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Indian Creek Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

The old wooden flume that runs alongside the trail (bobcat)
Fern-leaf desert parsley (Lomatium dissectum), Indian Creek Trail (bobcat)
View of the Hood River from the Indian Creek Trail (bobcat)
Rigid fiddleneck (Amsinckia retrorsa), Indian Creek Trail (bobcat)
The existing (2015) western section of the Indian Creek Trail (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
Poison Oak


Hike Description

Hood River's Indian Creek Trail, which will be almost six miles long when completed, is currently in two segments that await connection via an easement through private property. The oldest section, described here, begins above the deeply incised canyon of Indian Creek where it joins the Hood River. This was, in fact, the old way trail which connected the upper and lower parts of the city and which also served as the conduit for the wooden flume which brought water to a fruit cannery in the lower settlement. The old wooden flume is still there, although it no longer carries water, and the trail takes you away from residences and businesses into a leafy canyon which displays a variety of wildflowers in the spring.

Twenty-five yards above a shed decorated with road signs, the path drops and then rises gently. Homes top the wildflowered slope above and an oak forest, underbrushed with snowberry and wild rose, drops to the river below. Get a view of the Hood River and the pear orchards up the valley. The trail levels and passes a picnic table. In the spring, this section is lined with miner’s lettuce, big root, prairie star, two kinds of lupine, forget-me-nots, and fern-leaf desert parsley. Balsamroot flowers under the oaks above. A powerline which heads up the Indian Creek valley appears to your right. Armenian blackberry dominates the slopes which lead down to Indian Creek, which rushes and tumbles below maples, cottonwoods, and flowering dogwoods. Blooming purple honesty (Lunaria annua) festoons the trailside as you walk alongside an old wooden pipe that used to carry water from Indian Creek down to a fruit cannery in the City of Hood River. The trail exits shady woods at a power substation and then bends to the right in a open area with ponderosa pines. Cross Indian Creek where it pours through a culvert and then head up to the junction of 12th and Pacific Avenue at a Dutch Brothers Coffee outlet.

Cross 12th Street and pick up the Indian Creek Trail as it descends to your right to cross over Indian Creek in an avenue of young ponderosa pines. Go left at a junction and take up a grassy track that leads along the north bank of the creek, which is shrouded by alder, red osier dogwood, and willow. Also, look for beaver activity along this section of the trail. Reach a four-way junction. To the left, a trail crosses a footbridge and switchbacks up to the Columbia Gorge Community College Trailhead at the new Indian Creek Campus of the Columbia Gorge Community College. To the right, a trail leads past a raptor pole to Rebecca Avenue.

Keep straight here and continue along a boardwalk under a bower of red alder. After the boardwalk a track leads left to the Indian Creek. Also here, you’ll see part of the old wooden pipe exposed at a concrete regulation site. The main trail continues a short distance to a picnic table and a sign denoting the beginning of private property. Future plans involve negotiating an easement here and the linking of the trail with its 2 1/2 mile western section, which will eventually reach Barrett Park.


Regulations or restrictions, etc

  • Dogs on leash

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Columbia Gorge Getaways by Laura O. Foster

More Links


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.