Dog Mountain Trail

Skamania County, Washington

Elevation Gain39ft
Trailhead Elevation109ft
Elevation Min/Max109/148ft
Elevation Start/End109/109ft

Dog Mountain Trail

Dog Mountain Trail is a hiking trail in Skamania County, Washington. It is 7.6 miles long and begins at 109 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 0.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 39 feet. The Dog Mountain Trail Head and Dog Mountain Trailhead parkings are near the trailhead. Dog Mountain (elevation 2,815 feet) can be seen along the trail. There are also viewpoints along the trail.

Dog Mountain Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This is probably the most popular of the real hiking trails in the Columbia River Gorge—“real” meaning it requires some real effort. But with an easy-access trailhead, great views of the river, and sunshine and wildflowers at a time when it’s usually still raining in Portland, it’s no wonder everybody on Earth comes here."

"Here is a place famous not only for its incredibly steep trail, but for its incredible display of wildflowers. In fact, the summit of Dog Mountain is one big field of flowers.

It’s hard to describe, there are so many species and so many colors. Best you make an effort to get to Dog Mountain as soon as you can. Oh, and the views up and down the Gorge are fantastic. On cloudless days, you can also see a lot of volcanoes."

"The most spectacular hike on the Washington side of the Columbia gorge, Dog Mountain offers much to bark about. Straddling the transition zone between swirling clouds and golden rays of sunshine, Dog affords a beautiful perspective of the multifaceted gorge. The view straight down to the river and over the cone of Wind Mountain is beyond breathtaking. And the flowers! you’ll find the most stunning floral show sprawled across the sun-kissed meadows of this riverside peak. But there’s a hitch. The way is steep making this a dog of a hike. And its popularity means you’re never far from the pack."

"This steep day hike up Dog Mountain is worth the effort for the name alone, not to mention the swaths of wildflowers in season and the amazing views from the summit."

"Trails in the Columbia River Gorge are favorites of wildflower enthusiasts. The flowers begin from the trailhead in early April and continue all the way to the summit of Dog Mountain as summer progresses. By June the summit is a yellow carpet of balsamroot, and in addition to floral displays there are views of Mount Hood and across the Columbia River to Starvation Ridge, Mount Defiance (identified by towers), and other high points in the Gorge.

This trail is steep enough to provide a workout, and that attracts many hikers, as well. Unless you hike on a bitter day in November, you’ll share this summit with other hikers, many with dogs."

"With a trailhead in the Columbia River Gorge, this mountain offers wonderful views of the deep cut of the Columbia as it slices through the Cascades. This is a popular trail that offers great views and a pleasant trail experience—wildflowers grace the forest meadows and clearings, and wildlife roams the area."

"The most spectacular hike on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, Dog Mountain offers much to bark about. Straddling the transition zone between swirling clouds and golden rays of sunshine, Dog presents a beautiful perspective of the multifaceted Gorge.

The view straight down to the river and over the cone of Wind Mountain is breathtaking. And you’ll ?nd the most stunning ?oral show within the Gorge sprawled across this riverside peak’s sun-kissed meadows. But there’s a hitch. The way is steep, making this a dog of a hike."

"This singletrack trail begins ascending right from the start. After about 0.5 mile, an option for “more-difficult” or “less-difficult” terrain presents itself via signage. The less-difficult route actually has better views. The trail is forested until you reach the exposed overlooks.

This popular trailhead is located right off WA 14. Free parking is available right next to the trailhead. Restrooms are also available at the trailhead. If using public transportation, take the Gorge WET Bus."

"With a name like this, is it any wonder this trail made it into this book? Of course dogs should hike Dog Mountain, but not just because of the name. The long, steep climb on this low-elevation trail provides an excellent opportunity for canines and their two-legged friends to stay in hiking condition all year round."

"A steep day hike up Dog Mountain. The Dog Mountain Trail System is heavily used by many hikers and the summit is often crowded on weekends; still, the mountain provides a peaceful and scenic hike. On a clear day, Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams are all visible from the top. Dog Mountain is also well-known for wildflowers, especially during the spring and early summer."

