Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
1,751.00 ft (533.70 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
6.80 mi (10.94 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 trail to Grassy Knoll begins in a welcoming meadow across from a small parking area and leads into a fir and hemlock forest. A rock outcropping with views of the Columbia River and Hood River is a welcome reward after a relatively steep, steady incline for the first half mile. At 1 mile another outcropping affords expansive views of Mount Adams beyond the Big Lava Beds to the northwest and Mount Hood to the south. As the trail levels out, look for views through the trees of the Columbia River Gorge below. In the interspersed meadows, depending on the month, notice lupine, avalanche lilies, penstemon, daisies, larkspur, lupine, paintbrush and meadowfoam. Giant ant hills and pocket gopher tunnels flank the trail.

At about 2 miles the forest opens up to a small saddle and an exposed hillside leading to the summit of Grassy Knoll on a left spur trail. Here, it's hard to know where to look first. In June and July, the meadow fills with spectacular wildflowers; in April and May, daffodils spread across the meadow. Every turn is an expansive view of distant volcanoes and sky. Settled at the top, four squared pilings are all that remain of a Forest Service lookout constructed in 1934 and destroyed by high winds in 1952. Many decide to turn around at this point, but trail #146 officially continues another 1.3 miles to a second grassy knoll. 

From here, follow the trail into the forest to the north. The trail is soon surrounded by dense, brushy huckleberries. When they're filled with ripe fruit in late summer and early fall, it's not unlikely to see evidence of black bears enjoying the huckleberries before their winter hibernation. Continue across a open meadow saddle to the second open viewpoint at 3.4 miles, the ambiguous "end" of the trail before it continues to Big Huckleberry Mountain (another 2.1 miles) through the forest and past the Cold Springs campsite, meeting up with the PCT. 

Note: Some websites indicate that this area is a traditional Native American camp area with public berry picking limited to the west side of Forest Road 24.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Spectacular views. Plentiful wildflowers. Fall color.

Cons

Rough access road. Overgrown brush in areas.

Trailhead Elevation

2,844.00 ft (866.85 m)

Highest point

3,889.00 ft (1,185.37 m)

Net Elevation Gain

1,045.00 ft (318.52 m)

Features

Wildlife
Big vistas
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

High Bridge to Shipherds Falls
Columbia River Gorge, Washington

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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