Dog Mountain Hike
Washington › Dog Mountain Trailhead
Added by Angela Service
Enjoy breathtaking views of the Columbia River Gorge and Mount St. Helens on this 4-5 hour hike. The trail is amazing during wildflower season, but be sure to get there early or on a weekday to avoid the crowds.
The Dog Mountain trailhead is located halfway between Stevenson and Bingen. Look for the big signed parking area just after milepost 53 (Eastbound). The parking lot fills up quickly, especially during peak wildflower season, so if you can go on a weekday that would be better.
There are 3 trails to the summit:
Augsberger trail is to the left of the parking area and is the most mellow. It has more viewpoints, but less shade. A good part of the trail is walking on rocks, both loose and in the ground, so good hiking boots with ankle support is helpful.
The 2 front side trails begin to the right of the parking area. You will pass a vault toilet on the way up and the only bathroom facilities offered. After .7 miles, the trail splits to a "More Difficult" and "Less Difficult" option. The "Less Difficult" is .4 miles longer, but more scenic. There is one viewpoint with a log bench to take in the view or rest before heading back into the treeline and up to the peak.
Once out of the second treeline, everything opens up and indian paintbrush, lupine, and mostly balsamroot, cover the steep mountainside. After enjoying the views, you can continue up to the summit, loop back down to the parking lot, or go back the way you came.
- NW Forest Pass
- Trekking poles (optional)
- Good hiking shoes/boots
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Good hike, Recommended
This hike was pretty. It was steeper than I was expecting in some spots but pretty doable. Great views of Hood River, Beacon Rock, and the Cascades. You could even see Mt Hood peeking over the Oregon side of the Gorge. I would for sure bring a windbreaker along because the top was a bit chilly and very windy even in mid-July. Fee area. Be sure to have a Northwest Forest Pass, $5 cash or a checkbook with you. We had to drive to Home Valley to get change.
This place is a must go during mid or late May all the way to mid or late June. There are wildflowers everywhere and it's just gorgeous. It's a difficult hike, so definitely bring plenty of water and snacks/food, and of course a camera.
Great for wildflowers
The only downside to Dog Mountain is that it's so close to Portland. For a relatively short (albeit steep) hike, the wildflower-filled meadows are well worth the effort. Mid-may seems to be the best time to hit it for peak wildflowers - even going on May 22nd this year seemed almost a week past peak bloom. Be sure to bring a jacket for the top - once the tree cover falls away, it can be quite windy and cool in the meadows (especially if you go on an overcast/rainy day, when the top of the mountain tends to end up in a cloud). Also, I would add a personal favorite nearby brewery to Liam's list - Backwoods Brewing in Carson, WA (about 10 minutes from the trailhead) has good enough beer to compete with Hood River breweries and even better wood-fired pizza.
Amazing in Winter & Wildflowers Season
I hike Dog Mtn frequently as a local training route and it's always a fun adventure but especially in mid spring when the flowers are out and late winter when the upper mountain becomes a winter wonderland. Definitely worthy of being on your list though if you want bigger views from this side of the Gorge, wander over to Hamilton or Table.
Great day hike with epic views of the gorge. Hit up Hood River after for grub - there are tons of options but Solstice Wood Fire Pizza is one of my favorites for nice but casual atmosphere, great pizza, beer, and wine choices. For a classier dinner - if that's your thing - hit up Celilo. Bingen, WA is also home to Killer Burger which is epic.
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