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Angel's Rest Hike

From Portland Hikers Field Guide

Looking North from the Angel's Rest summit (Jeff Statt)
Hiking through the charred forest on the Angel's Rest Trail (Jeff Statt)
View from a rockfall on the Angel's Rest Trail (Steve Hart)
Gorge sunset from Angel's Rest Trail (Greg Lief)
  • Start point: Angel's Rest TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Angel's Rest
  • Trail log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Out and Back
  • Distance: 4.8 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain: 1450 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: All Season
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Yes
Falling

Contents

Hike Description

Angel's Rest is an exposed bluff on the Western end of the Columbia River Gorge. This summit is characterized by a long, rocky spine surrounded on three sides by cliffs, boasting a striking 270 degree view! While you can't see any of the Cascade volcanoes from the top, you do get great vantages of Beacon Rock, Silver Star Mountain and many other landmarks.

The real draw, however, is the perspective of the river below - like you're on a balcony over a great auditorium. Its near-2000 foot prominence, and its proximity to the Columbia River give you the false sensation that you could dive from the summit to the water below!

Getting to this precipice takes a relatively short hike (2.4 mile one-way) with an easy to moderately-steep ascent. Its bang-for-the-buck makes this a long-time favorite of families and hiking clubs. When you consider that the drive time from downtown Portland to the trailhead is under 45 minutes, it is understandable how popular this destination can be on sunny summer weekends.

The trail passes two waterfalls along the way, an overhead view of Coopey Falls and a quick detour to smaller Upper Coopey Falls. The forest expanses surrounding the summit burned in a fire back in 1991, and lots of charred evidence remains. It is a unique landscape - one quite varied from other locales in the Gorge.

Angel's Rest, while a worthy destination by itself, is also a favorite stopping point for longer hiking loops in the area. Don't be surprised if you even see backpacking thru-hikers taking a breather at this splendid rest-stop.

Note for families: While, there is plenty of space to avoid danger at the top, but it should be noted to keep little ones close by to avoid them getting too close to the cliffside drop-offs. As one, somewhat nervous woman pointed out "There are no handrails".

Side Trip Options

If you want a longer hike, you may visit Devil's Rest, a forested summit about 850 feet above Angel's Rest (just head up on the main trail away from the river, and keep right at the junction at 0.2 miles). Although there are no views at Devil's Rest, it is a pleasant forest walk - and an added exercise. Or you may do even longer Angel's Rest-Devil's Rest Loop Hike and visit a couple of great viewpoints just off-trail east of Devil's Rest.

Maps

  • Click on the map below to enlarge

Also see:

Map of the route


Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Hiking Oregon's Geology, by Ellen Morris Bishop
  • Day Hike! Columbia Gorge, by Seabury Blair, Jr.
  • 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Portland, by Paul Gerald
  • Afoot and Afield Portland/Vancouver, by Douglas Lorain
  • 35 Hiking Trails, Columbia River Gorge, by Don & Roberta Lowe
  • Columbia River Gorge, 42 Scenic Hikes, by Don & Roberta Lowe
  • Hiking the Columbia River Gorge - 1st and 2nd Editions, by Russ Schneider
  • 100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon - 3rd Edition, by William L Sullivan

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • None

More Links

Contributors

Portland Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.