Dog Mountain Trail Reviews

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This is a terrific hike but it is seriously tough! it is a steep incline nearly the entire way to the top, but WOW, what a view. This hike is one of my favorites in the gorge. We got there early in the morning and there was hardly anyone there, which is rare. It was a little windy out there when we went, so a jacket is a good idea. The wildflowers are also a wonderful reward for all the hard work. Amazing trail!
Yes it is difficult. It starts off with poison oak on both sides of the trail. It is very popular. Lots and lots of people. Especially in the spring when the wild flowers are in bloom. This is part of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest so you will need a NW Forest pass. In the spring and summer you will also need a permit to park there. There is a shuttle that runs from Stevenson during those times. That is also where you can get the permit.
If you are a person who enjoys an arduous hike with a relatively scarce amount of scenery, then this is the trail for you. However, I desired for a little of both - challenge and beauty, yet I did not find exactly what was promised. I had conducted a fair amount of homework into this trail before setting out for my journey. What I had read was that it was a very popular trail and it was well-maintained. Furthermore, the view from the top, as well as the view along the way were said to be fantastic. This is far from what I experienced. Don't get me wrong, the views from the top are beautiful - but they are not that exciting... definitely not worth the amount of work it takes to get there!
My wife and I had a great time hiking this trail, although we only made it about half way up the mountain. The portion we hiked was essentially a series of switchbacks that lead up the mountain to a lookout point. The trail was well maintained, and the stack of walking sticks (you'll need them) at the trail head was a welcome sight for us out-of-towners who weren't able to bring any. A great hike for those looking to get a taste of what the Columbia River Valley has to offer in the way of hiking.
A wonderful trail, beautiful river and great water over rocks at the bridge. Trail is pretty gentle (some trees to scramble over and under when we were there in April 2007), although the Emerald Forest Trail down to the river is fairly steep (but not very long). Bridges over the river are au natural, that is, logs with handrails. Excellent trail, many rhodies (not in bloom when we were there), and some impressive fallen trees (counted 200 rings on one with several inches uncounted), also some huge stumps from long-ago logging. In light traffic, the trailhead was 80 minutes from West Salem; trailhead to the bridge was 1 hour 45 minutes. On a sunny Friday, we encountered only a group of seven other hikers.
This is a difficult trail with a steep grade, but the views from the top are spectacular and well worth it. In wet weather I'd take the Augsberger trail down - it's not so steep and slick.
Provides awesome views of the Columbia Gorge. This isn't a trail for seclusion, though. I went on a beautiful weekend day, one of the first after a long Portland, OR winter, and found myself coming across others on the trail a lot.
Great hike -- did it on a gorgeous morning. The wildflowers were just starting to bloom. Friends did this hike two weeks later (mid-May) and saw ALL the flowers in full bloom! Little windy up top, so bring a windbreaker. Amazing views of Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens & Mt. Adams. I do recommend getting to the trail head early on a Saturday. We were the 1st car in the parking lot (~7am) had the trail mostly to ourselves. However, finished the hike at 11am & the lot was full (3 rows deep). Other note, I'd leave the dog at home -- way too much poison oak on the trail at lower elevation.

Dog Mountain Trail Photos

Trail Information

Skamania County
Nearby City
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
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Columbia Gorge NSA
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Gifford Pinchot National Forest, 10600 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver 98682; (360) 891-5000; <a href=""></a>
Gifford Pinchot National Forest, 10600 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver, WA 98682; (360) 891-5000; <a href=""></a> pinchot.
Lindsey Creek State Park
USFS Mount Adams Ranger District
Local Contacts

Green Trails #430 Hood River, OR; USGS Mount Defiance; DeLorme
Green Trails Hood River No. 430
Green Trails No. 430 Hood River
Green Trails, Columbia River Gorge– West No. 428S
USGS Mount Defiance; Green Trails No. 430: Hood River; Trails Illustrated Columbia River Gorge
USGS Mount Defiance; Hood River Green Trails
Local Maps