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 second tallest year-round waterfall in the United States.
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 Hiking
This collection of trails in Columbia River Gorge 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.
|100||River 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.
|150||Catherine Creek Arch|
This hike leads to the base of a curious natural arch in a basalt bluff.
|160||Catherine Creek Interpretive Trail|
This paved loop with gorge views explores meadows that burst with seasonal wildflowers, passing an overlook for a small waterfall.
This partial loop hike has panoramic views from basalt cliffs on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge.
|180||Mosier 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|
|182||Hood River Pipeline Trail|
This easy and enticing river hike follows a catwalk atop a penstock flume pipeline.
This hike explores forests, wildflower-covered slopes, and grand views from the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge.
|6.65 - 7.4 miles|
|195||Eagle Creek Trail|
This hike ventures up a beautiful and dramatic canyon to impressive waterfalls like Metlako Falls, Lower Punchbowl Falls, and Punchbowl Falls.
This hike visits a sublime waterfall in a canyon within the Columbia River Gorge.
The beautiful lollipop loop visits bombastic waterfalls and panoramic cliffs on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge in Beacon Rock State Park.
|204||Beacon 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.
|207||Horsetail 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.
|210||Lower 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.
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
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.
This hike ascends to a panoramic landing with spectacular views across Columbia River Gorge (particularly at sunrise).
|230||Latourell Falls Trail|
This loop explores a canyon with two beautiful waterfalls, attaining great views of both.
Columbia River Gorge Attractions
Visitors have other ways to enjoy Columbia River Gorge.
This iconic Oregon viewpoint is a National Natural Landmark with tremendous no-hiking-required views of Columbia River Gorge.
Columbia River Gorge Camping
Visitors can stay overnight in Columbia River Gorge.
|Beacon 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 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.
Or view hikes around Cascade Locks on the Hike Finder Map