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Dog River Trail Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

View of Mount Hood from the Dog River Trail (cfm)
Fall colors on the Dog River Trail (bobcat)
Ponderosa pine glade on the Dog River Trail (bobcat)
Sign at the southern terminus of the Dog River Trail (cfm)

Contents

Hike Description

This trail is well known as a mountain bikers trail, and is shunned by many hiking purists. However the mountain bikers have done a great job at maintaining the trail, and welcome hikers here. Since there are now so many biking options in the area, the cyclists are more dispersed and this trail gets much less damage than its earlier years.

This traverse hike offers a diverse arboreal variety that includes alders, larches, cedars, Douglas-firs, hemlocks and stately Ponderosa Pines. Views of Mount Hood are exceptional, with fall hiking providing spectacular swaths of golden larches.

This trip is best done as a shuttle, leaving a second vehicle or bike at the higher elevation Zigzag Trailhead, and starting the hike from the lower Dog River Trailhead. Both are located on Highway 35.

From the parking area, head uphill on the old road a short ways to find the trailhead on the right. The trail crosses Puppy Creek, turns south and 2 miles later, crosses Dog River on a wooden bridge. The route is mostly gentle southerly traverse climbing on the hillside through the changing forest. A wonderful rocky viewpoint area is available halfway along the hike. You will get expansive Hood River Valley views from Hood to Defiance. After almost 6 miles, you will reach a trail junction ( sign shown in photo). First go straight for a short distance to check out the viewpoint, then return to the crossroad and head downhill on the Zigzag trail which switchbacks continuously for a mile descent to the Zigzag Trailhead. Turning east at the last junction will connect you to the Surveyor's Ridge trail.

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Contributors

  • CFM (creator)
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.