Hike the Dog Mountain Trail This Summer

July 20, 2022

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You have plenty of choices when looking for the best Hood River hikes. However, one of our favorites for summer is the Dog Mountain Trail. The Dog Mountain Trail is one of our favorite hikes in the Columbia River Gorge, and the trailhead is just minutes from our luxury cabins. 

While hiking and enjoying magnificent views from trails like the Dog Mountain Trail, you’ll want a comfortable place to serve as your home base. There’s no better place to stay near  Hood River than our luxury cabins in Washington.

We have everything you need for a great getaway, including comfortable accommodations, plenty of terrific amenities, exceptional hospitality, and an exquisite property where you’re free to unplug and unwind in a way you can’t do at home. 

If you’re ready to get outside and enjoy the Dog Mountain Trail and other fantastic Hood River hikes with us this summer, it’s time to book a spot at our #1-rated cabins in Washington today.

Another view of the Columbia River Gorge from the Dog Mountain Trail near our Cabins in Washington

Enjoy Hiking the Dog Mountain Trail

The Dog Mountain Trail is a 6.5-mile loop trail in Carson, Washington, just across the mighty Columbia from Hood River. The Dog Mountain Trail is one of the most popular Hood River hikes, and it’s generally considered challenging. The rewarding view at the end is enough payoff for us, though – it’s truly breathtaking!

You can expect to spend around 5 hours hiking the Dog Mountain Trail. This trail is covered with stunning wildflowers in the spring, including the vibrant yellow balsamroot. In summer, though, climbing these steep hills will reward you with one of the best views of the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood, especially on a blue-sky day. 

Parking can be limited at the Dog Mountain Trail, so you’ll want to get a relatively early start for this one. The earlier you go, the less likely you are to encounter the busy summer crowds, too. The first part of the Dog Mountain Trail climbs steadily through the trees. You’ll reach the first viewpoint approximately 1.5 miles into the hike. From there, you’ll see the Columbia River, Wind Mountain, and the top of Dog Mountain.

After another mile or so, you’ll encounter an old fire lookout station built in 1931. Take a break here, and relax, knowing you’re only a half mile to the top of the meadow and the best views of the hike. From there, you can turn around and head back down the Dog Mountain Trail or turn the hike into a loop by continuing on the Augspurger Mountain Trail. This adds just under a mile to the hike.

A woman enjoying the view from one of the many great Hood River Hikes, including the Dog Mountain Trail

More Great Hood River Hikes

The Dog Mountain Trail is fantastic, but it is just one of many incredible Hood River hikes worth taking this summer (or any time of year). Nestled between the Cascade Mountains and the scenic Columbia River, you can expect to encounter some of the best scenery in the Pacific Northwest, no matter which Hood River hikes you choose. 

A broad range of hikes are featured below, including those that are a bit easier and some considered very challenging. If you’re looking for even more recommendations, we’d be happy to offer you some personal suggestions, as hiking is one of our favorite pastimes, too! Here are ten more of our favorite Hood River hikes to consider next time you’re in the Columbia River Gorge.

  • The Rowena Plateau Loop is one of our favorite Hood River hikes. It’s relatively short, at just around 2 miles, and is considered one of the easier hikes in the area. Don’t let that fool you, though – the scenery here is spectacular. You’ll enjoy great views of the eastern Gorge cliffs and plateaus. This is an excellent trek to pair with the Tom McCall Point Trail.
  • Another great Hood River hike is the Tamanawas Falls Trail. You’ll find this trail on the eastern slope of Mount Hood, arguably offering some of the best waterfall hiking in the Columbia River Gorge.
  • If you’re looking for great views of Mount Hood, don’t miss the Lolo Pass Trail. It’s one of the most popular Hood River hikes, and with views like this at the end, it’s easy to see why. 
  • Another of our favorite Hood River Hikes involves the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. There are several sections on this trail, but the Hood River to Mosier section is a great one. 
  • Another excellent waterfall hike in the Hood River area is Dry Creek Falls. The trailhead is near the Bridge of the Gods, and soon you’ll walk through the lush forest towards a beautiful waterfall. It’s truly a hidden gem and one of the best Hood River hikes. 

Dry Creek Falls, in addition to the Dog Mountain Trail, is one of the best Hood River Hikes

  • If you’re looking for a rugged and challenging hike, head to Cape Horn. Not only will you enjoy spectacular views of the Columbia River Gorge, but you’ll also make your way to the beautiful Cape Horn Falls.  
  • Catherine Creek is another excellent choice for those looking for easy hikes. A highlight of this is the natural arch you’ll see along the way. This trail can also connect to the popular Coyote Wall Area, another great place for Hood River hikes. 
  • Another great hike in the area is the Hamilton Mountain Loop. This one makes many lists of the “best” hikes in the area because it offers a little bit of everything. It’s challenging, but you’ll encounter waterfalls, cliffs, deep forests fantastic Columbia River Gorge views. What more could you ask for?
  • Sleeping Beauty Peak is another spectacular hike worth taking, especially if you’re looking for exquisite views of another popular mountain in the area, Mount Adams. 
  • For something a little different, head to Soda Peaks Lake. This hike is part of the Trapper Creek Wilderness and is the only hike on our list that leads the way to a gorgeous alpine lake. The mountain setting here is simply spectacular. 

Whether heading out on The Dog Mountain Trail or choosing one of these other fabulous Hood River hikes, know you’re in for an unforgettable day surrounded by the best of the Columbia River Gorge. You’ll no doubt be tired when you’re done, so make sure to have comfortable accommodations lined up. There’s nowhere better than our luxury cabins in Washington. Book a room today!

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