Stunning views of the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood while hiking through basalt notches and oak-dotted grasslands.

Coyote Wall is a relatively uncrowded trail system in the Columbia River Gorge that provides outstanding views of the Columbia River. The trail system is made up primarily of user-created mountain biking trails, allowing hikers a choose-your-own-adventure approach to exploring the area.

Start out at the Coyote Wall Trailhead, which is just north of Highway 14 on the Washington side of the gorge. Turn left onto Courtney Road, about 5 miles east of Bingen, WA, and the trailhead parking lot will be immediately on the right.

The hike starts out following an old section of Highway 14 uphill along one of the basalt walls that give the eastern portion of the Columbia River Gorge its unique appearance. After 0.6 miles, the road will level off and a series of user trails will climb up the grassland to the left. While you can take any of these trails and create a scenic loop (all of the trails eventually intersect near the top of the bluff), the best viewpoint is reached by continuing to follow the road for another 0.25 miles. Just before the road cuts between the bluff and a large rock outcropping, take the trail to the left to begin heading uphill.

From here, the trail winds its way up the bluff, following a series of oak-dotted creeks and notches in the basalt. Again there will be numerous trail junctions, any of which can be followed in either direction, but stay to the right at all junctions to reach a grassy plateau in about 1.5 miles. The views of the Columbia River from this plateau are stunning, and on clear days Mount Hood can easily be seen across the river. This makes an excellent spot to host a picnic and relax in the sunshine.

To continue the loop, follow the trail around the plateau as it continues to meander up the bluff through a series of denser oak forests and grasslands. The trail will reach an old jeep track in around 0.5 miles, which you should turn left onto to follow to the west and eventually meander through grasslands back down the bluff. There are sustained views of the Columbia River from this side of Coyote Wall. Finally, after about 2 miles on the jeep track, a series of use-trails will break off downhill to lead you back to the old highway section from which you originally set out.

Once you reach the car, there are a wealth of options to celebrate your hike. Hood River, only about 7 miles away on the Oregon side of the gorge (there is a $1 toll to cross the bridge), is home to Full Sail Brewing, Double Mountain Brewery, and Big Horse Brew Pub. Walking Man Brewery in Stevenson and Backwoods Brewing in Carson are also nearby options on the Washington side of the river.

Pack List

  • Day hiking gear
  • Water (although there are creeks along the lower section of the hike, do not plan on having water sources along the upper section of the trail)
  • Sunscreen (the eastern part of the Columbia River Gorge is known for its hot, sunny days)
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RT Distance 7.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 800 Feet
Activities Chillin, Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Loop
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Nice, uncrowded hike, dry & unshaded

Even on a sunny summer weekend day, we encountered very few other folks on this trail. Overall a solid hike, maybe best saved for the more moist non-summer months. It was pretty dry, brown and unshaded most of the way - the views probably would have been better with more greenery! But regardless the views of Hood were excellent!

over 2 years ago

Coyote Wall

Pretty neat place with a few smaller waterfalls throughout as well. Definitely a choose your own adventure with the numerous trails.


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