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
Dog Mountain Hike185Dog Mountain
This hike explores forests, wildflower-covered slopes, and grand views from the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge.
6.75 - 7.4 miles
2825 feet
45.6992,
-121.7080
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.

 

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Saddle Mountain Trail Saddle Mountain State Natural Area Coast Range Summit Hike Seaside Oregon
One hike in Northwest Oregon really rises above the rest. Saddle Mountain is the highest point in the northern half of the Coast Range with sweeping 360-degree from a 3,283-foot summit that look out over the Pacific Ocean, the Columbia River, and inland toward the Cascade Range. The hike up Saddle Mountain Trail is 5 miles round trip with 1,635 feet of elevation change (including steep... Read more.
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Tagged with · Free Trails · Seaside · Summits
Distance: 5 miles · Elevation change: 1635 feet
By: Published: Last updated: April 10, 2018
Dogwood Trail Alder Trail Loop Keil Trail Leif Erikson Drive Wildwood Trail Hike Forest Park Portland Oregon
Forest Park is a wonderful place to take a short hike in Portland. For a 5-trail, four-season outing, check out Dogwood Trail – Alder Trail Loop, which actually uses Keil Trail, Dogwood Trail, Leif Erikson Drive, Alder Trail, and Wildwood Trail to form a 2.8-mile circuit with just over 400 feet of elevation change. In the summer, these Forest Park trails offer cooling shade. In the fall,... Read more.
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Tagged with · Forest Park · Free Trails · Northwest Portland · Tualatin Mountains · West Hills of Portland
Distance: 2.8 miles · Elevation change: 410 feet
By: Published: Last updated: March 23, 2018
Clear Lake Loop Willamette National Forest Clear Lake Trail McKenzie River Trail Hike Oregon
The pristine Cascadian jewel called Clear Lake, was forged in the fires of a volcanic eruption, three centuries ago. The lave flow that dammed the lake still occupies stretches of the shoreline. A loop trail around Clear Lake weaves through resilient old growth forests and fields of volcanic rock, offering beautiful lake views around almost every turn. The 5-mile loop hike combines Clear... Read more.
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Tagged with · Cascade Range · Free Trails · Lakes · Lava · McKenzie Bridge · Sisters · Willamette National Forest
Distance: 5 miles · Elevation change: 75 feet
By: Published: Last updated: January 11, 2018
Beaver Falls Trail Oregon Beaver Creek Waterfall Clatskanie Columbia County Hike
Just off Route 30 between Portland and Astoria, travelers can gush over a short hike to a lovely waterfall. Beaver Falls (a.k.a. Beaver Creek Falls) takes a single-drop plunge off a basalt ledge. The waterfall is nearly 50 feet tall and swells to 40 feet wide. This quick delight of a hike descends 100 feet through forest for a 0.7-mile round trip outing. Add this Columbia County waterfall... Read more.
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Tagged with · Clatskanie · Free Trails · Waterfalls
Distance: 0.7 miles · Elevation change: 100 feet
By: Published: Last updated: April 10, 2018
Pothole Falls Round Lake Loop Lacamas Potholes Lacamas Lake Regional Park Camas Washington Hike
Potholes aren't always bad. The creatively carved-out bedrock at Pothole Falls adds to the allure of the cascades. Pothole Falls is just a stone's throw from Round Lake, a 26-acre body in Lacamas Lake Regional Park in Camas, Washington. Round Lake Loop Trail offers a relaxing nature trail through lake-edge forest. Circle Round Lake and check out Pothole Falls on a 1.6-mile outing with 200... Read more.
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Tagged with · Camas · Free Trails · Lacamas Lake Regional Park · Lakes · Nature Trails · Waterfalls
Distance: 1.6 miles · Elevation change: 200 feet
By: Published: Last updated: January 24, 2018