Hike To The Summit of Beacon Rock

Beacon Rock

A unique 1.8 mile out-and-back with great views. Summit one of the tallest monoliths in North America. Climb nearly 700 feet up scaffolding-like switch backs.

Beacon Rock is one of the most recognizable landmarks along the Columbia River Gorge. It’s a 848-foot basalt monolith (singular piece of rock) that was once the core of an ancient volcano. To access the rock, park in a developed parking area at the rock’s base that has room for about 30 cars. You’ll take a short stroll through a forested trail before you hit the rock.

Once you reach the rock, the trail abruptly heads more or less straight up along a series of 52 or so zig-zagging switch backs. Considering you have 848 feet to climb in less than a mile, the grade is surprisingly mellow. While the sight of this crazy trail winding up the side of the rock is itself a sight to behold, the panoramic views of the Columbia River Gorge are the real reward.

The views from the summit can are a bit obscured by trees, but well worth the effort. This is a mostly exposed hike and can get hot during the summer months, but for every other occasion, it’s best to pack a jacket (it’s typically pretty windy).

Photos: Photo: Jeff Gunn

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Light jacket
  • Water bottle
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RT Distance 1.8 Miles
Elevation Gain 700 Feet
Activities Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
River
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Easy but rewarding

Fun to be able to see the end from the beginning.

Great for beginners

A pretty short sprint trail. Beautiful views and trail. Try to go during off hours as the top can get crowded

Beautiful View!

It's a great little hike with a sweet view as payoff for the trek up. Lots of switchbacks make the gain manageable for all skill levels. Plus there's a sturdy railing all the way up. On busier weekends don't plan to hang around up on top for long...the lookout is pretty small and can get congested quickly. But if you manage to hit the trail when it's not so crowded, pack a snack or a lunch to enjoy at the top.


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