Angel's Rest Hike - Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

On Sunday Jason and I were invited to hike to Angel’s Rest in the Columbia River Gorge with a group of longtime friends. Though we have done a few other hikes in the area, we’d never come to Angel’s Rest. This hike is just over 2.1 miles one-way, gains approximately 1350’ elevation, and boasts panoramic views of the Gorge from the top. On a clear day, one can see downtown Portland, Beacon Rock, and (contrary to most accounts) also Mt Adams peaking over the hills in Washington. Though not a long hike, Angel’s rest can also serve as a rest stop while on a longer hike to Wahkeena Falls or Devil’s Rest.

Angel's Rest Trail Elevation Profile

The Angel’s Rest trailhead is located just off I-84 at the Bridal Veil exit. The official parking lot at the trailhead is quite small, but there are overflow spaces on the shoulders of the road nearby. Due to its proximity to Portland, this is a very popular hike and the trailhead is often crowded.

After a leisurely morning, we left Portland and were at the trailhead just before 11AM. As expected, the trailhead was crowded and we were fortunate to find a couple parking spots in the overflow area. The trail is all dirt and begins its uphill climb immediately. Though not long on distance, the trail does not level out much over its entire length.

Angel's Rest Trailhead     Katie on the Angel's Rest Trail

As we set out, we saw numerous other hikers and many had dogs and children with them. The weather was beautiful, with partly cloudy skies and temperatures in the low 70’s F. We saw a few sparse wildflowers along the trail. This hike apparently has gorgeous wildflower color during the late spring and early summer. The trail was a bit dusty and one has to watch their footing due to the many rocks and roots embedded in the trail. Less than a mile into the hike, we passed Coopey Falls, gently cascading down the hillside.

View from Rocky Section of Angel's Rest Trail     Small Fort Near Trail

About ½ mile from the top, there is a talus field that must be crossed. It is not entirely apparent that you have to go straight through the middle of the talus in order to re-join the dirt trail. Thankfully others in our group knew the way and after a short rest enjoying the view we were on our way again.

Jason Posing After Climbing a Boulder     John on Top of the World
Our Group Near Angel's Rest     Columbia River Gorge from Angel's Rest

We hiked at a leisurely pace and made it to the top of Angel’s rest in just over 90 minutes. There were lots of other hikers enjoying the views from the top, but we were able to find a nice overlook to enjoy our lunch before descending again.

Columbia River Gorge     Katie at Angel's Rest
USGS Marker at Angel's Rest     Jason and Katie at Angel's Rest

Our return trip was much quicker, thanks to less people on the trail and an entirely downhill profile. This was a nice, shorter hike and we enjoyed hiking with a larger group of friends.

Tip of Mt Adams Near Angel's Rest     Angel's Rest

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Disclaimer: You are responsible for informing yourself of the hazards of backcountry travel and taking the necessary precautions. Loomis Adventures may not be held liable.