|Columbia Gorge Dog Mountain|
Dog Mountain Hike
By Nino Padova
Located off Highway 14, nine miles east of Stevenson, Wash., Dog Mountain rises 2,984 feet. After half a mile, the popular six-mile loop spits you out at a fork. The “more difficult” path means exactly that, a 1.5-mile climb at an average grade of 30 percent—steeper than San Francisco’s famously precipitous Lombard Street. “Go left and you’d better be in shape,” says Tom Savage, a retired ranger at the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
Stay right and pass through a Douglas fir forest lush with trilliums and starflowers. Soon you’re standing amid a blanket of glowing balsamroot and blue lupine, overlooking Starvation Creek Falls—a great spot to have a snack. At the top, a half mile up, you’re met with screen-saver views of the gorge and Mount Hood. Note: Traffic backups due to roadwork (wsdot.wa.gov/traffic) may delay access to the trailhead. (360) 891-5000, fs.fed.us/gpnf.