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Devil's Backbone

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Devil's Backbone (Jeff Statt)
Devil's Backbone looking uphill (Jeff Statt)
Hiker at sunset (Jeff Statt)



The climax, and for some, the turnaround spot on the Rock of Ages trail. This rocky spine offers views of Beacon Rock, Hamilton Mountain and on a clear day Mount Saint Helens. Take care on the slippery surface as the span is not wide and the drop-off is severe on the western side.

To reach this location it takes some dedicated climbing up a steep, unmaintained trail that gains about 900 feet in less than a mile. This requires some hand-over-foot scrambling through patches of poison oak. But your reward is a unique, majestic and isolated loft high above the Oneonta Gorge overlooking a expansive panorama of the Columbia River Gorge.

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Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this destination

  • Day Hike! Columbia Gorge, by Seabury Blair, Jr.
  • Afoot and Afield Portland/Vancouver, by Douglas Lorain
  • 35 Hiking Trails, Columbia River Gorge, by Don & Roberta Lowe
  • Columbia River Gorge, 42 Scenic Hikes, by Don & Roberta Lowe
  • Hiking the Columbia River Gorge - 1st and 2nd Editions, by Russ Schneider
  • 100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon - 3rd Edition, by William L Sullivan

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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.