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Little Beacon Rock Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Little Beacon Rock (Steve Hart)
Flytrap dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium), Hadley Trail (bobcat)
Pika (Steve Hart)
The loop described (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo


Hike Description

Little Beacon Rock is another volcanic plug that sits above its much larger, but much younger neighbor, Beacon Rock. You can make a short loop hike to get views from the top of Little Beacon Rock and then return via the park campground. The Rock sits in a grove of Douglas-firs, named the Hadley Grove in honor of Clyde B. Hadley, the first superintendent of Beacon Rock State Park from 1938 to 1951.

Start up the Hamilton Mountain Trail from the Hamilton Mountain Trailhead. About a half mile from the trailhead, in a power line corridor, you'll come to a trail junction with a bench. The bench has great views of Hamilton Mountain and Bonneville Dam. Take the Hadley Trail, which branches left towards the west. This path skirts the edge of the power line right-of-way, usually staying in the forest of mature Douglas-firs. After another half mile, you'll come to a junction with the Little Beacon Rock Trail, marked by a stone plaque. Turn left here and head down the Little Beacon Rock Trail.

This short trail soon leaves the forest into the talus slopes around Little Beacon Rock. These rocks are populated by a squeaking colony of pikas. This trail was originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1939 and rebuilt by volunteers beginning in 2002. It's heavily built and looks like something in a national park.

From Little Beacon Rock, return to the Hadley Trail. Turn left and you'll find a marker labeling the Hadley Grove. Continue past the plaque, and you'll soon reach the Hadley Trailhead. Head left on the road, passing several campsites, and drop down the hill to the Hamilton Mountain Trailhead and your car.


  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Beacon Rock State Park (Washington State Parks)
  • Green Trails Maps: Bridal Veil, OR #428
  • Green Trails Maps: Columbia River Gorge - West #428S
  • Geo-Graphics: Trails of the Columbia Gorge
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service/Bureau of Land Management: Columbia River Gorge
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Regulations or restrictions, etc

  • Discover Pass required
  • $3 toll at the Bridge of the Gods
  • Dogs on leash
  • The road to the trailhead is usually gated during the winter. During these times hikers can park at the Beacon Rock Trailhead and walk up the road.

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Curious Gorge by Scott Cook
  • Pokin' Round the Gorge by Scott Cook
  • Skamania 231: A Scrambler's Guide by Kelly Wagner

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.