Bored with Dog Mountain in the Gorge? Why not think about kicking it up a notch for something almost twice as long with over 4000 feet of gain (that isn’t named Defiance or Ruckel). Just to the north of Dog is Augspurger Mountain that can be accessed from the Dog Mountain trailhead via the aptly named Augspurger Mountain Trail. This Gorge hike is much less traveled (slightly overgrown just after it branches off from Dog Mountain) and you still get to see a plethora of wildflowers in season through a series of about 10 small open ridges and meadows along the way. Yes, you use a forest road for a short distance and you do cross under some power lines but you won’t have to deal with the masses of tourons on this hike. You’ll be lucky if you see anyone. The summit doesn’t have the views of Dog but this one is satisfying in its own way nonetheless.
There really currently is only one way to hike this one although there are supposedly plans to extend the trail from the current terminus of the trail in a gravel pit on the north side of the peak to Grassy Knoll Trail #146 and Big Huckleberry Mountain. One could cut this one in half and access it via some forest roads but why not just do Dog Mountain then? You are here to get the full benefit of the 12 and ¼ mile roundtripper with 4400 feet of elevation gain with all the ups and downs, right? If you are really feeling tough, why not do both Augspurger and Dog (and then let me know how it went as I doubt I’ll ever do that one). :- )
NWHiker website info and links to photos along the trail.
From Portland, the quickest way is to take I-84 east to the Cascade Locks exit (#44). Take the Bridge of the Gods
($1 toll) across the Columbia River and turn right onto Washington Highway 14. Head east on Hwy 14 for 12 miles. Between mileposts 53 and 54, the large Dog Mountain Trailhead parking lot is on the left. The drive should take you about an hour to an hour and twenty minutes from Portland.
If you don't want to deal with the toll, just take either I5 or I-205 from Portland across the Columbia to Highway 14 and go east to the same point. It is slower and takes longer to do this though (maybe 20 minutes more).
If you are coming from the east you will either be on Highway 14 in Washington or Interstate 84 and you take it to the same place, the Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks, OR.
Red TapeNorthwest Forest Pass
is required to park at the trailhead. If you do not already have an annual pass, you can get those at most outdoor stores in the area (GI Joe's, REI, Next Adventure, etc). You can also purchase a day pass at the trailhead (self-service station there).
Camping is not allowed. This is a day hike anyway. It's doubtful anyone will drive from any distance to stay here and climb Dog Mountain but if needed, there are motels in nearby Stevenson, WA and Hood River, OR as well as Cascade Locks, OR.
When To Climb
Year round, snowshoes helpful in winter.
Mountain ConditionsColumbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
902 Wasco Street
Hood River, OR 97031
TTY (541) 386-8758
Current alerts on conditions in the CRGNSA