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Warrior Point Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Warrior Rock Lighthouse, Sauvie Island (bobcat)
Most of the trail is a grassy access road through a cottonwood forest (cfm)
Rusting hulk on the Columbia shore (bobcat)
Columbia coreopsis (Coreopsis atkinsoniana), Columbia shore (bobcat)
Trail to Warrior Point (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: National Geographic Topo
  • Start point: Warrior Point TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Warrior Point
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Out and Back
  • Distance: 7.0 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain: 10 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: All
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Hike Description

Take a quiet, flat stroll out to the northern tip of Sauvie Island. You will be traveling through a state wildlife refuge and visiting the small Warrior Rock Light. In winter, both on the hike and the drive in there's an excellent chance of seeing bald eagles, sandhill cranes, Canada and cackling geese, snow geese, and tundra swans. Sea lions frequent the Columbia River and feast on the runs of chinook, steelhead, and smelt. In late summer and early fall, river levels are way down and you may be able to walk a long stretch on the beach and hard mudflats. Make sure you pick up your refuge day pass before you park at the trailhead.

From the trailhead at the end of Reeder Road, you can pass through the entry gate, but it is more pleasant to start on the beach. Head north (downstream), and if the weather is clear, you should get a glimpse of the lighthouse, near the end of the island, three miles away. Cottonwoods, willows, ash, and black locust rim the shore. After about a half mile, you will run out of beach. Look for a path through the brush to take you to the dirt access road through a cottonwood forest that parallels the beach. Continue north on this road (pictured above right).

From the road, you will be able to access several viewpoints of the river, but there is no more continuous beach walking available: the shore is mainly a mudflat that blooms with sneezeweed, Douglas’ aster, field mint and coreopsis in the fall. If you are prepared to bushwack a bit, there are a variety of ponds, sloughs and wetlands to the west of the access road. This area is former farmland, and you may also stumble across signs of previous human habitation such as concrete building foundations, chimneys and rusting metal machinery parts. On the river, there may be fishermen and sea lions sunning themselves on the buoys. A large freighter may hum by. The road continues, sometimes very muddily, through thickets of red osier dogwood, Armenian blackberry, snowberry, cottonwood, Oregon ash, and willow.

Eventually the road bed turns to reach the little bay and basalt point at Warrior Rock, where Oregon's smallest lighthouse, the Warrior Rock Light is still functioning. The grassy bench here is a great picnic spot and perch for gazing at the river traffic and bird and sea lion watching. Behind the lighthouse, partly concealed by blackberries are the remains of a house and the small prefab lighthouse keeper's dwelling, now fenced off and gated. You can stroll up the lovely beach as far as Warrior Point to get a view of pilings and the dock at St. Helens across the slough. A couple of brushy road tracks can be found at the tip of the island, but you will need to return to the trailhead the way you came.

Maps

Regulations or Restrictions, etc.

  • A wildlife refuge pass is needed. A day pass for $10, or annual pass for $30 can be picked up at several locations on the island as listed on the Warrior Point Trailhead page.
  • Port-a-potty at trailhead
  • In duck hunting season, you will share the area with hunters; they will usually be here early in the morning and in the evening.
  • Dogs on leash

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • 100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon & Southwest Washington by William L. Sullivan
  • Trips & Trails: Oregon by William L. Sullivan
  • Hiking Oregon's Geology by Ellen Morris Bishop
  • Day Hiking: Columbia River Gorge by Craig Romano
  • Afoot & Afield: Portland/Vancouver by Douglas Lorain
  • 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Portland by Paul Gerald
  • Take a Hike: Portland by Barbara I. Bond
  • A Walking Guide to Oregon's Ancient Forests by Wendell Wood
  • Nature Walks In and Around Portland by Karen & Terry Whitehill
  • Wild in the City: Exploring the Intertwine by Michael C. Houck and M.J. Cody (editors)
  • Best Easy Day Hikes: Portland, Oregon by Lizann Dunegan
  • Trail Running: Oregon by Lizann Dunegan
  • Canine Oregon by Lizann Dunegan
  • Best Dog Hikes: Oregon edited by Falcon Guides
  • Peaceful Places: Portland by Paul Gerald
  • Oregon Hiking by Sean Patrick Hill

More Links


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.