“Take the Herman Creek Trail to the PCT and climb, climb, climb out of the gorge to the ridgeline.”
— Chris Chiacchierini
Birding · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers
- NW Forest Pass is required for parking at the Herman Creek Trailhead.
- The lower elevations of the hike stay open year-round, but snow will cover the upper sections during the winter months.
This is a tough workout, but lots of fun too. The grades are steady and challenging, but doable. Almost all of this hike is shaded so it's a great option for the summer months.
Need to Know
It's possible to modify this hike by extending all the way to Indian Mountain. Either leave a vehicle in advance (the extension adds nine miles of trail) or make the return from Indian Mountain all the way back to the Herman Creek Trailhead (adds an additional 16 miles).
This trail starts in the dense tree cover of the Herman Creek Trail #406
. After a brief descent to cross the Herman Creek footbridge, the trail climbs to join the PCT. Go left on the PCT to soon enter the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness. The trail travels through multiple scree fields with good views of the river and the Washington side of the Gorge.
The trail switches back and steepens as it climbs the ridge, and all the hard work is rewarded with sweeping views from an alpine surrounding. The trail continues to climb before leveling off just before the junction of the Eagle Benson Trail #434. This out-and-back is much faster on the return.