The Perfect Hike in the Columbia River Gorge

If you’ve never ventured to the border between Washington and Oregon and into the scenic Columbia River Gorge, a majestic natural corridor carved through the Cascade Mountain Range by the Columbia River, this is your chance. It’s an unparalleled destination for outdoor enthusiasts and avid adventurers. There are miles of mesmerizing Columbia River Gorge hikes to take, including one of our favorites to the top of Larch Mountain, all showcasing the Gorge’s diverse and scenic natural landscape. 

Larch Mountain stands out from other hikes in the Gorge as a challenging ascent that culminates in breathtaking panoramic views. Other notable hikes, such as Dog Mountain and Lower Lewis Falls, provide hikers with scenic vistas and the unique opportunity to explore the Gorge’s vibrant ecosystem up close. With a dramatic mix of steep cliffs, expansive forests, and cascading waterfalls, every adventure will be dynamic and full of natural beauty. 

Hiking isn’t the only thing you can do while here, though. The scenic Columbia River Gorge area is a hub for all recreational activities, with something for every interest and level of experience. From windsurfing, hiking, and biking to exploring the surrounding vineyards and orchards and enjoying a taste of the region’s bounty, you’ll never run out of things to do in the Columbia River Gorge. Throughout your adventures, leave yourself plenty of time to unwind at our luxurious Columbia River Gorge cabins, which offer a harmonious blend of hospitality and amenities for a rejuvenating getaway. Book your cabin today! 

The bridge at Multnomah Falls, where the Larch Mountain trail starts

Enjoy the Hike up Larch Mountain

There are so many fantastic Columbia River Gorge hikes worth taking. There are so many that it can, at times, feel hard to choose where to start. If you’re looking for a gorgeous and challenging ascent that pairs with some of the top attractions in the Columbia River Gorge, we recommend heading to Larch Mountain. You’ll start your trek to the top of Larch Mountain at the popular Multnomah Falls Recreation Area, where you’ll enjoy one of the most impressive waterfalls in the Columbia River Gorge. 

We recommend you head to Multnomah Falls earlier in the day to enjoy the view before the busy crowds arrive. Once you’re done admiring this impressive waterfall, it’s time to find your way to the 6.8-mile trail to the top of Larch Mountain. The trail is perfect for a hot day, as most of it will wind through beautiful old-growth forest and past several waterfalls, keeping you mostly covered under the lush forest canopy. 

As you ascend to the top of Larch Mountain, you’ll get scenic glimpses of the gorge below through the trees, with occasional clearings for those panoramic views you’re after. Though you start the journey at the historic Multnomah Falls Lodge, it’s not the only waterfall you’ll encounter on the trek. You’ll also pass Dutchman, Wisendanger, and Ecola Falls, eventually coming out to the top of Larch Mountain.

As you reach the summit of this epic hike, you’ll find one of the most rewarding viewpoints in the Pacific Northwest. The peak of Larch Mountain offers a breathtaking 360-degree vista that encompasses Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens, and on clear days, even Mount Rainier in the distance.

The hike to the summit of Larch Mountain is no small feat and is considered a strenuous trek that’s not for the casual hiker. You’ll want to come well prepared for this one, as the total hike is almost 14 miles with an elevation gain of around 4,000 feet. It’s well worth it for the views, but there are also incredible wildflower blooms up here, including Howell’s daisies, alumroot, rock penstemon, and Cardwell’s penstemon.

The Larch Mountain Trail is also part of the Wahkeena Loop Trail, offering even more options for waterfall-filled Columbia River Gorge hikes. 

Larch Mountain is just one of the many great Columbia River Gorge Hikes - the Coyote Wall Hike, picutred here, is another great one.

More Fabulous Columbia River Gorge Hikes

If it’s not clear by now, the Columbia River Gorge is truly a hiker’s paradise. Larch Mountain is just one of the many stunning Columbia River Gorge hikes worth taking this summer. From crowded trails to off-the-beaten-path gems, we’d love to help you plan an unforgettable trek through this National Scenic Area. Wherever you go, one thing remains constant: The rugged landscape, shaped by the relentless forces of nature, is a destination for limitless adventure. 

From the verdant, mossy forests that cloak the lower elevations to the stark, windswept ridges above, each of these Columbia River Gorge hikes presents its own unique set of natural wonders. Whether seeking the exhilarating challenge of steep climbs or the gentle repose of a riverside amble, the Gorge’s network of paths delivers an unmatched diversity of hiking adventures. Here are 10 of our favorite Columbia River Gorge hikes to consider for your next trip.

  1. One of our absolute favorite hikes in the Columbia River Gorge, which also happens to be dog-friendly, is Dog Mountain. From the sweeping views of the Gorge to the stunning carpet of wildflower blooms, it’s easy to see why this is such a popular hike! 
  2. Another fantastic place to enjoy those quintessential views of the impressive Columbia River Gorge is the Coyote Wall Loop. This route is particularly well known for its spring wildflowers.
  3. If you’re looking for an epic waterfall hike away from the crowds of Multnomah Falls, head to Lower Lewis Falls in Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest. 
  4. As you probably know by now, there’s no shortage of waterfall hikes in the Columbia River Gorge—some of which are more popular than others. Though we highly recommend a trip through the Waterfall Corridor, another of our favorite waterfall hikes is the Falls Creek Falls trail. This trail leads to one of Washington’s tallest waterfalls, at an impressive 335 feet.
  5. Cape Horn is another excellent trek on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. This hike includes views of Cape Horn Falls and a challenging climb up the rocky slopes of Cape Horn. Though there’s a loop here, in the earlier spring and summer months, the hike must be an out-and-back trip, as portions of the trail are closed for nesting peregrine falcons. It’s an impressive hike either way!
  6. If you’re looking for a hike that combines panoramic views of Mount Hood and a stunning alpine lake, head to Mirror Lake via Tom, Dick, and Harry Mountain. 
  7. Another “must” for Columbia River Gorge hikes on the Washington side of the river is the Hamilton Mountain Loop. This trail starts in a beautiful forest before winding past scenic waterfalls. Ultimately, you’ll end up atop towering cliffs for the scenic Gorge views you crave. 
  8. For gorgeous views of Mount Adams and a fantastic wildflower meadow, head out on the Grassy Knoll Hike.
  9. Back on the Oregon side of the river, we recommend you head to another of the most popular Columbia River Gorge hikes, the Angels Rest Trail. The climbs are steep and challenging, but the views are classic and exceptional! 
  10. Though you’ll still encounter remnants of the devastating Eagle Creek Fire of 2017, the Eagle Creek to Tunnel Falls hike still makes our list as one of the best Columbia River Gorge hikes. The trail features eight major waterfalls, with lots of smaller and seasonal falls in between. It’s a stunning hike offering up-close glimpses of the Gorge’s diverse ecosystems and geography. The trail can be narrow and challenging in places, so it’s definitely one for more experienced hikers. 


When you’re done exploring Larch Mountain and these other exceptional Columbia River Gorge hikes, return to the comfort of our luxurious cabins. Here, you can enjoy a relaxing massage, a soak with Dead Sea bath salts in our generous tubs, and an evening relaxing on our quiet, beautiful property. There’s no lodging quite like ours in the Columbia River Gorge, and this summer, we invite you to see it for yourself. Book your cabin today! 

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