hike: Wind Mountain

The Wind Mountain Trail is steep, but also quite short so it’s over before you know it, and the views of the Columbia River Gorge from the top are amazing.

distance: 2.9 miles
elevation gain: 1,180 ft
high point: 1,907 ft
hike description: OregonHikers.org – Wind Mountain
drive time from Portland: 1 hour
parking pass: none

Wind Mountain is located next to its much more popular neighbor, Dog Mountain, but is a much easier hike to the top for views of the Columbia River.

It’s also the location of sacred tribal rock pits and terraces at the top. Please be respectful of these spaces … there’s a sign that shows where you can go and which parts are closed: “This archaeological site is extremely fragile. Just walking over it will damage important cultural features. Therefore, the USDA Forest Service has closed the site to hikers. All visitors must stay on the trail or within designated areas shown on the map.”

The lower section of the trail has lots of poison oak, so be careful about brushing up against it. Usually low growing, the leaves of poison oak are fairly easy to identify: look for oak-shaped leaves in clusters of three.

Columbia River Gorge – Wind Mountain hike

In July, wildflowers are in bloom  – shown above is Hawkweed filling the forest floor, and Cascade Lilies are shown below.

Columbia River Gorge – Wind Mountain hike

On the way up, views through the trees give you a glimpse of the Columbia River.

Columbia River Gorge – Wind Mountain hike

Going up, up, up.

Columbia River Gorge – Wind Mountain hike

One of two talus slopes on the trail.

Columbia River Gorge – Wind Mountain hike

Lower viewpoint looking towards Dog Mountain.

Columbia River Gorge – Wind Mountain hike

Signage highlighting the tribal spirit quest sites.

Columbia River Gorge – Wind Mountain hike

View towards the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge

Columbia River Gorge – Wind Mountain hike

At the top, there are three main viewpoints. Stay on the trail – the rocks shown here are part of the tribal sacred spaces on the mountain. Looking east towards Dog Mountain.

Columbia River Gorge – Wind Mountain hike

Our break spot with a view looking west.

Columbia River Gorge – Wind Mountain hike