Wind Mountain offers plenty of reasons for a day trip: it's just an hour from Portland, you'll enjoy great views over the Columbia River Gorge, and there are plenty of other entertainment options nearby. Also, no permits are required to access the area or to park at either of the trailheads.
Because the hike to Wind Mountain is just over a mile, you can easily combine it with a hike up Dog Mountain or with other adventures in the Columbia River Gorge. The trail that starts at the lower trailhead winds along the west and south side of Wind Mountain. Along this route, you’ll have views to the Columbia River and Dog Mountain for much of the way. If you start at the upper trailhead, you’ll be met with an immediate, steep ascent. While a faster option to the top, this route has fewer views and can be a bit of a leg burner. Both options can be combined to make Wind Mountain a loop hike.
In addition, the summit of Wind Mountain is a special destination, being a spiritual quest site for Native American Indians. Signage at the top of the hike provides background information and context.
Note that there are a number of cliffs along the Wind Mountain hike, so while it can be a nice short option for kids and dogs, you’ll want to keep them close. Also, there are no restrooms at the trailheads or along the route, but a summit-and-back trip will likely take less than a few hours.