Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
112.00 ft (34.14 m)
Trail type
9.30 mi (14.97 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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. 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass


Great views. Old-growth. Fishing and swimming. Close to Portland.


Snow may prevent access. Crowded when campgrounds are open.

Trailhead Elevation

1,432.00 ft (436.47 m)


Big vistas
Old-growth forest

Suitable for



Nearby Adventures

Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area
Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area
Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area
Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area


We hiked this trail Tuesday, April 9, from the gated Riverside Campground. All bridges intact, although as to got just shy of Rainbow Campground we were stopped by water (it appeared if it it never had had a bridge). Bonus: a beautiful tributary creek that flows into the Clackamas. Two pretty good-sized logs across the trail, although any hiker can get across them.
Beautiful trail. There is still snow and it’s icy in areas where the trail is shaded.
This was a nice walk through the woods along the river. It was quiet and I did not see many people. There was a light dusting of snow along some parts.
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