Wind Mountain Hike
From Portland Hikers Field Guide
- Start point: Wind Mountain Trailhead
- End Point: Wind Mountain
- Trail Log: Wind Mountain Hike/Log
- Hike Type: Out and Back
- Distance: 2.5 miles (round trip)
- Elevation gain: 1171 feet
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Seasons: Year Round
- Family Friendly: Yes
- Backpackable: No
- Crowded: No
The Wind Mountain hike is a unmaintained but fairly well-conditioned trail to the summit of Wind Mountain, a 1907 foot cinder cone in the Columbia River Gorge just west of Dog Mountain in Southwest Washington.
From the trailhead the trail should be easy to spot on the South side of the dirt road turnout. You man see some poison oak along the first hundred feet of trail - especially in the early season. The trail almost immediately turns eastward as it gains elevation steadily for a quarter mile or so. Watch for a spur trail to the left just before the main trail turns southward. The spur decends sharply down to a to a great East-facing viewpoint. Leash pets and take little ones by the hand, as there are a few sharp drop-offs.
Return to the main trail as it again starts climbing moderately steeply for the next mile or so. You will cross a talus slope a few times as the long sweeping switchbacks cross it. Eventually the trail levels out to a forest with a high canopy. You are nearing the summit at this point. Continue another 1/4 mile and you'll come across a large sign describing the cultural and historical significance of this mountain as a spirit quest site.
The sign informs you that sections of the summit are closed to hikers:
This archaelogical site is extremely fragile. Just walking over it will damage important cultural features. Therefore, the USDA Forest Service has closed the site to hikers. All visitors must stay on the trail or within designated areas shown on the map.
It isn't long before you reach the summit. The summit does not have a 360 view, but you'll find the designated viewing areas afford you spectactular views to the East and to the West. Looking East you have a great perspective of Dog Mountain. To the south across the Columbia River you will see Mitchell Point. Following the horizon toward the East you see Mount Defiance, the highest mountain in the gorge.
Looking West down the Columbia River you might spot Indian Point, a rock sphire along the Oregon side. On the Washingon side, due West you will be Table Mountain and Greenleaf Peak. On a clear day, look to your Northwest and spot Mount Saint Helens.
It's short distance to a great lookout makes this a great family destination, especially when one considers the history of the area. Children should be cautioned to stay on the trail and respect the site.
Fees, Regulations, etc.
No fees or regulations. Hikers are requested to be respectful of the historical and sacred significance of the spirit quest sites on the mountain's summit.
(See the informational sign near the summit describing its historic significance)
- Search Trip Reports for Wind Mountain Hike
Related Discussions / Q&A
- Search Trail Q&A for Wind Mountain Hike
- "Elevator Shaft Anyone?"
- (Click here to ask a question or start a conversation)
- Wind Mt summit page on SummitPost.org
- L&C's Columbia River, A Photographic Journey
- Wind Mt. Hike #51 on NWHiker.com