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Catherine Creek to Coyote Wall Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

In between Catherine Creek and Coyote Wall, there are grassy ridges with great views towards Mount Hood, the Columbia River, and Mosier. (Jerry Adams)
To the Southeast, you can see the Columbia River and The Dalles. (Jerry Adams)
The trail follows an old 4 wheel drive road. There is a single lane bicycle track. A lot of the ways, the trail goes through grassy meadow areas. (Jerry Adams)
Sometimes, the trail goes through forested areas of mostly Oak trees. (Jerry Adams)
  • Start point: Catherine Creek TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Coyote Wall Viewpoint
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Out and Back
  • Distance: 8.2 miles
  • Elevation gain: 1750 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Year round, best Mar–May
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: Medium
Falling
Poison Oak
Snakes
Ticks

Contents

Hike Description

This hike links the Catherine Creek area with the Coyote Wall area. There are great views of the Columbia River, the east end of the Columbia River Gorge, Mount Hood, and a lot of wildflowers.

From the Catherine Creek Trailhead, there are two closed roads that go up from the parking area. For this hike, avoid Road 15, that goes left (northwest). Instead, follow Road 20 that goes right (northeast). The road soon drops down to Catherine Creek as it bubbles through a small oak forest.

About a quarter mile from the trailhead, near the creek, there's a road junction. The most-used path is now Road 21 which crosses Catherine Creek. There is a footbridge for hikers. Just before this, a road goes faintly left. Follow this faint road, which is the continuation of Road 20. Don't cross the creek.

From here, the road goes along the west side of Catherine Creek, a ways above the creek. This road is passable by 4 wheel vehicles, so it makes an easy hiking trail.

By mile 1.5 from the trailhead, when you reach another junction, you've gained 1000 feet of elevation. From here Road 20 goes left (west) out of the Catherine Creek drainage, over towards Coyote Wall and a fainter road continues north.

The trail over to Coyote Wall uses an old 4 wheel drive road grade, which makes it an easy hiking trail, gradually sloped and wide. There are a lot of bicycles that use this. Someone cuts the branches and trees that fall across the road. This is not a solitude hike, but it's far enough from trailheads there aren't too many people. Keep a watch for bicycles that can sneak up behind you and startle you. This trail ends at the Coyote Wall Trail at mile 4.1 from the Catherine Creek Trailhead. Go west to get the splendid views from the basalt rim at the Coyote Wall Viewpoint. Return the way you came or try one of the variations listed below.

At mile 1.7 is the high point of this hike at 1300 feet elevation. At mile 2.1 the trail crosses a stream. At mile 3.2 the trail crosses another stream. You could use these for drinking water, but in the late spring and summer they probably dry up. Between the two streams are several grassy ridges that go up and down from the trail. You can find many flat places you could pitch a tent at. It can get pretty windy here, so you might try to find the most protected place you can find.

Past the second stream, the trail drops 400 feet down to Coyote Wall. There are several private residences above you.

There are an infinite number of variations you could make to this hike:

  • Once you get to Coyote Wall, you could hike up the trail that goes along the top of Coyote Wall. See the Coyote Wall Hike.
  • Once you get to Coyote Wall, you could hike down to the road, and then walk back to the Catherine Creek Trailhead.
  • There is a trail that goes back to the Catherine Creek Trailhead halfway between the road and the trail described here.
  • You could hike back on the trail described here to where the powerline towers are, then walk down the grassy slope and connect up with the Catherine Creek West Loop Hike.
  • There are many other old 4 wheel drive roads, bike trails, and game trails that go in every direction.

Maps

Regulations or restrictions, etc

  • None

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Contributors

Oregon 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.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.