Dog Mountain Trail

Columbia Gorge Scenic Area

8:00AM - 3:30PM
Thu, Jun 20, 2013


photo by JC Tomlin

Southwest Washington. Spectacular views of the Columbia River Gorge both east and west are well worth the exertion required to reach the summit of this trail. Our task will be to brush out sections of the trail that are overgrown to prevent tread damage as people skirt the brush that is crowding into the trail. This work party requires hiking up to 2,000 ft. of gain and about 5 miles round trip. NOTE: this trip departs earlier than a typical trip - Meet at 8:00 am and plan to return not sooner than 4 pm to the trailhead.

NOTE: This is a very strenuous trip with a long, steep hike required to reach the project area. Total hiking distance is at least 5 miles round trip and there is 2,000 ft. of elevation gain.

From the parking lot the Dog Mountain trail heads east past the restrooms. This looped opportunity climbs rapidly in the first 0.5 mile, gaining 700 feet in elevation. The trail forks, giving hikers the option of heading north on the more direct, but steep route to the summit, or to the east for a longer but more gradual climb. The eastern fork climbs 2,000 feet in elevation in 2.5 miles to the site of a former fire lookout. A 1-mile loop trail to the summit provides easy access through flowered hillsides and offers an incredible view of the western portion of the Columbia River Gorge. You can also get superb views along the eastern fork of the trail, without having to climb all the way to the summit. The northern route climbs steeply for 2.5 miles through a dense forest to the lookout site. The trail intersects the loop trail to the summit of Dog Mountain. Wildflowers blanket the mountainside meadows in late spring-early summer, especially balsam root! Spectacular views of the Columbia River Gorge both east and west are well worth the exertion required to reach the summit! Dog Mountain was used as a "fire lookout point" sometime around 1920 in order to serve the Mt. Hood National Forest to the south. In 1931 a fire lookout was constructed by the Columbia National Forest (the previous name of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest). The lookout was reconstructed in 1952 by the Mt. Hood National Forest. The lookout, unofficially known as "puppy lookout" was dismantled in 1967 as it became more common to detect fires from the air and the expanding road system. The Augspurger Mountain Trail #4407 shares a trailhead with the Dog Mountain Trail. This trail starts from the parking lot and heads West offering a gentle loop opportunity with the Dog Mountain Trail, complete with views of the Columbia River Gorge and numerous volcano peaks. A 1.5 mile connector trail ties this trail into the Dog Mountain Trail.

Driving directions:
From Vancouver drive east on State Highway 14 to just past milepost 53. The trailhead is on north side of State Highway 14, 9 miles east of the town of Stevenson. (Driving time from Vancouver: approximately 1 hours.)


GPS coordinates are only approximate, please always use the written driving directions when trying to find a trail head

View Larger Map