Best hikes of the Columbia River Gorge

Hiking season is underway in the Columbia River Gorge.

While occasionally spectacular during the depths of winter, it’s the spring months of April, May and June when the Gorge reaches its scenic peak.

Blooms of wildflowers, roaring waterfalls, panoramic viewpoints and mossy forest combine to offer singular hiking experiences up and down the national scenic area.

To get you prepared for the season, here is a list of the 13 best overall hikes the Gorge has to offer, in consultation with the Friends of the Columbia River Gorge.

As ever, it’s important to remember that hiking during the week or early in the morning is highly recommended. The Gorge becomes as crowded as shopping malls in many places on weekend afternoons.

Most importantly, leave no trace.

The hikes are broken down by the west and east sides. The east side, highlighted by incredible displays of wildflowers, offers the best early-season hiking. The west side is closer to the Willamette Valley and home to huge waterfalls and mossy forest.


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