The town of Mosier is sometimes easily missed, but the hike up to the waterfalls and the plateau is one to add to your list. The 1.4-mile trail leads through Pocket Park (a community park) and along Mosier Creek to a viewpoint of Mosier Creek Falls. The trail then climbs through switchbacks to an overlook of the Columbia River Gorge. The massive slope of Coyote Wall can be seen across the river in Washington.
To start the Mosier Falls hike, you can park in the city's public parking area near the totem pole. As you cross the historic bridge over Mosier Creek the trail will be on your right, marked with a bench. A short and steep incline takes you to the Mosier Pioneer Cemetery, where you can wander and admire the old grave stones of the settlers of Mosier. Although originally a family burial ground on the Mosier donation land claim, the Mosier Pioneer Cemetery also holds the remains of some of the earliest townspeople who lived in the small Gorge community. The first settlers arrived here in 1854. Once you explore the cemetery the trail starts to meander along the cliff of Mosier Canyon. Quickly you will approach an overlook that provides you with views of Mosier Falls. In the summer, you might come across locals jumping into the pool between the falls to cool off and enjoy the swimming hole.
Past the waterfalls the trail begins a steady climb up switchbacks and stairs toward the Mosier Plateau. Once you reach the top, you will be greeted with breathtaking views of the Columbia River Gorge. If you are hiking in the winter or spring watch for deer, wild turkey, and bald eagles. Follow the trail down to the gravel road, travel down the gravel road, and the trail will reappear on the left where you can loop around the plateau. Once you complete the loop you can head back up and return the same way you came. As you hike down, don’t forget to look south and enjoy the views of the Mosier Valley.
Nancy Russell, founder of Friends of the Gorge, bought this land in 2005 and donated it to Friends Land Trust to preserve it and keep it free of urban development. Today the Mosier Plateau includes 44 acres of protected land that is owned and managed by the Friends Land Trust.
Many different species of wildflowers can be found on the plateau in the spring, including arrowleaf balsamroot, lupine, wild cucumber, Howell's brodiaea, prairie stars, bachelor buttons, fiddlenecks, and vetch. The trail can be completed as a there-and-back, or you can follow the gravel road back down to Highway 30 and walk the mile back to the trailhead along the road to make a loop.