Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge is an area of immense beauty. Steep walls of basalt and temperature rainforests frame the wide waters of the Columbia River. If you like waterfalls, great news! The gorge is absolutely packed with waterfalls, including Multnomah Falls, the tallest waterfall in Oregon. The tallest mountain in Oregon, Mount Hood, rises to the south of the river and is surrounded by hiking opportunities.

Multnomah Falls Columbia River Gorge
Multnomah Falls

Hikes in Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge is about 60 miles long, beginning near The Dalles where the Deschutes River joins the Columbia River and ending east of Portland.

The north side of Columbia River Gorge is in Washington and the south side of the gorge is in Oregon. This state-straddling gorge is preserved by several Washington and Oregon State Parks as well as Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, which encompasses 292,500 acres.

Popular hikes on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge include Multnomah Falls Trail, Eagle Creek Trail, and Angel’s Rest Trail. The area’s less well-known trails are great too, often observing spectacular waterfalls.

How did this beautiful place come to be?

Columbia River Gorge was shaped during the Missoula Floods at the end of the last ice age over 12 million years ago. Ice dams breached on enormous glacial lakes, causing unfathomable amounts of water to rush down the Columbia River and carve out the landscape.

Columbia River Gorge Vista House
A view of Columbia River Gorge from Vista House

Columbia River Gorge & Mount Hood Area Hiking

This collection of trails in Columbia River Gorge and the Mount Hood area lists hikes from east to west. The table may also be sorted alphabetically or by distance to help you pick your next hike. Each trail links to its own report complete with photos, GPS maps, directions, and all the other information needed to locate and enjoy these hikes. An interactive map below the table shows the location of each hike.

Deschutes River Trail100River Trail Loop
This hike in Deschutes River State Recreation Area explores views from the water's edge and a grassy terrace that borders the bottom of the Deschutes River before it meets the Columbia River.
3.1 miles
115 feet
Catherine Creek Arch150Catherine Creek Arch
This hike leads to the base of a curious natural arch in a basalt bluff.
1 mile
100 feet
Coyote Wall Hike160Catherine Creek Interpretive Trail
This paved loop with gorge views explores meadows that burst with seasonal wildflowers, passing an overlook for a small waterfall.
0.9 miles
100 feet
Coyote Wall Hike170Coyote Wall
This partial loop hike has panoramic views from basalt cliffs on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge.
5.8 miles
1575 feet
Mosier Twin Tunnels Hike180Mosier Twin Tunnels via Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail
This hike ventures up a paved trail on a century old roadway to a pair of tunnels carved into basalt cliffs on the side of Columbia River Gorge.
2 - 9.5 miles
320 feet
Hood River Pipeline Trail182Hood River Pipeline Trail
This easy and enticing river hike follows a catwalk atop a penstock flume pipeline.
2.8 miles
100 feet
Dog Mountain Hike185Dog Mountain
This hike explores forests, wildflower-covered slopes, and grand views from the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge.
6.65 - 7.4 miles
2825 feet
Eagle Creek Trail Punchbowl Falls195Eagle Creek Trail
This hike ventures up a beautiful and dramatic canyon to impressive waterfalls like Metlako Falls, Lower Punchbowl Falls, and Punchbowl Falls.
4.55 miles
400 feet
Wahclella Falls200Wahclella Falls
This hike visits a sublime waterfall in a canyon within the Columbia River Gorge.
2 miles
250 feet
Hamilton Mountain Trail203Hamilton Mountain
The beautiful lollipop loop visits bombastic waterfalls and panoramic cliffs on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge in Beacon Rock State Park.
7.75 miles
2025 feet
Beacon Rock Trail204Beacon Rock Trail
This hike takes an impressively engineered trail packed with switchbacks that scale a monolith along the Columbia River in Beacon Rock State Park, Washington.
1.6 miles
600 feet
Ponytail Falls207Horsetail Falls Trail - Oneonta Trail Loop
This loop starts at Horsetail Falls, passes beneath an overhang behind Ponytail Falls, and crosses a bridge by Middle Oneonta Falls to hit three waterfalls and viewpoints looking out over the Columbia River Gorge.
2.85 miles
325 feet
Lower Oneonta Falls210Lower Oneonta Falls in Oneonta Gorge
This off-trail trek follows Oneonta Creek between the tall, mossy cliffs of a wild and beautiful gorge to the base of an enchanting 100-foot waterfall.
0.8 miles
25 feet
Multnomah Falls220Multnomah Falls
This out and back hike visits Oregon’s tallest (and probably most seen) waterfall, located in Columbia River Gorge east of Portland.
0.2 to 2.6 miles
25 feet to 725 feet
Multnomah-Wahkeena Loop222Multnomah-Wahkeena Loop
This loop uses Wahkeena Trail and Larch Mountain Trail to visit six glorious waterfalls (including Wahkeena Falls and Multnomah Falls) as well as fine cascades along Wahkeena Creek and Multnomah Creek in beautiful canyons off Columbia River Gorge.
6.05 miles
1525 feet
Angels Rest226Angel's Rest
This hike ascends to a panoramic landing with spectacular views across Columbia River Gorge (particularly at sunrise).
4.8 miles
1500 feet
Latourell Falls230Latourell Falls Trail
This loop explores a canyon with two beautiful waterfalls, attaining great views of both.
2.3 miles
475 feet
Old Salmon River Trail315Old Salmon River Trail
This hike explores a lush and lovely old-growth forest along the Salmon River in Mount Hood National Forest.
5.1 miles
175 feet
Mirror Lake Trail330Mirror Lake Trail
This lollipop loop hike crosses forest streams and ascends to Mirror Lake, which features reflective views of Mount Hood.
4.3 miles
550 feet
Trillium Lake Trail535Trillium Lake Trail
This easy loop hike circles the shores of a picturesque lake in the forest below Mount Hood.
2 miles
15 feet

