Hike 41
The Mt. Hood National Forest
Dog River Overlook Hike
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Map of the Dog River Trail Hike

Length: 7 miles round trip
Elevation Change: 1500' gain
Season: Late Spring thru Fall
Difficulty:   Challenging

Permit:   NW Forest Pass Required


 Click for PDF Topo Map of this Hike 

This is an outstanding little hike with exceptional rewards. The trail head is right off state highway 35 and is well marked. The trail itself is kept in excellent condition and I suspect that is due to the good folks who do mountain biking on this trail.

This hike never seems challenging, yet the score indicates that it is. You begin by briefly following an old logging road, then the trail follows the Dog River for about 2 miles. There are some steep switchbacks right at first, but for the most part the trail is a gentle climb through a mostly forested terrain.

At a couple miles the trail crosses Dog River on a fine bridge and immediately begins the steepest of the climbs on this hike. The trail does one long switchback as it works its way to the ridge. When the trail reaches the ridge line, it does a sharp left and continues climbing along that ridge.

It is at this point you begin to catch outstanding views of Mt Hood and the river valley below you. You will also notice highway 35 below you, but it doesn't distract from the exceptional scenery. At about 3.5 miles into this hike, after a few steep short switchbacks, you will come to a rock outcropping with the best of views. I consider this the destination of this hike. Enjoy!

Mt. Hood seen from the East Zig Zag overlook
How to get there:

 Click for PDF Directions Map of this Hike 

Follow Oregon Hwy 35 south of Hood River for about 19 miles. The trailhead is along the east (or left) side of the highway just before the road crosses the East Fork of the Hood River.

If you are coming north on Hwy 35 from Hwy 26 near Government Camp, drive until you pass the Rouston Campground on your right. It is just a bit further north immediately after you cross the East Fork of the Hood River. The trailhead is along the highway on the right side.

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