The Classic 4,000-foot Climb to the Summit of Larch Mountain from Multnomah Falls

The Larch Mountain Trail begins at the Multnomah Falls Lodge, about 50 feet above sea level, and ends at Sherrard Point, 4,000 feet higher. The seven-mile Trail is never real steep, thanks to the old trail builders who used plenty of dynamite to maintain a steady grade.

This is one of the classic hikes in the Columbia River Gorge, completed in 1915 as a showcase for the Scenic Columbia River Highway.

The first mile of the hike is on a paved path gaining 700 feet to the top of Multnomah Falls. The next four miles are a gem, always staying near Multnomah Creek in a deep canyon with multiple waterfalls.

At the five-mile mark the Trail left the Creek and began a climb up the western rim of the old volcano to Sherrard Point, the summit of Larch Mountain.

Upon reaching the top, about 30 crow-flying miles from home, the spectacular views extended seemingly forever.

After a short rest and a snack I headed back to the Multnomah Falls Lodge, feeling like I had enjoyed a pretty nice day in the woods.

620-foot Multnomah Falls above the Benson Footbridge

Cliff Penstemon

Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams from Sherrad Point

Bunny (maybe a Varying Hare)

Jester Hat (Orange Columbine)

Trail carved out of cliffs in the Multomah Creek Canyon

90-foot Weisendanger Falls

Margined White Butterfly

Devil’s Club

15-foot Little Mulnomah Falls

Pleasant section of upper trail

Unnamed waterfalls in the deep canyon

Cliff Penstemon

Upper tail crossing an immense talus slope





Categories: Columbia River Gorge HikesTags: , , , ,


  1. Such a breathtaking hike, John. Numerous waterfalls, views of Rainier, penstemon and columbine wildflowers, and that gorgeous mossy wall. I thoroughly enjoyed every photo, but when I came to that one of the clump of penstemon, I gasped. Boy, there’s nothing like the Columbia Gorge.

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