Larch Mountain Trail 441

Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness Area, Oregon

Distance1.9mi
Elevation Gain1,462ft
Trailhead Elevation758ft
Top1,748ft
Elevation Min/Max750/1748ft
Elevation Start/End758/758ft

Larch Mountain Trail 441

Larch Mountain Trail 441 is a hiking trail in Multnomah County, Oregon. It is within Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness Area. It is 1.9 miles long and begins at 758 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 3.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,462 feet. The Weisendanger Falls waterfall can be seen along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Larch Mountain Trail 420, Multnomah Falls Trail, Franklin Ridge Trail and Larch Mountain Trail.

Larch Mountain Trail 441 Professional Reviews and Guides

"Larch Mountain provides easy access to birds of the coniferous forest. The birder can choose to drive all the way to the summit, walk short distances into several clear-cuts, or hike for several miles through forest and meadow habitats. Birding is easiest in late May and June, when breeding species are in full song. Larch Mountain Road is closed past milepost 10 from late autumn until the snow melts sometime in May. Birders can walk past the gate if they wish to explore the mountain in early spring. On your way up Larch Mountain Road, there are two good places within the Mount Hood National Forest where you can walk down logging roads to explore clear-cuts.

These brushy areas attract Willow Flycatchers, House Wrens, MacGillivray’s Warblers, Band-tailed Pigeons, woodpeckers, Swainson’s Thrushes, and Northern Pygmy-Owls. You can scan the clear-cuts from their edges or walk into them. Thick brush and stumps make walking difficult, but birding can be more productive farther off the path. Specialty birds in these areas include: Sooty Grouse; Northern Pygmy-Owl; Pileated Woodpecker; Olive-sided and Pacific-slope Flycatchers; Gray Jay; Bandtailed Pigeon; Varied Thrush; Hermit and MacGillivray’s Warblers; Chipping Sparrow and Red Crossbill."

"Though the full length of the trail is 7 miles, it is recommended that you turn around at mile 6 during the high-volume summer months.

If you must make this a through-hike from Larch Mountain all the way to Multnomah Falls, your dog will be a lot happier if you hike it in the spring or on a weekday when the trail is less crowded—otherwise, the last mile of trail can be a lot like waiting in line for concert tickets while taking a shower in the falls overspray."

"A classic Columbia River Gorge run that travels next to magnificent Multnomah Creek and then takes you to the spectacular summit of Larch Mountain. Waterfalls. Bridge crossings. Mountain views. This adventure starts at Multnomah Falls, one of the most visited attractions in Oregon. The initial mile to the top of the hill is steep, paved, and crowded. On a busy weekend you may as well walk it, lest you confront major people navigation and the ire of folks just barely making it. Take heart, 99.9 percent of the people will turn around at the top of the falls, leaving you with an ethereal dirt trail all to yourself.

After you reach the top of the falls, the trail turns to dirt and you’ll run next to the pristine waters of Multnomah Creek and then charge up moderate grades to the 4,056-foot summit of Larch Mountain. At the top you’ll have superb views of Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams, Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, and the awesome Columbia River Gorge. This route is very tough—make sure to bring plenty of food and water with you and watch out for scattered technical rocky sections (especially coming back down). Rest rooms and water are available at the trailhead."

"Pick a clear day to get the best view, or think about timing your hike so that you arrive at the top at sunset—you’ll get to see Mount Hood bathed in pink light, and the lights of Portland are spectacular from the summit.

Consider doing this one in late August, when the upper parts of the hill are awash in huckleberries. You can actually see Larch Mountain as you drive out I-84; it’s just to the left of Mount Hood and has a notch in the top. The top of that notch is where you’re headed."

"If Larch’s summit is too much to tackle from Multnomah Falls, or you just don’t want to weave through a flood of waterfall admirers getting to it, but you still want to get a little hiking in on this Columbia gorge landmark, consider starting from the top of this ancient volcano. Take in the views and then head out on a surprisingly quiet loop through some of the finest remaining forests in the region."

Larch Mountain Trail 441 Reviews

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6/6/2012
Beautiful hike. A little bit of everything you would want in a trail. I just wish we would have taken more time. Basically, we hiked to the top (very difficult since I was wearing a 40 lb pack for conditioning)...ate some sandwiches...looked around and hike back. Total time spent was 6.5 hours. Would recommend that this is an 8 hour hike if you want to enjoy the scenery and relax a bit.
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5/12/2008
I hiked this with my 7 and 5 year old on the 3rd of May 2008. The trail was a bit muddy and my 5 year old daughter was scared of the garter snakes at the end of the trail. This is a very good and easy hike for kids if the trail drys out.
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6/18/2007
It is definitely a tough trail to run....starts out on paved switchbacks for about a mile and then switches to dirt/rock. The sights are beautiful and varied. The terrain was quite technical with some parts extremely rocky and the water making it even more difficult as it was quite slippery at parts. Because of the cloudy weather I was unable to see any of the magnificent sites from the top. However, I would highly recommend this trail as a hike or run even in the clouds. The falls are gorgeous and varied sites made for a really interesting and exciting run.
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3/19/2006
Was awesome! Very nice day walk with great views of Smugglers Cove and the Pacific Ocean. Huge tree's all along the trail. Saw 5-10 whales offshore from the top of the Cape. Tried the chowder at the Ecola Seafood Market in Cannon Beach and didn't think it was all that great...mostly overpriced.
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9/3/2004
This is a great, easy trail. The forest, trees, ferns, & moss, was beautiful, and the views of Smugglers Cove were also very nice. We did encounter a few other hikers and saw many surfers, but for most of the trial we were on our own.
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10/18/2002
This is an easy trail that offers a chance to experience amazing array of microclimates inside a Pacific coast rain forest. The old growth trees - Douglas Fir, Sycamore and many others will amaze hikers, as will the fallen giants new trees are sprouting in and those cleared by trail crews after storms. It is truly awe inspiring to hike past not one or two but many downed trees that are 4-5 feet in diameter. The trail is in good repair as of this writing, with some tricky footing from well-intentioned trail maintenance that I found to be more trouble than help. Some of the beginning sections are covered in asphalt in what is presumably the state parks attempt to make the trail less muddy. The reality is that the asphalt heaves and cracks in places, making for a lot of stumbling if you don''t watch your feet because you''re admiring the views and the rain forest. There are several places along the trail that offer spectacular vistas of the ocean and Smugglers Cove. All in all, a good day hike for those visiting or camping at Oswald West State Park who aren''t there for the sea kayaking or boogie boarding or who need a break from that.
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Trail Information

Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness Area
Nearby City
Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness Area
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Views, Waterfalls
Features
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

Nov 2018