Home  •   Field Guide  •   Forums  •    Unread Posts  •   Maps  •   Find a Hike!
| Page | Discussion | View source | History | Print Friendly and PDF

Wind Mountain Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Augspurger Mountain from a spur on the Wind Mountain trail (Jeff Statt)
Wind Mountain (with Dog Mountain in the background) from Greenleaf Peak (Jeff Statt)
Sign near the top of Wind Mountain (Adam Schneider)
Hiker looking west from the Wind Mountain summit (Jeff Statt)
Wind Mountain topo map, with GPS track


Hike Description

The hike up Wind Mountain is a switchbacking ascent to the summit of an unusual peak in the Columbia River Gorge just west of Dog Mountain. Like Shellrock Mountain across the river, it is a microdioritic intrusion into the Columbia River Basalts. In fact, the two may be part of the same structure carved in two by the Columbia River. A geologic monitoring station, which calibrated rock slides on Wind Mountain above Washington's Highway 14, used to stand on the upper slopes of Shellrock Mountain. Take note that parts of Wind Mountain's summit are sacred to Native Americans, so please pay attention to the signage at the top.

The trail should be easy to spot on the south (right) side of the road, across from the turnout. (If you're parked at the quarry, it's about 200 yards farther on the road.) You may see some poison oak along the first hundred feet of trail. The route almost immediately turns eastward as it gains elevation steadily for a quarter mile or so on a rocky tread that transitions to a nice duff surface. Watch for a spur trail to the left just before the main trail turns southward. The spur descends sharply down to a great east-facing viewpoint on a cliff. Leash pets and take little ones by the hand, as there are vertical drop-offs on three sides. There are great views across the valley to Dog Mountain and Augspurger Mountain.

Return to the main trail as it again starts climbing moderately steeply for the next mile or so. You will make long sweeping switchbacks across a talus slope and also get more views. Eventually the trail levels out in a forest with a high canopy. You are nearing the summit at this point. Continue another quarter mile, and you'll come across a large sign describing the cultural and historical significance of this mountain as a spirit quest site.

The sign informs you that sections of the summit are closed to hikers:

This archaeological site is extremely fragile. Just walking over it will damage important cultural features. Therefore, the USDA Forest Service has closed the site to hikers. All visitors must stay on the trail or within designated areas shown on the map.

It isn't long before you reach the summit. The summit does not have a 360-degree view, but you'll find the designated viewing areas afford you spectacular vistas to the east and west. Looking east you have a great perspective of Dog Mountain. To the south, across the Columbia River, you will see Mitchell Point. Following the horizon toward the east, Mount Defiance, the highest mountain in the gorge, is visible. Looking west down the Columbia River Gorge, you might spot Indian Point, a rock spire on the Oregon side. On the Washingon side, due west you will see Table Mountain and Greenleaf Peak. On a clear day, look to the northwest to try and make out Mount Saint Helens.


  • 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

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • $3 toll each way at the Bridge of the Gods
  • Hikers are requested to be respectful of the historical and sacred significance of the spirit quest sites on the mountain's summit.

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Curious Gorge by Scott Cook
  • Day Hiking: Columbia Gorge by Craig Romano
  • Day Hikes in the Columbia Gorge by Don J. Scarmuzzi
  • Day Hike! Columbia Gorge by Seabury Blair, Jr.
  • Afoot & Afield: Portland/Vancouver by Douglas Lorain
  • Columbia Gorge Getaways by Laura O. Foster
  • 70 Virtual Hikes of the Columbia River Gorge by Northwest Hiker

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.