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Augspurger Mountain Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Mount Rainier (L) and Mount Adams, seen from the viewpoint at the end of the ridge past Augspurger Mountain.
Go straight through this road junction.
Traversing Augspurger Mountain (bobcat)
Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria), Augspurger Mt. (bobcat)
Map of the hike, showing the optional descent loop via Dog Mountain. Note that Augspurger Mountain is mislabeled in the topo - its summit is the high point to the right of the word "Mtn" at the end of the red line.
  • Start point: Dog Mountain TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Augspurger Mountain
  • Hike Type: Out-and-back
  • Distance: 12.6 miles
  • Elevation gain: 4767 feet
  • High point: 3,667 feet
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Seasons: Spring through fall; snowshoe in winter
  • Family Friendly: No
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Hike Description

The hike to Augspurger Mountain takes you away from the stressful crowds of Dog Mountain (although including that popular destination is an option) and takes you to a higher point. If you want views, however, you'll need to continue a little way down beyond the summit of Augspurger Mountain to a ridge top meadow with vistas to the Washington stratovolcanoes to the north. Note that a sign at the trailhead indicates that it is 7.5 miles to the top of Augspurger Mountain. Several GPS measurements have it at just over 6 miles, however. WARNING: You'll be sharing the trailhead with the Dog Mountain crowds, so the parking area fills early. To avoid frustration, try to arrive before 8:00 a.m. or after 5:00 p.m. between March and October. A permit is required on weekends in April, May, and June to access Augspurger Mountain via any of the trails beginning at the Dog Mountain Trailhead. See permit information below.

Starting at the Dog Mountain Trailhead, take the Augspurger Trail #4407 around the west flank of Dog Mountain. The trail ascends more gradually than other Dog Mountain trails and there are views of Wind Mountain and the Columbia Gorge. After 2.8 miles and 2200 feet of climbing, you'll reach a junction with the Dog-Augspurger Tie Trail, which will switchback up to the right. Keep left to stay on the Augspurger Trail and go downhill on a narrower path into a basin. After .6 miles, the trail climbs slightly and intersects with a forest road. Take a right and head uphill another .6 miles, continuing straight through a four-way junction under powerlines. When the road takes a hairpin left turn, look for a trail to your right with a sign that says "Augspurger Mt., 2.5 mi." Continue on the Augspurger Trail as it climbs and switchbacks through the woods for 1.1 miles until you pop out onto an open ridge. There are powerlines below the ridge and fantastic views west, down the Gorge, and south, across the Gorge, to Mount Defiance and Mount Hood. Continue along the ridge and follow the faint trail as it climbs through brush and forest another 1.1 miles to the forested summit of Augspurger Mountain.

To reach a great viewpoint and lunch spot, continue on the trail as it descends steeply for .1 mile and pops out of the trees onto a long open ridge that is covered with wildflowers in late spring. There are excellent views to the north of Mount Saint Helens, Mount Rainier, and Mount Adams, as well as Silver Star Mountain to the west. You can stop here or continue down to the end of the ridge, which adds approximately a mile round trip, with about 300 feet of elevation loss and regain. This part of the trail is especially overgrown in summer.

Retrace your steps to return to your car. When you reach the Dog Mountain Trail junction, turning right will take you back down the Augspurger Trail to the trailhead. If, instead, you turn left, you can take the Dog Mountain Trail #147 for one mile up to the summit of Dog Mountain, and then continue down the Dog Mountain Trail to the trailhead. This adds approximately 1.4 miles and 750 feet of elevation gain to the hike.


Maps

  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Green Trails Maps: Hood River, OR #430
  • Green Trails Maps: Columbia River Gorge - West #428S
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service/Bureau of Land Management: Columbia River Gorge
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Adams Ranger District
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Gifford Pinchot National Forest
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Regulations or Restrictions, etc.

  • Northwest Forest Pass (or America the Beautiful Pass) required to park at the Dog Mountain Trailhead.
  • On weekends from March 31st to July 1st, a trail permit for each hiker ($1.50) is required in addition to the Northwest Forest Pass; order in advance at Recreation.gov. Only 165 permits are available per day for those using the parking area at Dog Mountain Trailhead. Permits can be purchased 6 months in advance.
  • Those taking the shuttle service have the cost of the permit included in the their ticket; shuttle users do not need to order in advance.
  • $2 toll each way at the Bridge of the Gods

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Day Hikes in the Columbia Gorge by Don J. Scarmuzzi
  • Day Hiking: Columbia River Gorge by Craig Romano
  • Afoot & Afield: Portland/Vancouver by Douglas Lorain
  • 100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon & Southwest Washington by William L. Sullivan (listed as optional extension to the Dog Mountain Hike)
  • 70 Virtual Hikes of the Columbia River Gorge by Northwest Hiker

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.