Angel's Rest Hike
24Feb15, edited 3March15.
One of the most popular hikes on the Oregon side of the Columbia
River Gorge is Angel's Rest. It's not a long hike (two
and a half miles each way) but it is moderately steep with a climb
of about 1600 ft. The trail itself is often
rocky. Looking at my hiking journal, I see that this is the
seventh time I've done the trek to Angel's Rest. Alas,
it may well be the last.
The hike starts at a large parking area just off of Interstate
highway I-84. It then proceeds through routine, often
brushy forest until you arrive at the destination, which is a
large rock outcrop that offers a nice place for lunch with good
views of the west end of the Gorge. There are
views of a sizable waterfall shortly after the hike begins.
A good view of the river is available at a clearing part way
up. The snag in this photo is a remnant from a 1991
forest fire. Other burned (now mostly bare) trees are
further down the hill.
view shows more of the burned trees.
at the top, hikers stop for lunch and
photos. This fellow is taking a photo with
Most hikers reach Angel's Rest, eat lunch, and then turn around to
descend. But the route continues beyond Angel's
Rest, offering numerous branching trails to other interesting
places. One favorite extension continues to Devil's
Rest, a high point that is now buried in the trees. On
this trip, I elected to hike on a branch leading toward Wahkeena
springs. This trail parallels the edge of
the gorge, offering occasional sweeping views. The
hike is mostly in lush and generally uncrowded
forest. Douglas fir is the primary tree type,
but cedar is also found.
early afternoon shadows on the Wahkeena springs trail
struck me. They illustrate the low angle sun of
winter, although the weather was generally
The short time I spent on the Wahkeena segment of the trail
justified the rest of the hike. However, the main trail to
Angel's Rest was a major disappointment, and that is a rare
comment from me. The hike was just too