Herman Creek

Cascade Locks, Oregon 97014

Herman Creek

Herman Creek Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Every spring, at some point, most of us trail hounds will wind up at the Herman Creek trailhead; whatever you’re looking for, you can find it on these forested slopes. So, rather than one hike, here are a few options, from easiest to hardest, with enough variations that you may not know which to choose—and that’s why so many of us return to Herman Creek time and time again.

All the hikes start at the same place, the Herman Creek trailhead, which until May 1 will mean a 0.5-mile walk from Forest Lane to the trailhead. From the trail sign, hike a short, steep section to some power lines, and follow the trail past them, for a total of 0.6 mile, to a junction. The options start here, as do the mileage counts."

More Herman Creek Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

One Night Wilderness: Portland: Backcountry Getaways Within Three Hours of the City (Wilderness Press)
Doug Lorain
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"Herman Creek is one of the major streams of the Columbia River Gorge, and the trail up its long canyon leads to a number of interesting and worthwhile destinations." Read more
Day Hiking Columbia River Gorge (The Mountaineers Books)
Craig Romano
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"With one of the finest remaining stands of old-growth red cedars in the Columbia gorge, this long but fairly moderate hike is ideal for overcast days or for when you want to escape the crowds of neighboring trails." Read more
Hiking The Columbia River Gorge (Falcon Guides)
Russ Schneider, revised by Jim Yuskavitch
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"A good overnight route with loop options back on the Benson Plateau. Herman Creek is known for its old growth fir and cedar forest. The best trees are past the Casey Creek junction. For an overnight stay amongst the cedars, hike to Cedar Swamp and spend a night, or continue on to Mud Lake for a second night. You can either end your hike at Whatum Lake or loop back on the Benson Plateau via the Pacific Crest Trail 2000 (PCT). Several easy mountain climbs along the way include Chinidere and Tomlike mountains." Read more

Herman Creek Reviews

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Amazing 3 day loop. At least that's what i had planned until i got to Tomlike Mt (via herman creek trail) and lost the trail in snow. No worries though because Tomlike is awesome. spent a while on the summit then came back to a sweet hidden camp i found between mud lake and cedar swamp. I highly recommend this trip. You cant be too picky about solitude on this hike, many people enjoy its scenery. Caution: went back a month later to finish the loop but got turned back at mudlake due to SWARMS of mosquitoes.
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I'll never forget hiking up Herman Creek trail, I set up camp at Cedar Swamp and took the side trail up to the top of Green Point Mountain. About a quarter of the way up, I remember looking ahead, and seeing a big 'ole German Shepard dog looking back at me, maybe 100 feet away. At least, I THOUGHT it was a dog. Took another look and it was a large bear! Soon as I realized just what it was, up went 2 cubs climbing up the two trees next to mother bear! I was about to freak! I slowly eased back away from them, when I got out of sight, I ran very fast! Waited about an hour, hiked back up, making much noise, didn't see them.

Herman Creek is an excellent backpacking trip. The campsite at Cedar Swamp is large, with a little stream running right thru it. The trip up the mountain from Cedar Camp is well worth the views you'll have at the summit. It's an excellent side trip when camping down below.

Herman Creek trail is also very interesting beyond Cedar Swamp, it's one of my Gorge faves.

If you want to make this hike easier, hike in from the opposite direction, from Wahtum Lake.

Herman Creek Photos

Trail Information

Cascade Locks
Nearby City
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Several options
Trail Type
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
2 hours-2 days
Additional Use
Views, Waterfalls
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, 541-308-1700, www.fs.usda.gov/crgnsa
Local Contacts
National Geographic Columbia River Gorge, Green Trails Map 428S (Columbia River Gorge–West).
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018