Distance: 4.6 miles roundtrip (out and back)
Time: 2.5 hours
Elevation Gain: approx. 1400 feet
Season: All Year; might get snow on top during the winter months
Permit: none needed
Dog Friendly: Sort of, if you trust your dog around drop offs they will do fine. We always make sure to keep Sal and Jedi leashed when at the top.
Pros: Close to Portland, great views of the Columbia River Gorge, mostly shady except on the rock slide and on top, moderate grade
Cons: Busy trail
Angels Rest is one of my favorite hikes in the Portland area. It’s super close to town, it’s just long/hard enough to make you feel like you worked out, and the view on top is stunning. It’s a great escape from the city.
To get there drive east on I-84 from Portland and take Exit 28/Bridal Veil. The trailhead parking is just to the right of the intersection with the Historic Columbia River Highway. The trailhead is marked and is opposite the Highway from the parking area.
The trail begins with a fairly moderate grade, continuing through the trees with the occasional view of the Columbia River Gorge or Coopey Falls. After about a mile the trail begins switchbacking as the grade steepens. Wildflowers line the trail until you cross a rock slide, which means you’ve almost made it to the top. Yay!
All of that hard work and sweat will pay off. Follow the path toward the point, some easy scrambling will be involved, and enjoy the view. From Angels Rest you look across the river to Beacon Rock, Hamilton Mountain, and Table Mountain (which are all hikeable) and to the west you can see the Vista House. There is usually a nice breeze up top, so it’s a great place to enjoy the sunshine and eat your lunch before heading back to town.
Although the hike itself is pretty moderate if you have creaky knees bring your trekking poles…you’ll be happy you remembered them on the return down. Steve swears by his Black Diamond Trekking Poles and uses them religiously…I however only use mine for trails that have miles of sustained downhill, so I didn’t pack mine and I was fine.
It’s also possible to reach Angels Rest from Wahkeena Falls, by doing the Devils Rest/Angels Rest Loop hike for a more challenging, longer day hike.
After your hike head in to Troutdale and grab a beer at McMenamins Edgefield…. the service will be mediocre, but occasionally they’ll have a couple of good beers on tap…and the grounds are good for wandering.