so your footing will be good throughout the climb. Really really well maintained trail. The first 2 miles or so is in the forest so you will be able to enjoy shade! Just don't wear winter tights like me when it's over 70 degrees....and don't forget your hat like me so there is nothing to catch your sweat...luckily I had a bandana in my backpack so I wrapped that around my head rambo style. Once you get out to the exposed section of the hike, you will be able to enjoy the fantastic view of the gorge and wild flowers!! There is a view point before the summit (I believe the viewpoint is called "puppy dog") where you can relax for a bit and take some pictures. From this point though, it was extremely windy and cold! Not sure if it is always like this, but it's a good idea to have a long sleeve in your backpack when doing this hike. Especially if you plan on staying at the summit for a while since it will feel extremely cold with sweaty clothing in the wind. It's just a short stretch from the viewpoint to the summit and you will be going along the ridge. Enjoy the beautiful wild flowers and gorgeous view of the gorge as you complete the final stretch and by the time you know it, you will be there!! The views at the summit is absolutely BEAUTIFUL and is a large enough area where many people were enjoying a snack or lunch. The same ole sandwich is going to taste so much better up here! Well, I didn't have a sandwich with me so I spent a few minutes taking pictures and talking to nearby hikers :P You can also see the top of Mt Hood from the summit!

Coming down route #2 (the "scenic trail") felt slightly longer than route #3 but did feel less steep. There was a wooden bench at maybe around halfway down the scenic trail where you can enjoy some breathtaking views. I was expecting a little more scenery along this trail though since this is supposed to be the more scenic one. Still very beautiful with lots of green and shade!

I took about 2.5 liters of water and ended up drinking 1.5 liters. Total round trip of about 6 miles (including the initial 0.5 miles from where I parked to the trailhead) with 2,756 ft of elevation gain. Took me around 2 hours 45 minutes with roughly 30 minutes for pictures and "i am out of breath" breaks.

Highly highly recommend this hike! Hopefully I can take my wonderful dog with me next time so he can conquer Dog Mountain as well!

hiking
3 days ago

Unexpected great hike.

hiking
4 days ago

Breathtaking views of The Gorge!

hiking
4 days ago

hiking
4 days ago

The drive there was beautiful, view at the top was beautiful and of course the wildflowers. What was underwhelming was there just wasn't much to see for the first 90% of the hike, other than hordes of other hikers.

hiking
5 days ago

hiking
5 days ago

A steady, continual climb but rewarded with lovely flowers and of course the gorge. Nice to get a view of the Washington side also.

5 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

One of my favorite hikes I have done in the gorge. The flowers were so pretty, and the scenery was gorgeous. I will be doing this again soon!

6 days ago

hiking
7 days ago