Beacon Rock Hike

Columbia River Gorge, Washington

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Beacon Rock Hike


  • The Columbia River Gorge as viewed from Portland Women's Forum.  Beacon Rock is visible in the background, left of the Crown Point Vista House.- Beacon Rock Hike
  • Beacon Rock from the State Park's marina with Hamilton Mountain and Aldrich Butte in the background.- Beacon Rock Hike
  • Beacon Rock, viewed from the State Park's upper picnic area.- Beacon Rock Hike
  • The trail approaching Beacon Rock.- Beacon Rock Hike
  • - Beacon Rock Hike
  • View looking south over the Columbia River.- Beacon Rock Hike
  • View looking down the continuous sequence of switchbacks.- Beacon Rock Hike
  • View near the summit looking east.- Beacon Rock Hike
  • View mid-way looking southwest.- Beacon Rock Hike
Overview + Weather
Close to Portland. Spectacular views. Handrail infrastructure.
Very heavily used. Less "natural" trail.
Columbia River Gorge, WA
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
680.00 ft (207.26 m)
Parking Pass: 
Washington Discovery Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
1.80 mi (2.90 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
240.00 ft (73.15 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Sponsored Contributor

With sweeping panoramic views, and as one of the easiest and most accessible hikes in the Columbia River Gorge, it’s no surprise that the switchback trail up Beacon Rock is constantly in use.  Since 1918, it has been easy for visitors to reach the summit of the 680-foot monolith of shear basalt thanks to Henry J. Biddle, who purchased the rock in 1915 and quickly constructed a series of switchback trails, overlapping bridges, and an almost continuous run of handrails.

Luckily, Biddle and his family’s vision of protecting and celebrating the rock's grandeur has withstood the test of modern time.  In the 1930s the US Army Corp of Engineers drafted a plan to completely demolish the landmark for use in construction of a jetty at the mouth of the Columbia River, but it was ultimately unsuccessful.  Soon after, the Biddle family turned the land over to the State of Washington, and in 1935 Beacon Rock State Park was created.  It wasn’t until 1986, however, that the Columbia River Gorge was designated and protected by Congress as a National Scenic Area.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(33 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(177 within a 30 mile radius)

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