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Mosier Plateau Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Revision as of 14:33, 22 April 2019 by Justpeachy (Talk | contribs)

View to Coyote Wall and the Labyrinth from the Mosier Plateau (bobcat)
Mosier Pioneer Cemetery (bobcat)
Bee on Suksdorf's desert parsley (Lomatium suksdorfii), Mosier Creek (bobcat)
Mosier Creek Falls (bobcat)
The hike on the Mosier Plateau (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Mosier TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Syncline Viewpoint
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 3.5 miles
  • High point: 620 feet
  • Elevation gain: 760 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Yes


Hike Description

In the short time since its official opening to the public in Fall 2013, this short hike on Friends of the Columbia Gorge land has become very popular. There is plenty of parking near the railroad tracks in Mosier, and you need to walk 1,000 feet across the Mosier Creek Bridge to find the beginning of the trail. You’ll pass the pioneer cemetery and then Mosier Creek Falls, a popular summer swimming hole, before signing a release to enter Friends property. The wildflower meadows on the plateau are spectacular in April and May, but the vistas are suberb all year. Stay on the trail and respect all private property signs.

Walk east along Highway 30 and cross the Mosier Creek Bridge, built in 1920, to get views of the narrow gorge. Look to your right after crossing the bridge and see a trail leading up behind a bench marked ‘Mosier Pioneer Cemetery.’ The path winds up in a parkland of oaks and ponderosa pines offering views of Mosier Creek’s narrow gorge. Pass the pioneer cemetery, where members of the Mosier family are interred. You’ll walk by a sign for the Pocket Park and then reach an overlook with a plaque memorializing Helen Wortman Russell, a granddaughter of Oregon Trail pioneers. From here, there’s a full-frontal view of two-tiered Mosier Creek Falls. Continue along the grassy slope, which blooms with cryptantha and bachelor’s buttons in the spring, to reach the steep rocky slope above the waterfall. A user trail drops down to the pool between the two drops.

Also here is a post with release forms that absolve the Friends of the Columbia Gorge of any responsibility should you injure yourself on their property. From this point, the trail is part of the new route. The path makes a traverse along the grassy slope with a few ponderosa pines and oaks. Switchback at a split-rail fence and traverse up a grassy slope above a fence to switchback twice more to a series of steps. In the spring, cluster lilies, bachelor’s buttons, buckwheat, and cow vetch bloom in abandon here. Make four short switchbacks and wind up the slope to make a couple more switchbacks and then ascend two more staircases to get commanding views of the cherry orchards south of Mosier. You can also see the top of Mosier Hill with its fire station microwave array and a cell tower. Walk along the plateau to the Mosier Viewpoint and its hexagonal basalt seats. Get views west over Mosier itself to Rocky Prairie and the Bingen Gap. IMPORTANT: Numerous signs instruct hikers to stay on the trail. Although hikers have ducked under the metal railing and created a well-worn boot path along the edge of the cliff through the wildflowers, please stay on the official trail.

From the viewpoint, wind down a sloping bench through springtime blooming balsamroot, big root, and lupine. There’s a splendid vista cross the river to Coyote Wall and the Labyrinth. Pass a concrete foundation pad and wind through plantings of ponderosa pines. Pass between two more concrete foundations pads for manufactured homes that were removed after the Friends’ Nancy Russell purchased the property. Reach a gravel road and go left down a trail to a junction. Go left here to begin a loop. Walk out to a bench under a pine and then follow the trail along a basalt rim above Highway 30. There are open views to the Coyote Wall area on the Washington side and the wildflowers here bloom profusely in the spring. Walk up a grassy field and see a trail going left to close the loop. Otherwise, you can walk out to the gravel track that takes you up to the Mosier Viewpoint (You can also descend the road to reach Highway 30 and walk back to Mosier, but the views from the Mosier Viewpoint are worth the repeat compared to a road walk on a narrow shoulder).

From the viewpoint, you can take the short, steep track up to the microwave tower at the top of Mosier Hill. An oak wood cloaks the east slope of the hill, but there are good views east to McClure Hill, Chatfield Hill, and McCall Point.


Regulations or restrictions, etc

  • Port-a-potty at Mosier Totem Pole Park
  • Picnic tables, benches
  • Stay on the trail and heed private property signs
  • Sign the release form to do the Plateau Trail

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Curious Gorge by Scott Cook
  • PDX Hiking 365 by Matt Reeder
  • Day Hikes in the Columbia Gorge by Don J. Scarmuzzi
  • Columbia Gorge Getaways by Laura O. Foster
  • Waterfalls of the Columbia Gorge, Volume One: Oregon by Zach Forsyth

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.