The trails in and around Stevenson, Washington, are the stuff of legend (so is Sasquatch, an occasional hiker hereabouts). With the Gifford Pinchot National Forest all around, Dog Mountain’s trails beckoning, the historical Beacon Rock trail, Fall Creek Falls and many more, your feet will be in heaven. Keep reading to learn about a few of our favorite hikes in Skamania County!
Stunning views and springtime wildflower blooms have made Dog Mountain an iconic hike in the Columbia River Gorge. It is also a pretty strenuous hike, encompassing 6.8 miles of trail and 2,828 feet in elevation gain, so be prepared with good hiking shoes and plenty of water before heading up. This unique hike winds through heavy forest to meadows, past the site of a former fire lookout and culminates with an extraordinary view at the top!
The views along the trail and from the top are some of the best in the Gorge. On a clear day you can encounter breathtaking views of the Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Hood to the south and Mt. St. Helens to the northwest. There is a free shuttle to and from Dog Mountain from the Skamania County fairgrounds each weekend during the summer!
Falls Creek Falls
Another popular Skamania County hike due to its beautiful three-tiered waterfall, this hike is family-friendly, considered easy and is only a 3.4 mile loop!
Located in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Falls Creek Falls, gently starts along a creek, winds through an old growth forest and ends at a breathtaking multi-tiered waterfall. Only gaining 750 feet in elevation, the close up view of the waterfall at the end is unforgettable! Dogs can be off leash and there are no permits required. Pack a lunch, the kids and your dog and head out to explore Falls Creek Falls!
Beacon Rock is open year round! Once an ancient volcano, Beacon Rock is not only an easy 1.5 mile hike, but it provides a fun glimpse into the geological history of the Columbia River Gorge! At the end of the last ice age, floods swept through the Gorge and eroded the sides away. All that remains today is the basalt core. The top of the rock is 845 feet above the river and the trail consists of safety rails all the way to the top.
The famous rock is located inside the Beacon Rock State Park, which is comprised of 4,650 acres, including camping sites and 9,500 feet of shoreline along the Columbia.
PLEASE NOTE: A new permit system for Dog Mountain launched in March 2018 for weekends during the peak use season. Permits are required typically from the end of March through the beginning of July each year for weekend use. The permit can be purchased at www.recreation.gov, for a $1.50 non-refundable reservation fee. In addition, a NW Forest Pass is also required for parking at the Dog Mountain trailhead. These can be purchased at local convenience stores, Skamania County Chamber and at the trailhead itself.