Tag Archives: Larch Mountain

Larch Mountain- Sherrard Point to Multnomah Falls (Autumn 2019)

Directions: Take I-84 East to the Corbett exit and take a left on the Old Highway. Take a right onto Larch Mountain Road (there is a big sign) and follow it for 14 miles to the trailhead. If you are doing this as a shuttle first drop a car off at the Multnomah Falls parking area (see explanation below)

This hike can be done as an out and back (14+ miles) or shuttle (just over 7 miles), leaving one car at Multnomah Falls and one at the Larch Mountain Trailhead. If you do decide to do this hike as an out and back please be prepared for over  4,000 feet of elevation gain and over 14 miles, it’s a hefty hike. We chose to start at the Larch Mountain Trailhead and hike downhill to Multnomah Falls.

From the Larch Mountain Trailhead the first part of this hike is going up to Sherrard Point. If it’s a clear day make sure not to skip this section, it’s one of the best viewpoints in the Gorge. It’s a short hike on a paved path with some stairs that take you to a fenced viewpoint. You will have views of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Jefferson. It’s seriously great.

     

Once you’re done at the viewpoint head back down to the trailhead and get on the Larch Mountain trail (behind the bathrom). From here it’s all downhill, you’ll be losing about 4,000 feet total so it’s hard on the legs and easy on the lungs 😆. The first part of the trail is in a forest of skinny trees and ferns. You will enter a more heavily forested area and come to some junctions- all of the trail junctions are marked so make sure you stay on the Larch Mountain trail.

     

Next, you will enter the burn area from the Eagle Creek fire. There are lots of burned trees and downed trees (all off trail) but the trail is still very visible and easy to follow. After getting through the burn you will enter the open shale rockslide area. From here switchback downhill once and cross a footbridge. Beyond this point you will pass some seasonal waterfalls across the creek and come to a large bridge- this was recently replaced after the fire and it looks great.

     

Beyond this point you will pass by Ecola and Wisendanger Falls. This is the point where the trail will probably become more busy and get even worse as you head down to the Multnomah Falls switchbacks. Follow the marked switchbacks (there’s 11) down to Benson Bridge and then down to the parking lot.

     

This trail is well maintained and every junction is marked which is great. It’s a mix of dirt/pine needles, typical rocky Gorge and shale. There are a few log foot bridges and one large wood and metal bridge. We love doing this hike and are so glad it’s back open and looking good after the fire!

Distance: 7.5 miles (moderate)

Elevation: 4,000 feet *loss*

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: Most- it’s longer and can be hard on your legs

Bathrooms: Yes

Parking Fee: Free at Multnomah Falls & NW Forest Pass required at Larch Mountain

Seasons: Late Spring through Fall- check for gate closures

Popular: Yes when you are around Multnomah Falls

Warnings: Part of this hike is in a burn area please read and respect all posted signage.

Larch Mountain Road- Snowshoe (Winter 2019)

Directions: Directions: Take I-84 East to the Corbett exit and take a left on the Old Highway. Take a right onto Larch Mountain Road (there is a big sign) and follow it until you run into snow.

We decided with all the snow the Gorge had been getting to take a break from Hood and visit the Larch Mountain area for a snowshoe. The snow gate on Larch Mountain Road is at MP 10.2 but the road was only plowed until MP 7. So we decided to snowshoe to the gate. There was about 3 feet of snow where we parked and it was up to about 4 feet at the gate.

This wont be a very long post because not much detail needs to go into a snowshoe up a road 😜. That being said this was a very pretty snowshoe with snow covered trees and lots of peace and quiet- we only came across a few people the whole time we were out there.

   

You’ll pass a Mt. Hood National Forest sign, a few gates off to your left and right, and some road signs. It was crazy seeing the seasonal gate covered by the snow and people snowshoeing right over the top of it!

   

You can go all the way up to the top if you have the time and energy, but most people were turning around at the gate. Head back out the way you came in.

