Cape Horn Journey

The promise of blue skies and gorgeous views. In early January I drove to the Cape Horn Trailhead in the western Columbia River Gorge.

Due to concerns about peregrine falcon’s nesting, the lower portion of the loop hike over Cape Horn is closed after January 31st every year for a few months. I decided to take advantage of the weather and do the loop hike before it closed. 

The first few times I hiked the 7 1/2-mile loop trail it was very rough and not well marked. Thanks to the Friends of the Columbia Gorge and volunteers, these days the Cape Horn trail is a gem.

The trail provides much variety and even features a walk in front of a misty waterfall.

Due to the closure of most of the Gorge trails on the Oregon side of the River (the result of the Eagle Creek fire last year), Cape Horn is experiencing much increased hiking pressure. I ran into many folks on the trail, and upon my return the parking area was full with cars parked along the road in all directions.

A train entering a tunnel through the cliffs far below my feet

One of three upper viewpoints along the trail

A hiker behind a waterfall on the lower portion of the loop

It’s a very rocky trail

Erosion of the cliffs above the Columbia River with Beacon Rock far in the distance

Cape Horn Bridge on Highway 30

Hikers enjoying a wispy waterfall

East-bound trail entering into a tunnel through the cliffs below the trail

Tunnel under Highway 30 for hikers

Viewpoint looking east into the Gorge

Moss and lichen grow on everything it seems





Categories: Columbia River Gorge HikesTags: , , ,


  1. Moss and lichen don’t make much of an appearance here in Vegas, ha. Great pictures!

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