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Fort Rains Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Obviously this was more than a trail (Steve Hart)
The site of Fort Rains (Steve Hart)
  • Start point: Icehouse Lake TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Fort Rains
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 1.6 miles
  • Elevation gain: 40 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Year round
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Hike Description

The area around the location of the Cascades, near current Bonneville Dam is full of history. Sometimes there is almost too much history to sort out. The Oregon side is fairly well documented including the Historic Columbia River Highway Trail and the Old Portage Road detailed in the Tooth Rock Loop Hike. On the other hand, the Washington side is less researched.

From the Icehouse Lake Trailhead, head up the Pacific Crest Trail passed a sign mentioning that it's 507.2 miles to Canada. The trail parallels Highway 14 for about 1/10 of a mile, then it drops to the remains of some kind of earlier road or railroad. The next 0.7 miles are nearly flat as the trail follows the earlier right of way. This path may be the route of Cascades Railroad Company built by the Oregon Steam Navigation Company in 1863. This railroad extended six miles from a upper landing near modern Stevenson to a terminus across the Columbia from Tanner Creek. Photos from the era show the Cascades Railroad line as existing above the earlier rail lines. On the other hand this path may simply be an earlier version of Washington Highway 8, today relabeled Washington Highway 14. More research is needed.

This piece of the PCT is rarely traveled. The entire path is close to Highway 14 and you'll never escape the traffic noise. On the other hand, you will rarely encounter other hikers and the people racing back and forth on the highway are oblivious to the existence of the nearby trail. You'll likely be alone here. The trail is good and accessible year round, so it makes a nice, easy stroll at any time.

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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.