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.

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 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.

Trail
Description
Distance
Location
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
45.7006,
-121.4012
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
45.68,
-121.409
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
45.6368,
-121.9196
Wahclella Falls200Wahclella Falls
This hike visits a sublime waterfall in a canyon within the Columbia River Gorge.
2 miles
250 feet
45.630463,
-121.953758
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
45.6326,
-122.0198
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
45.62854,
-122.02222
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
45.5903,
-122.06833
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
45.589485,
-122.07558
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
45.5777,
-122.1173
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
45.5777,
-122.1173
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
45.5605,
-122.17245
Latourell Falls230Latourell Falls Trail
This loop explores a canyon with two beautiful waterfalls, attaining great views of both.
2.3 miles
475 feet
45.53865,
-122.218

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 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.

 

hikespeak
Coyote Wall Hike Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area Little Maui Trail Little Moab Trail Coyote Wall Trail Washington
Take a drive through the Columbia River Gorge and you're sure to be impressed by a diagonal band of cliffs on the Washington side of the gorge that rise from the river toward the mountains above. These grand and daunting cliffs are called Coyote Wall or the Syncline. A network of single-track trails and old jeep roads extend up alongside the columnar basalt ledge. ... Read more.
OK! Add to trails I’ve hiked
OK! Add to trails I want to hike
Tagged with · Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area · Free Trails · White Salmon
Distance: 5.8 miles · Elevation change: 1575 feet
By: Published: Last updated: July 28, 2017

South Falls
in Silver Falls State Park

Oregon | Trails Comments Off on South Falls
in Silver Falls State Park
| Trail Rating: ForgettableAverageGoodGreatUnforgettable
Trail of Ten Falls Silver Falls State Park Waterfall Loop Hike Oregon Lower South Falls Upper North Falls Hike
South Falls is the tallest waterfall in Silver Falls State Park, dropping a spectacular 177 feet off a basalt shelf. South Falls can be visited (along with nine other waterfalls) on the park's great loop, the Trail of Ten Falls. When this 7.9-mile loop is too much, a 1.1-mile lollipop loop can be hiked to visit South Falls on its own. The short hike has 200 feet of... Read more.
OK! Add to trails I’ve hiked
OK! Add to trails I want to hike
Tagged with · Oregon State Parks · Silver Falls State Park · Sublimity · Waterfalls
Distance: 1.1 miles · Elevation change: 200 feet
By: Published: Last updated: July 10, 2017
Camping in Beacon Rock State Park Main Campground Columbia River Gorge Washington
Tucked into the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, Beacon Rock State Park has great places camp and kick back after a day of traveling in the gorge or hiking Hamilton Mountain and Beacon Rock. Main Campground In the forest up the road from Hamilton Mountain Trailhead, you'll find the park's main campground spread around a single loop. A mossy ledge of basalt... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: July 28, 2017
Hamilton Mountain Trail Beacon Rock State Park Hike Washington Columbia River Gorge Pool of the Winds Rodney Falls Hike Hamilton Mountain Loop
Only hike Hamilton Mountain Trail if you like charming forests, bold waterfalls, and awesome cliff-top views. Hamilton Mountain Trail passes a viewpoint for the Pool of the Winds, where Rodney Falls plunges into a rock-wrapped punchbowl. The trail rises to a summit along the Columbia River Gorge, ascending 2,025 feet on a 7.75-mile lollipop loop. Some of Hamilton... Read more.
OK! Add to trails I’ve hiked
OK! Add to trails I want to hike
Tagged with · Beacon Rock State Park · Stevenson · Summits · Washington State Parks · Waterfalls
Distance: 7.75 miles · Elevation change: 2025 feet
By: Published: Last updated: July 28, 2017
Beacon Rock Trail Beacon Rock State Park Hike Washington Columbia River Gorge
Beacon Rock rises like a stone tower with sheer cliffs dropping to the Columbia River. Beacon Rock Trail could be the Columbia River Gorge relative of Moro Rock Trail in Sequoia National Park. The trail is built right up the side of the basalt monolith, using over fifty switchbacks and at least a dozen cliff-straddling bridges to reach a pointed summit. The hike up... Read more.
OK! Add to trails I’ve hiked
OK! Add to trails I want to hike
Tagged with · Beacon Rock State Park · Stevenson · Summits · Washington State Parks
Distance: 1.6 miles · Elevation change: 600 feet
By: Published: Last updated: July 28, 2017