Little Hamilton Mountain Hike

Columbia River Gorge, Washington

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Little Hamilton Mountain Hike


  • The trailhead for Hamilton Mountain and Little Hamilton Mountain.- Little Hamilton Mountain Hike
  • The trail starts out quite gently.- Little Hamilton Mountain Hike
  • The trail passes though a forest of Douglas fir, hemolock, and big leaf maple.- Little Hamilton Mountain Hike
  • A lush understory of vine maple, sword and deer fern, vanilla leaf, and inside-out flower line the trail in this section.- Little Hamilton Mountain Hike
  • - Little Hamilton Mountain Hike
  • After about a quarter-mile the trail crosses a power line corridor.- Little Hamilton Mountain Hike
  • After about 1 mile the trail crosses the first bridge.- Little Hamilton Mountain Hike
  • Keep right at the inersection with theIt's worthwhile to take the side trail to Pool of the Winds and Rodney Waterfall.- Little Hamilton Mountain Hike
  • Looking down on the second bridge from Pool of the Winds and Rodney Falls.- Little Hamilton Mountain Hike
  • The trail becomes steeper after crossing the second bridge.- Little Hamilton Mountain Hike
  • After a series of steep switchbacks, the trail emerges at the top of a series of steep, sculpted cliffs.- Little Hamilton Mountain Hike
  • After a final climb up through a steep meadow you reach the ridge known as Little Hamilton Mountain. - Little Hamilton Mountain Hike
  • From Little Hamiilton Mountain you'll enjoy some of the best views of the Columbia River Gorge to the west and east.- Little Hamilton Mountain Hike
Overview + Weather
Amazing vistas (better than Hamilton Mountain summit). Waterfalls. Wildflowers. Relatively short hike.
Steep in places. Trailhead gate closes at sundown.
Columbia River Gorge, WA
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
955.00 ft (291.08 m)
Parking Pass: 
Washington Discovery Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
4.60 mi (7.40 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
340.00 ft (103.63 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


Little Hamilton Mountain is a promontory connected to Hamilton Mountain and makes an excellent hike. Although it is a less ambitious hike than the summit of Hamilton Mountain, it actually affords better views, including almost 270-degrees of the Columbia River Gorge and a grand view of Hamilton Mountain itself. If your goal is the summit of Hamilton Mountain, it is well worth your time to make the side trip. On the other hand, the views to the east and west along the Columbia River Gorge make it a worthy goal in of itself. This relatively short hike offers all the wonders associated with the Columbia River Gorge, including waterfalls, wildflowers, and grand vistas. Starting in an old second-growth forest of fir, hemlock, and big leaf maple, it goes by way of Hardy Creek Falls, and Pool of the Winds, ending in a steep climb up through a mossy meadow. 

To find the trail to Little Hamilton Mountain, follow the trail to Hamilton Mountain Summit. At around mile 2 and after a series of short steep switchbacks, you will reach the top of a cliff with very good view to the river below. Continue to follow the main trail around the ridge to the left, and watch for a unmarked trail heading up steeply to the right. Follow this up through a steep meadow to the top of Little Hamilton Mountain.

While this is a very good spot to view the sunset, the gate to the road leading to the parking lot at the Hamilton Mountain Trailhead is closed and locked 20 minutes after sunset. If you are planning to stay through sunset, it is advisable to park at the Beacon Rock parking lot instead. This will add half a mile each way to your hike.

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(32 within a 30 mile radius)

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(172 within a 30 mile radius)

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