I once asked a Mount Hood mountain guide how to get in shape to climb Mt. Hood. He said, when you can hike Dog Mountain with ease, then you are physically ready for Mt. Hood. That should give you a small glimpse as what to expect when facing Dog Mountain. This hike is one of the most popular in the Columbia River Gorge thanks to the stunning fields of wild flowers on your hike up. But it will test you physically in order for you to get the reward of making it to the peak.
|Distance: 6.0 miles
Trail Use: Hiking
Hike Type: Loop
Pass Required: Northwest Forest Pass
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Family Friendly: Yes
The Dog Mountain trailhead parking is extremely easy to locate. It is directly off Hwy 14. If you are coming from the Portland area, take I84 to exit 44. On exit 44, take the Bridge of the Gods over the Columbia River and turn right on WA-14. You will be on WA-14 for about 12 miles until you reach the Dog Mountain Trailhead parking lot. There will be signs on WA-14 alerting you of where the parking is.
Once parked, you have two trail options, the Augspurger Trail #4407 and Dog Mountain Trail #147. You can get to the peak via the Augspurger Trail but it is a longer and less scenic trail. I prefer and recommend taking the Dog Mountain Trail and if you want a longer hike, taking the Augspurger Trail back to your car after summiting.