Dog Mountain Trail
About Dog Mountain trail
Dog Mountain trail is approximately 7 miles round trip: out-and-back trail in the Columbia River Gorge area in Washington state.
The best time to hike is between April and June when the wildflowers are blooming.
Great views of the Columbia Gorge from the top of this hike.
This is a moderately difficult hike with 2,800 feet in elevation gain.
Dog Mountain trail is East of Stevenson, Washington on Highway 14.
|Packwood, WA||30 miles|
|Mt. St. Helens||34 miles|
|Mt. Rainier||39 miles|
|Olympia, WA||77 miles|
|Seattle, WA||97 miles|
|Portland, OR||117 miles|
|Mt. Hood||152 miles|
|Spokane, WA||301 miles|
7 miles out and back.
Start and end point
There is a well marked trailhead at one side of the Dog Mountain parking area. Follow this trail, and signs at the trail split (partway through the hike) to Dog Mountain.
This is typically an out and back. So you would hike back the way you hiked up.
Gain is 2,800 feet.
The trail is varied starting as dirt forest floor and transitioning into a rocky path as you reach the top.
Dog Mountain requires a permit on Saturdays and Sundays, from April 20th-June 16th, which is the season all the flowers are blooming on the mountain. This is in order to control the number of visitors to the trail and assist with parking issues.
To get a trail permit visit Recreation.com. There is a transit service that runs from Stevenson to the trailhead and will pick up.
There are approximately 70 parking spots, which fill up quickly during the blooming season, on weekends.
Permits are $1 and can be purchased on Recreation.com.
There is also a $5 parking fee. Or you can take the shuttle in from Stevenson for $2. For more information about the shuttle find the “transit” section on Recreation.com’s “need-to-know” tab.
There is an outhouse at the base of the trail. It might be a good idea to bring your own toilet paper.
Why head to the Dog Mountain trail?
During the blooming season of the Dog Mountain flowers, this trail is stunning. We went up on a cloudy day, but the sunny oranges of all the flowers made it feel like a summer day.
The trail is steep and challenging if you aren’t used to hiking lots of elevation. It’s a hike that can be done slowly with lots of stops to rest, or used for trail running, just depending on your speed ambitions. We did the hike after work one evening during the week to avoid having to get a permit. We saw a few other people and the parking lot was wide open.
Things to see (aka. photo ops)
The flowers bloom between late April and early June.
The view of the Columbia Gorge from Dog Mountain is stunning. Despite the cloudy day we had, it was still fantastic. On a sunny day, the river glistens and everything is vibrantly colorful.