Scarborough Hill Trail

Loop • 2.8 mi • 650 ft

Hike through a rare coastal old-growth Sitka spruce forest. Enjoy sweeping views of the mouth of the Columbia River. After your grunt up Scarborough Hill, snoop around the meticulously preserved early twentieth-century historic structures of this former military reservation.
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Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Chinook
Length: 2.8 total miles
Elevation Gain: 650 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy to moderate
Season: Year-round
Trailhead Elevation: 100 feet
Top Elevation: 767 feet
Other Uses: Kid-friendly
Local Contacts: Fort Columbia State Park
Local Maps: USGS Chinook
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Recent Trail Reviews


This is one of three trails at Fort Columbia. All three intersect at the top so it is easy to take one trail up and another down. Unfortunately, budget cuts have left the Park short staffed and unable to do much work on the trails. Scarborough was pretty overgrown when we hiked it, but it's still passable, just be prepared for a lot of contact with plants. The other two trails weren't so bad. When facing the summit from the park, Scarborough is the trail to the left (starts in a big parking lot), Military Road starts near the Steward's House, and Canyon Creek is just to the right of Military. The Canyon Creek trail was heavily affected by a strong wind storm a few years ago. The rangers have gone through and chainsawed a path through the worst of the downed trees and rerouted the trail in other places. At one point the trail involves walking on top of a large fallen tree! You will pass through an area where you can see scores of trees that were felled in the storm, it's really pretty cool. Military Road is wide and has a grass surface. It winds up past old military buildings and is very pleasant. Scarborough and Canyon Creek both get slippery after it rains and are especially tricky when going downhill. I recommend going up either Scarborough or Canyon Creek and down Military. There are cutoffs that connect Scarborough and Military before the summit, so a shorter hike is possible. The trails are steep but very peaceful and pretty. I have seen deer and porcupines at the park. There is a lot of neat military history and in the summer they have an interpretive center open. There is access to the beach at at least two different points and it's very pretty. A great place to watch a sunset! Anyone interested in volunteering to work on the trails should contact the park office at Cape Disappointment State Park, they manage Fort Columbia.

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