Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
2.90 mi (4.67 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.

Much like several other eastern Gorge day hikes including Tom McCall Point and Coyote Wall, the main reason to head so far east should be obvious: reliable sunshine, big blue skies, and far stretching vistas!  The hike up Catherine Creek is a relaxing one, and unlike its neighbor, Coyote Wall, the trail is sprinkled with numerous groves of Oregon White Oak, which provide a little shade, not to mention a cool creek to dip your feet in.  The highlight of this adventure, as most are aware, is the natural basalt rock arch, a sacred site of the Chinook Natives.  Additional perks are the old corrals of the abandoned ranch, and the vibrant display of wildflowers, including Harvest Brodiaea, common St. John’s Wort, and needle-leaved Navarretia.

If venturing to this grassy valley and ridge in the midst of the summer, you’ll enjoy a sweat reprieve and cool-off at one of the eastern Gorge’s best swimming holes, Rowland Lake.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Phenomenal views, ranch history, desert wild flowers

Cons

Mid summer heat

Trailhead Elevation

200.00 ft (60.96 m)

Net Elevation Gain

600.00 ft (182.88 m)

Features

Historically significant
Big vistas
Wildflowers

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Comments

03/26/2018
We completed the 11 mile loop from Catherine-Creek Trailhead to the Upper Coyote Wall and back through Labrynth. One of the Best Gorge Hikes around!!!
05/28/2018
On a hot day, worth it to start the trail that goes to the right, it will keep the uphill in the shady zone and save the downhill for the exposed views. Just a warning, the shaded part of the trail is loaded with huge bushes of poison oak.
12/26/2016
Great views of the snow dusted hills. Bridge (plank) in place to cross the creek. The book "Take A Hike Portland" only had a map of the lower Universal Access trail, but this field guide is much more accurate.
Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.