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
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
Ponytail Falls208Horsetail 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.

 

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George Himes Trail Loop Hike George Himes Natural Area Southwest Portland Oregon George Himes Park West Hills
George Himes Trail explores a small patch of forest in Southwest Portland between Interstate 5 and Terwilliger Boulevard. The single-track trail rises to a view over Johns Landing and the Willamette River toward Mount Hood before looping through woods bedecks in licorice ferns, moss, and English ivy. The top of the loop touches a picnic area in George Himes Park. Without... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: April 19, 2017
Vista House Columbia River Gorge Crown Point Scenic Corridor Columbia Gorge Oregon
Vista House is a roadside viewpoint like no other. The beautifully designed and maintained building is an Oregon icon designated as a National Natural Landmark. The viewing deck that wraps around Vista House offers one of the greatest non-hike-dependent views in Oregon. Vista House resides on the inside of a bend in Historic Columbia River Highway on Crown Point, a... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: April 11, 2017
Angel's Rest Trail Angel's Rest Hike Columbia River Gorge Angel's Rest Lookout Oregon Angels Rest Trail
Angel's Rest Lookout boast soaring views across Columbia River Gorge. Things get particularly heavenly at sunrise when the first rays of light grace the gorge. Angel's Rest Trail starts from Historic Columbia River Highway, just off Interstate 84, and rises 1,500 feet over a 4.8-mile round trip hike. In addition to superb sights at the top, the trail seals its Columbia... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: April 24, 2017
Tualatin Hills Nature Park Vine Maple Trail Old Wagon Trail Oak Trail Loop Hike Beaverton Oregon
Surrounded by neighborhoods and business on the west side of Beaverton, Tualatin Hills Nature Park's 222 acres are a highly accessibly oasis of forests and wetlands. The relatively flat park has about twenty different trails covering 5 miles. You only need to utilize the park's main three trails, Vine Maple Trail, Old Wagon Trail, and Oak Trail to form an easy 2.1-mile... Read more.
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Tagged with · Beaverton · Free Trails · Tualatin Hills Nature Park · Wheelchair-Friendly
Distance: 2.1 miles · Elevation change: 30 feet
By: Published: Last updated: April 19, 2017
Old Main Trail Red Fox Trail Cedar Trail Middle Creek Trail Maple Ridge Trail Loop Hike Tryon Creek State Natural Area Portland Oregon
Located just five miles from downtown Portland, Tryon Creek State Natural Area preserves 658-acres of lush second-growth forest made up of mossy red cedars and Douglas firs. Many miles of trail and 8 bridges allow visitors to explore the Tryon Creek Watershed. At first glance, the web of trails on the park map is overwhelming, but it actually allows for numerous easy to... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: April 19, 2017