Cape Horn Passage

On a warm mid-summer morning I drove to the Cape Horn Trailhead in the western Columbia River Gorge. The loop trail, 7.5 miles with 1,400 feet of elevation gain, has gone through some significant upgrades.

The Friends of the Columbia Gorge deserve a big round of applause for making a quality Cape Horn Trail become a reality. The first few times I hiked the loop trail it was very rough in places and not very well marked.

Although, in some ways I feel like I’ve lost an old, rough-around-the-edges friend. It reminds me of an observation by Hank Williams Jr. – – – All my rowdy friends have rowdied on down.

These days the Cape Horn Trail is a gem. There are some nice viewpoints of the Columbia River stretching for miles in each direction, a flat stretch of trail bordering some farmlands, an overlook with beautiful rock-work as a tribute to Nancy Russell (the founder of the Friends of the Gorge) and a walk in front of a misty waterfall.

I highly recommend the trail.

Looking down on Cape Horn Bridge

Looking down on Cape Horn Bridge and the Columbia River below



One of the two foot tunnels underneath Highway 30

One of the two hiking tunnels underneath Highway 14

Looking up the Columbia River

A hazy view up the Columbia River

I always like a welcoming trailhead sign

I always enjoy a welcoming trailhead sign

Pleasant stretch of the early portion of the trail

Pleasant stretch of the early portion of the trail

Looking up at the Cape Horn Bridge

The Cape Horn Bridge

Categories: Columbia River Gorge HikesTags: , ,


  1. Thanks John for the recommendation – we will give it a try.

    Tom Sidley


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