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Dog Mountain Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Balsamroot blooming on Dog Mountain (Steve Hart)
The Augspurger Mountain Trail in the fall (Jess Beauchemin)
The summit of Dog Mountain (Steve Hart)
  • Start point: Dog Mountain TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point:Dog Mountain
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 7.4 miles
  • Elevation gain: 2800 feet
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Seasons: Year round, except during winter storms
  • Family Friendly: No
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Yes


Hike Description

This hike starts at the Dog Mountain Trailhead, but not on the Dog Mountain Trail. Instead, start on the Augspurger Trail.

This hike is extremely popular and 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.

The Augspurger Trail (#4407) starts climbing immediately out of the parking lot. You'll cross a talus slope or two and there are views of Wind Mountain and the Columbia River to the west. After three miles and about 2200 feet of elevation gain, you'll come to a junction with the Dog Mountain Trail. Turn right on to the Dog Mountain Trail and after a brief steep climb, you'll break out into Dog Mountain's Summit Meadows. These meadows are filled with amazing flower displays in late May and early June. Continue up the Dog Mountain Trail 0.9 miles to a signed junction with the Summit Loop Trail. Turn left and continue upward on the Summit Loop Trail for about 1/10 of a mile to the summit of Dog Mountain.

From the summit, there are several ways back down. You can return the way you came. You can continue forward on the Summit Loop Trail directly to Puppy Dog Lookout. For the best views though, backtrack down the Summit Loop Trail to the junction with Dog Mountain Trail, then turn left and head downhill toward Columbia River. This way, you'll spend the most time the flower garden views. About a half mile from the top, you'll reach Puppy Dog Lookout, once the site of a fire lookout at about 2500 feet. Turn to the right and continue down Dog Mountain trail into the forest. At a signed trail junction with the "more difficult" trail, continue straight down the "less difficult" trail. You'll pass a lower viewpoint at about 1600 feet and the lower end of the more difficult trail at about 700 feet. The last half mile is heavily infested with poison oak, but the trail is wide and it's easy to avoid.


  • Click on a map below to enlarge

See also:

Map of the Route

Fees, Regulations, 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

  • 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Portland, by Paul Gerald
  • 100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington, by William Sullivan

More Links

Page 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.