Hike: Angel’s Rest

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Gorgeous views of the Columbia Rover Gorge.  2.3 miles each way.  A climb that’s tough, but still possible for kids to manage (The first time I did this one I was only 6 or 7).  And only 30 minutes outside of the city.  Sound like the perfect hike right?  Well it is!  Except one thing….all the people!  On a sunny weekend day you’ll be lucky to find a parking spot.  And forget about solitude, but it is still a great hike- one I think many of you could even sneak in on a weeknight after work if you hurry.

This time up, we hit the trail on a cloudy Monday morning.  There were still people, but we were pretty much alone on the way up.  On the way down, we passed lots of groups and the parking lot was completely full.


The first stretch of the hike is steep but beautiful, switchbacking up the side of the gorge, through luscious green forest.  Eventually, you’ll come to the TOP (!) of a waterfall and not long after that the views begin.


Once you’ve made it up the initial climb– it levels out (a little) and the trail turns rocky as you head for a big pile of rock on top of the hill.

Once you get to to top the trail head to the left, for the great views.  Even on a cloudy day it was an impressive sight.

Courtney & Kristin demonstrate the wind. 10/08

Last time I was up there, it was a beautiful Autumn day, but the wind was so strong, we couldn’t even stand it and had to leave after just a couple minutes.

A quick note about dogs: Officially they require leashes.  Of course most people, us included, don’t follow that rule, except for at the top.  Not long ago, a lab actually fell off the cliff on Angel’s Rest! Oregon Humane Society had to call in their high angle rescue team (who even knew the Humane Society had a rescue team like that).  They pulled him out… but I’m not sure that he survived, so please leash them up at the top to be safe.

Overall:  do this hike.  It’s so close there is no reason not to.  Plus, it has fantastic views and it really does not take too long.  The guide books suggest 3 hours, we made it round trip in just about 2.

To get to the trailhead from Portland:  Take I-84 East past Troutdale to Exit #28.  It will lead you directly to the trailhead– less than 1/4 mile from the freeway.  Look for the Angel’s Rest Trailhead Sign.

For more information, check out 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Portland.

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