Hiking Beacon Rock

Quick Guide:

  • Length: 1.8 miles/2.9 kilometers roundtrip
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Elevation gain: 578 feet/176 meters
  • Parking: At trailhead (See map at bottom of post)
  • Other Resources: Oregon Hikers Guide and Beacon Rock State Park

While traveling around Portland, Oregon with friends we decided to hike up Beacon Rock. Beacon Rock is a distinct landmark in the Columbia River Gorge. The rock is comprised of volcanic basalt and was once the core of a volcano. It was one of the few landmarks that were not swept away during the ice-age flooding in the Gorge.

The trail provides wonderful views of the Columbia River and surrounding mountains. Once you reach the summit, catch your breath and enjoy the shade! From the top of Beacon Rock other famous sites can be seen such as Hamilton Mountain.

Some other information regarding the hike: The trail is considered to be moderate difficulty due to the switchbacks leading to the summit. Most of the trail is lined with railing with the exception of a few spots. It can be a little crowded, especially at the top, during weekends and busy part of the year. The trail closes at sunset. In all, it took us a little over an hour to complete the entire hike. Parking can be found at the trail head along Highway 14, or the Evergreen Highway. Check out the map below for a visual!

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