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Devil's Rest via Wahkeena Hike

From Portland Hikers Field Guide

Mt Adams, Hamilton Mountain, Beacon Rock and the Columbia River from a viewpoint near Devil's Rest (Steve Hart)
Wahkeena Creek (Jeff Statt)
Devil's Rest Trail (Jeff Statt)
County survey marker on the trail to Devil's Rest. (Jen Thomas)
  • Start point: Wahkeena TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Devil's Rest
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Dogbone (Out to a loop and back)
  • Distance: 7.5 miles
  • Elevation gain: 2550 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Year round
    (periods of snow during winter)
  • Family Friendly: No
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: Initially yes, but more quiet as you go

Contents

Hike Description

The Wahkeena Trail can be explored at many levels, depending on your fitness level. A couple of shorter hikes that are possible are the Wahkeena Falls Hike and the Fairy Falls Hike. This hike goes all of the way to the top.

The trail starts with some beautiful stonework and a wooden bridge over Wahkeena Creek. Make sure you're headed right here. The trail to the left leads to Multnomah Falls. The trail climbs in one long switchback to a stone bridge at the base of Wahkeena Falls. Expect a bit of spray on the trail here year-round. In winter, things can get really icy. From here, the trail starts up a pretty steep section, climbing about 600' in about half a mile. There are beautiful rock walls, another bench cemented into a wall and better views the higher you climb. At the top of this first climb, you'll crest a ridge. Follow the pavement out to the point, called Lemmon's Viewpoint. A plaque at this location commemorates a firefighter who gave his life fighting forest fires near here. The views from the point are really good up and down the river.

The main trail turns to dirt here and quickly enters Wahkeena Canyon. This is a very narrow canyon, just wide enough for the creek and the trail. Every step is up, but every step is rewarding as the creek tumbles past. The trail switches back a few times and soon you'll reach Fairy Falls, a beautiful fan form falls right next to the trail. There's a bench here to relax on while you take in the views. Above Fairy Falls, the trail makes several short switchbacks and reaches a junction with the Vista Point Trail #419. Turn left here and take the 419 trail up for about a mile to a 4 way trail junction at about 1600' elevation.

You have a couple of options here. Heading left on the Wahkeena Trail will take you to Multnomah Falls. That option is outlined here. Turning right is a good option if your pooped out. That will take you back to Fairy Falls. To complete this hike, turn left on the Wahkeena Trail and in a hundred feet or so turn right on the Devil's Rest Trail #420C. This trail immediately climbs about 500' in the first 3/4 mile or so, then it levels out on the top of a ridge. There are a few tree framed views through this section, then the view opens up at a red rock. A little further along a side trail to the right leads to an even better viewpoint. From here, the main trail climbs steeply to the summit of Devil's Rest, which is a somewhat anticlimactic pinnacle in the trees. Take a breather and pat yourself on the back. You've hiked 3.5 miles horizontally and a half mile straight up.

You can go back the way you came, but it's more interesting to make a loop by starting down on the Foxglove Trail. This trail isn't on many maps and it's maintained by volunteers (like us). It's well signed and usually pretty obvious. From the Devil's Rest summit, go back the way you came about 100 feet to the signed junction. The Foxglove Trail goes right. About 4/10 of a mile down the trail, you'll come to a junction in a boggy area filled with large berry plants. There are signs high on a couple of nearby trees. To take the shorter, recommended hike, turn right here. The straight path would take you to Angel's Rest. You'll continue dropping on the Foxglove Trail. In about another half mile, you'll come to the Angel's Rest Trail #415 and hang a right.

The Angel's Rest trail is all flat and downhill, until a short, final climb to Wahkeena Spring. You'll cross Mist Creek on a small log bridge, pass Wahkeena Spring (a great resting spot), and you'll come to the Wahkeena Trail #420. Turn left, walk down past the Vista Ridge Trail junction, Fairy Falls, Lemmon's Viewpoint and on to your car.

Maps

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • None

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Day Hike! Columbia Gorge, by Seabury Blair, Jr.
  • 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

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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.