Hike the Cape Horn Trail

Washington Cape Horn Trailhead

Added by David Schelske

  • Distance: 7.5 miles (loop)
  • Elevation gain: 1,400'
  • 5 miles to the top viewpoint and back
  • Great hike for being so close to town
  • Great views of the Columbia Gorge
  • Amazing wildflowers

The Cape Horn Trail is great for those who are short on time, but still want to get outside for something close by with great views.

Located just 35 min east of Portland, the Cape Horn Trail offers a few different possibilities for you to hike. The whole loop (lower section is closed from Feb 1st to July 15th for bird nesting) is around 7.5 miles and offers great views up high and a pretty lower section near the river.

When the lower section is closed you can do a nice 5 mile out-and-back from the main parking lot up to the Nancy Russell overlook. The route has lots of switchbacks and elevation gain, but the views and wildflowers make it more than worth it.

If you only have a short while but are dying to get out, drive to the top, at the end of Strunk Road, and park at the gate. From there, it is an easy 1/3 mile out to the viewpoint where you can kick back and take in the view from the Nancy Russell Overlook.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Trek poles
  • Bug spray
  • Camera
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Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round



Dog Friendly
Easy Parking

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2 months ago

One Of My Favorites

This is one of my favorite hikes. I've done the upper section quite a few times and love it!

2 months ago

4 months ago

Wonderful Viewpoint

This hike is not too difficult and the view of the Columbia River Gorge is amazing. I saw very few people on the quaint trail!

4 months ago

about 1 year ago

Great write up. This hike offers wonderful views of the Colombia River. I started my hike from the Skamania Park & Ride on Salmon Falls Rd and made it to Pioneer Point. Recommended for a quick jaunt out of town or for visiting friends. Definitely going back to do the loop.

about 1 year ago

Added by David Schelske

Hi Everyone Im a commercial photographer based in Portland Oregon, but work on location all around the country. While most all of my advertising work is for motor sports clients (Yamaha, Honda, Ford) I like to spend my free time out exploring the NW's hiking and mt bike trails. Rain or shine, day or night, you can usually find me outside......

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