Columbia River Gorge | Our Favorite Trails
Discover the breathtaking beauty of the Columbia River Gorge on these amazing hiking trails. From scenic waterfalls to stunning views, our trail guides will help you explore the best outdoor recreation of the Pacific Northwest. Get expert travel tips and adventure in nature like never before with Life in Utopia.
From here, several awe-inspiring waterfalls descend from basalt cliffs and line the historic Columbia River Highway. It appears that the countryside grows larger and brighter when pushed eastward. Bring an adventurous spirit, as The Gorge is designed for exploration.
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is bordered on its west coast by the Pacific Ocean, on its north by Washington, on its south by California, and its east by Idaho. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon’s northern boundary along with the Snake River.
Many indigenous tribes inhabited the area before the arrival of European settlers. In the early 19th century, the Oregon Trail was established by settlers traveling west searching for new opportunities.
Is Columbia River Gorge worth visiting?
Most definitely! The Gorge is a beautiful area with plenty of hiking trails to explore. From easy walks to challenging hikes, there is something for everyone in the Gorge. Here are just a few of our favorites of the many hiking trails that can be found in the Columbia River Gorge.
Hiking trails in the Columbia River Gorge
Eagle Creek Trail
The Eagle Creek Trail is a popular trail that offers stunning views of the Columbia River Gorge. It is a moderate hike that is about 13 miles long. The trailhead can be found at the Eagle Creek Campground, which is located just off of I-84. To get to the campground, take Exit 41 and follow the signs.
The trail winds through a forest of Douglas fir and hemlock. The towering trees provide welcome shade on hot summer days. The sunlight dapples the ground, creating a patchwork of light and shadow.
The forest is alive with the sound of birds and the rustle of leaves in the breeze. There are also plenty of opportunities to see wildlife, including birds and deer.
The trail can be slippery in places. Be sure to wear proper footwear to avoid slips and falls. Good shoes will also help you grip the ground and keep your balance. So, before you set out on your next hike, make sure you have the right gear.
Multnomah Falls Trail
The Multnomah Falls Trail is a moderate hike that is 2.6 miles out and back. It leads to the stunning Multnomah Falls, which is the tallest waterfall in Oregon. The trailhead can be found at the historic Columbia River Highway. To get there, take Exit 31 off of I-84 and follow the signs.
The trail to Multnomah Falls passes by several smaller waterfalls before reaching the final destination, Multnomah Falls. Each one is unique and beautiful in its own way. It’s a fantastic experience to see them all in person. The falls are breathtaking and definitely worth the hike. Be sure to bring your camera!
Can you see Multnomah Falls without hiking?
Yes, Multnomah Falls can be seen from Interstate 84. There is a parking lot situated between the west and east heading lanes. You can also view the falls from the Columbia River Gorge Historic Highway.
Be sure to check if a permit is required for this particular route. Permits are required during high-use seasons (link here).
Horsetail Falls Trail
The Horsetail Falls Trail is a short, easy hike that is 0.4 miles long. It leads to the beautiful Horsetail Falls. The trailhead can be found on the historic Columbia River Highway. To get there, take Exit 28 off of I-84 and follow the signs.
This is an excellent hike for families or anyone. It’s a short, easy walk that’s perfect for young kids. The falls are gorgeous, and the trail is well-marked, with several resting spots along the way, the ideal place to take a break and enjoy the scenery. There are also picnic areas available, making it the perfect spot for a family outing.
Angle’s Rest to Devil’s Rest Trail
If you are looking for a challenging hike, the Angle’s Rest to Devil’s Rest Loop Trail is a great option. It is a difficult hike that is about 10 miles in length. The trailhead can be found on the historic Columbia River Highway. To get there, take Exit 28 off of I-84 and follow the signs.
This hike is not for the faint of heart. It is strenuous and can be slippery in places. The views from the top of the trail are incredible, but the hike itself is quite challenging. If you’re looking for a truly breathtaking experience, this hike is for you. It is definitely a hike that you will remember.
Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks with you, and make sure you wear proper footwear. Otherwise, you’ll end up dehydrated and hungry and with sore feet. Check out our 5 Best Water Filtering and Purification Bottles post.
Hiking in the Columbia River Gorge
Several hiking routes can be accessed from the gorge by anyone of any age or ability. It is easy to get to small waterfalls hidden along the road as well as steep uphill treks to scenic views. Some hikers reach the Columbia Stream by descending the Pacific Crest Path.
Friends of Columbia Gorge provides an easy-to-use guide to hiking routes. Sort according to distance and height. Several famous hiking trails have restricted parking spaces which may require permission. Avoid disappointment and look for the right options.
If you are looking for a beautiful hike with stunning views, the Columbia River Gorge is a lovely area with plenty of hiking trails to explore. It is undeniably one of the most beautiful places on Earth.
With its towering cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and verdant forests, it’s no wonder that this area is such a popular destination for hikers from all over the world.
Get out your hiking shoes, wipe off the cobwebs and get out there and do some adventuring.
Whether you’re looking for an easy day hike or a challenging backpacking trip, you’ll find plenty of trails to explore in the Columbia River Gorge. So get out there and start exploring!