Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
0.00 ft (0.00 m)
Trail type
4.20 mi (6.76 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.

The South Breitenbush Gorge Trail is a nice walk through old-growth forest within earshot of the South Breitenbush River. There are a few views of the river, but for the most part it remains out of site at the bottom of a steep, heavily forested canyon. The gorge is only accessible via a side trail that is overgrown and largely covered by a massive area of downed trees. 

This is one of the most accessible trails in the Detroit Lake/Breitenbush Hot Springs area, and as such it sees plenty of use during the summer camping season. Nevertheless, the gentle walk through massive old-growth Douglas firs and the vibrant understory of Vine Maples make this a worthwhile afternoon destination for those camping nearby.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Beautiful old--growth forest. Easy hike for kids.


Can be crowded. Few views of the river.

Trailhead Elevation

2,592.00 ft (790.04 m)


Old-growth forest


Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping


We hiked in from the trailhead in Sullivan -- that is, by the green gate at the Breitenbush Hot Springs property line. The three one-person-at-a-time bridges near the trailhead were all intact. At the Emerald Forest trail junction, recommend going down the trail to the river view (and log bridge over the river). From early on the trail intermittent areas of high water (nothing impassible, though); well beyond the Emerald Forest trail junction snow on the trail became deeper (up to 10-12 inches) and the second creek crossing, just shy of the place where one scrambles down to the gorge, stopped us. (Snow and water conditions very likely will be different by the time you read this.) This is a beautiful forest trail with some impressive old growth.
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