This very popular trail has a feast of features for hikers, including waterfalls, craggy cliffs, deep forests, superb vistas, and a loop option for the trek. The outing can done at any time of year although you will want to pay attention to icy spots in the winter. The summit itself is thicketed and offers limited views, but a bench a few yards back gives you a vista to the east of Table Mountain and the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge. Other views come from the trail on the way up and at the Hamilton Mountain Saddle as you continue on the loop.
This is a rambling hike in one of the Gorge's most popular parks. We will start from the main parking lot, which is small so carpooling can be helpful. We’ll start heading gently uphill and wind through the forest as we approach Rodney Falls and the Pool of the Winds. After this the incline starts to increase then the trail switchbacks up to the lower viewing area, known as Little Hamilton, where we will see if there is anything to see. We will continue about 1.5 miles up to the summit and decide how we want to proceed. Depending on conditions we can retrace our steps back to the cars or add some additional distance via Don’s Cutoff trail or even taking the equestrian trails back into the woods.
You will need a Washington State Discovery Pass or you will need to buy a day pass at the trailhead.
|Driving Distance from Portland||88 miles|
|Distance - Round Trip||7 miles|
|Expected Duration||Car to car in one day|
|Awards Qualified||Waterfall Award|