Columbia River Gorge Attractions

Visitors have other ways to enjoy Columbia River Gorge.

Vista HouseVista House
This iconic Oregon viewpoint is a National Natural Landmark with tremendous no-hiking-required views of Columbia River Gorge.


Columbia River Gorge & Mount Hood Camping

Visitors can stay overnight in Columbia River Gorge.

Beacon Rock State Park CampgroundBeacon Rock State Park
The main campground in this state park on the Washington side of the gorge has 26 first-come first-serve campsites in a forest setting.
Deschutes River CampgroundDeschutes River SRA Campground
Just east of the Columbia River Gorge, this campground at the bottom of the Deschutes River has 34 sites with electrical hookups, 25 more primitive sites, and 4 group sites.
Trillium Lake CampgroundTrillium Lake Campground
Located just miles from Government Camp, this campground has 57 sites sitting in the evergreens by Trillium Lake below Mount Hood.


Old Salmon River Trail Welches Oregon Mount Hood National Forest Hike
After just one bend on Old Salmon River Trail, you will already feel deep within the old-growth forest that surrounds the Salmon River as it flowing through Mount Hood National Forest. This Pacific Northwest woodland feels timeless, or perhaps from another time altogether, with its tall, century-old Douglas firs absolutely covered in green moss. Old Salmon River Trail is 2.55 miles long... Read more.
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Tagged with · Cascade Range · Mount Hood · Mount Hood National Forest · Rhododendron · Welches
Distance: 5.1 miles · Elevation change: 175 feet
By: Published: Last updated: August 10, 2020
Trillium Lake Campground Government Camp Oregon Mount Hood National Forest Camping Trillium Campground
Camping alongside a lake with views of Mount Hood - sounds pretty relaxing, right? Trillium Lake Campground, or just simply Trillium Campground, has 57 sites spread through an evergreen forest on the east side of Trillium Lake in Mount Hood National Forest. Trillium Lake is a 63-acre beauty just south of Mount Hood. The campground is a few miles from Government Camp and a 60-mile drive from... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: August 10, 2020
Trillium Lake Trail Government Camp Oregon Mount Hood National Forest Trillium Lake Loop
With monumental Mount Hood rising above its northern shore, Trillium Lake is a picturesque and popular destination for camping, hiking, and fun on the water. The summit of Mount Hood is just 7.5 miles from Trillium Lake and the famed Timberline Lodge can be spotted on its slopes. Hike an easy 2-mile loop around this scenic 63-acre lake in Mount Hood National Forest near Government Camp,... Read more.
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Tagged with · Cascade Range · Government Camp · Lakes · Mount Hood · Mount Hood National Forest
Distance: 2.05 miles · Elevation change: 15 feet
By: Published: Last updated: August 10, 2020
Mirror Lake Trail Government Camp Oregon Mount Hood National Forest
What makes Mirror Lake Trail such a popular hike? For starters, it is very approachable. The trailhead is just off Highway 26 by Ski Bowl West in Government Camp, Oregon. The creek-crossing hike through a forest of firs is appealing too. The main reason people are drawn to this 4.3-mile round trip hike (with 550 feet of elevation change) is sure to be the potential for postcard views of Mount... Read more.
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Tagged with · Cascade Range · Government Camp · Lakes · Mount Hood · Mount Hood National Forest
Distance: 4.3 miles · Elevation change: 550 feet
By: Published: Last updated: August 10, 2020
Forest Park Loop Hike Wild Cherry Trail Alder Trail Portland Oregon
What will you find under the canopy of Forest Park? Dirt single tracks weave through verdant woodlands, passing Douglas firs and bigleaf maples bedecked with licorice ferns. Explore some of Forest Park's charmingly ridges and ravines on this 3.5-mile loop with 510 feet of elevation change. Although Wild Cherry Trail and Alder Trail are the most notable members of this hike, this circuit... Read more.
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Tagged with · Forest Park · Free Trails · Northwest Portland · Tualatin Mountains · West Hills of Portland
Distance: 3.5 miles · Elevation change: 510 feet
By: Published: Last updated: January 24, 2020