• Activities:

    Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    7.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    2100 Feet

Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Forest
Scenic
Waterfall

This hike is under an hour drive from Portland and passes through old-growth forests and by waterfalls, leading to sheer cliffs with great views of the Columbia River Gorge and the Cascade Mountains.

Hamilton Mountain has one of the best views in the Columbia Gorge. The hike starts out with a gradual uphill climb through an old-growth forest. After about a half-mile in you will come to a clearing where you can see the ridge line going up to the top of Hamilton Mountain. From there you'll pass a couple of beautiful waterfalls, Hardy Falls and Rodney Falls.

After the falls the real climbing begins and you'll be presented with two options: "Difficult" or "More Difficult". Take the "More Difficult" route as it takes you by the best view on the hike, known as "Little Hamilton Mountain", as referred to by oregonhikers.org.

  • Latitude: 45.64468
  • Longitude: -122.00875

Stop here and climb out on the rocks that jet out. From here you can see Beacon Rock to the south, Munra Point to the east and Bonneville Dam to the north east.

Another mile up is the summit. On a clear day you can see Mt. Hood, Mt. Saint Helens, Mt. Adams, and Table Mt.

When you descend you have the option of coming down the same way you went up or doing it as a loop and taking the Hardy Creek Trail down.

Note

  • A Discover Pass is required to park at the trailhead. You can pay for a day pass at the trailhead ($10) or you can obtain a year pass ($30) at the Rangers station just down the road on HWY 14.
  • On weekends it gets busy so get there early to find a parking spot.

Pack List

  • Daypack
  • Water (around 2 liters)
  • Cellphone
  • Camera
  • First Aid Kit
  • Food
  • Flashlight
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Map of the trail
  • Compass
  • Light jacket or puffy (in the spring, fall or winter is can get a tad chilly up top)
  • Trekking poles (not necessary but can help with some of the steep climbs)
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Reviews

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If you're looking for a moderate hike with views, waterfalls and a good burn all in one, welcome to Hamilton Mountain. The trailhead is easily accessed and one of the closer hikes to Portland in the Gorge (though it's on the WA side of the river) making it a quicker pick. The trail starts out pretty tame as you make your way over to the falls for a great first stop but after that it's all up to the top and at a solid rise / run rate too. The first viewpoint around 2/3rds of the way up is my favorite part of the trail though a clear day at the summit means a nice view out to Adams and the river below.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

It can be a bit crowded if the weather is nice, but the views are worth it. A pleasant uphill hike through rainforest ends with a spectacular view of the gorge and bonneville dam. Leave mid morning and have a picnic lunch on the summit while looking down on small airplanes cruising the gorge.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Great hike, all uphill. A few power lines in the way of lower views but other than that, spectacular. I preferred the Little Hamilton peak to the big one (about 30 min shy) because it was grassy and had epic views for lunch. Parking lot gets very busy on the weekends.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Isaac Koval

Patient observer of the stars Grinning wild-child of the mountain and its rivers Adventurous spirit with camera in hand Captures moments of wonder and joy Isaac is a commercial photographer and cinematographer with a focus in outdoor adventure.

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