Riverside Trail Hike

Clackamas River

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon

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Riverside Trail Hike


  • The trailhead is located at the end of Rainbow Campground, which is closed in the winter.- Riverside Trail Hike
  • A campsite at Rainbow Campground.- Riverside Trail Hike
  • - Riverside Trail Hike
  • The Clackamas River.- Riverside Trail Hike
  • Amethyst deceiver mushroom (Laccaria amethystina).- Riverside Trail Hike
  • - Riverside Trail Hike
  • - Riverside Trail Hike
  • Access to the highway from the Riverside Trailhead, near the Riverside Campground.- Riverside Trail Hike
  • Cedar and western hemlock create a dense canopy.- Riverside Trail Hike
  • - Riverside Trail Hike
  • Red coral mushroom.- Riverside Trail Hike
  • The trail ends at Riverside Campground.- Riverside Trail Hike
  • A rough-skinned newt on the Riverside Trail.- Riverside Trail Hike
  • Garter snake on the Riverside Trail.- Riverside Trail Hike
  • Raindrops cling to a sword fern's pinnae.- Riverside Trail Hike
  • The Riverside Trail leads through a lush forest.- Riverside Trail Hike
  • Cascades frog on the Riverside Trail.- Riverside Trail Hike
  • A thin layer of fog hovers over the Clackamas River.- Riverside Trail Hike
Overview + Weather
Great views. Old-growth. Fishing and swimming. Close to Portland.
Snow may prevent access. Crowded when campgrounds are open.
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, OR
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
112.00 ft (34.14 m)
Parking Pass: 
NW Forest Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking
Total Distance: 
9.30 mi (14.97 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,432.00 ft (436.47 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


This trail can easily be broken into smaller sections, but the segment from the Rainbow to Riverside campgrounds has a lot of appeal, including easy access for camping, parking or shuttles.  For this hike we walked upstream.  The trail leaves from the southwest end of Rainbow Campground and immediately leads you into the mature and diverse forest that will keep you company for your entire hike along the river.  Douglas fir, hemlock and cedar predominate, but where they thin out you will find hardwoods that add fall color to the hike in September and October.  Look for plenty of fungal varieties in the dense undergrowth. 

Two creeks enter the Clackamas on this stretch of trail: Tag is first, and Mag comes in upriver.  Throughout this hike you will be treated to varying perspectives of the river.  Some will be broad and sweeping variety, and others much more intimate.  One of the positive distinctions of this trail is that the path undulates regularly between the bank and the hills above the water, so the view changes frequently.  Also, though the difference in elevation between the two campsites is slight, you will be able to enjoy a little more total elevation gain for your efforts.  Bring a bathing suit in the summer, as you will have plenty of opportunities to discover small access points to this amazing river. 

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(63 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(138 within a 30 mile radius)

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