   

Distance: 6.5 miles (moderate)

Elevation: 550 feet (easy/moderate)

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: None

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: Winter

Popular: No

Warnings: None

Larch Mountain to Multnomah Falls (Spring)

Directions: Take I-84 East to the Corbett exit and take a left on the Old Highway. Take a right onto Larch Mountain Road (there is a big sign) and follow it for 14 miles to the trailhead. If you are doing this as a shuttle first drop a car off at the Multnomah Falls parking area (see explanation below)

This hike can be done as an out and back (14+ miles) or shuttle (just over 7 miles), leaving one car at Multnomah Falls and one at the Larch Mountain Trailhead. We chose to do a shuttle since we were hiking on a day that was forecast to be 100 degrees. If you do decide to do this hike as an out and back please be prepared for over  4,000 feet of elevation gain and over 14 miles, it’s a hefty hike. We chose to start at the Larch Mountain Trailhead and hike downhill to Multnomah Falls.

From the parking area take the trail pointing you up to Sherrard Point. You’re going somewhat steeply uphill on a paved path with lots of stairs for a little over a quarter mile. Once at the top you will come to a fenced in viewpoint where, on a clear day, you will get great views of Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Jefferson. As well as amazing views of the Gorge. In our opinion it’s one of the BEST viewpoints in all of the Gorge, it’s always worth the trip!

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From the viewpoint head back down to the parking area and get on the trail that runs behind the bathrooms. You are now on Larch Mountain Trail and it’s ALL downhill. This trail is quite steep (you are loing 4,000+ feet of elevation) so it can be kind of hard on your knees and legs in general. The trail is mostly dirt and very rocky. You will be in a heavily wooded area for about a mile and a half when you come to a trail junction. Follow the signs that say Larch Mountain Trail and Multnomah Falls Lodge. From here you wind down even farther and will eventually come to a rock slide area. The trail opens up here as you now hike on shale for a bit before reentering the woods.

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Soon you will start to hear Multnomah Creek and eventually see it. You will pass this creek a few times, some of the bridges are log and one is metal. There are a lot of waterfalls along this creek, you will probably see at least 5 unless it’s late in the summer and water levels are low. After you cross the creek and are on it’s left side you will pass by the top of Ecola Falls and soon come to Wiesendanger Falls. If the creek is low enough you can go off trail and make it to the base of this waterfall.

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Continuing back on the main trail make sure you follow the signs for Larch Mountain Trail and Multnomah Falls Lodge and every intersection. After a while you will head uphill slightly to get onto the paved trail that takes you down to Multnomah Falls. This trail is marked by it’s 11 switchbacks that end at Benson Bridge. From here it’s just one more switchback and you’re at the base of the falls and can head to your car that you left in the parking lot. The paved switchback path is always VERY busy. You really need to pack your patience on this trail with the swarms of people.

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Distance: 7.2 miles

Elevation: 4010 feet of elevation loss.

Difficulty: Moderate- it’s all downhill but it’s still a long hike and can be hard on the knees.

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: Wouldn’t recommend this for young kids or older folks. Older kids should be just fine.

Bathrooms: Yes at both parking areas

Parking Fee: $5 NW Forest Pass required at the Larch Mountain Trailhead

Seasons: Early summer through late fall. Check for road gate closures heading up to Larch Mountain.

Popular: Very popular when you get down towards Multnomah Falls. Not Bad otherwise.

Overall: This hike really has it all with mountain views, waterfalls, and massive trees. Just prepare yourself for quite the steep downhill hike! One drawback would be the massive amount of people when you get down towards Multnomah Falls.

Spring Hikes

Hope everyone is enjoying the new season! Here are some of our favorite spring-time hikes 🙂

 

If you’re looking for flowers:

Pittock Mansion

Rowena Crest & Tom McCall Nature Preserve

Lacamas Creek (Camas Lily Field)

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival

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Hikes that open in spring or that should be done before it gets too hot:

Larch Mountain

Painted Hills

Smith Rock

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Waterfalls!:

Tunnel Falls

Fairy Falls

Dry Creek Falls

Pool Of The Winds

Falls Creek Falls

Mist Falls

 

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Spring kayaking:

Columbia River Slough

Sturgeon Lake

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