- Elevation: 2,800 feet
- Distance: 6.9 miles RT
- NW Forest Pass required at trailhead
Dog Mountain was my first Gorge hike on the Washington side. Also, the first hike I did on my own. I had a late start (around 11am) and the parking lot was near full already. This hike is very popular in May and June because of the fields of yellow wildflowers up there. Even though the trail isn't too long, you gain elevation fast. The switchbacks start from the get go. When you come to a fork, GO RIGHT. Some people on the trail told me to go up the "more difficult" route to the left and I'm unsure why. The "less difficult" route is more pleasant and offers more views. It's 3.5 miles to the summit and it gets stepper as you go. You'll know you're close to the summit when you begin to see the fields of balsamroot. There will be a few viewpoints, but make sure you go all the way to the top. It is a flattened area where you have plenty of room to have a snack and take in the views of Mt Hood and Mt St Helens (just a peak of it).
I moved to the Pacific Northwest in August of 2012. I quickly identified myself as a hiker. I want to document my experiences so that I can refer to them for myself and others to provide the best hiking experience. I also hope to learn more about hiking from others comments and recommendations.