Beacon Rock

1.6 miles RT; 800 ft gain
Andrew and Myself
Beacon Rock Hiking Photos
NW Hiker Trail Info

Beacon Rock is a large 800 some odd foot basaltic landmark that sits in the western edge of the Columbia River Gorge. Back in the day Beacon Rock was used as a landmark for river travelers and explorers when navigating the area. Not only was it an easy way for people to find their barrings, but it marked the end of the intense rapids just East on the Columbia River. Even today I still use Beacon Rock and other noticeable landmarks to navigate the area.

Beacon Rock is both hike-able and climb-able. It is hike-able most of the year until of course the Columbia River Gorge gets hit by the “Artic Blast” with snow and ice. It is climb – able for a large portion of the year, but it reserves February 1 to about mid July for just the beautiful Falcon birds to safely nest alone without the annoyances of rock climbers getting in their way. The Southeast face is the most popular and fun places to climb. There is many different routes you can take, which ultimately lead to the hiking summit. I always enjoy it when we climbed up and over the gated hiking summit to a bunch of astonished and confused hikers – “where’d they come from!” Here are a few rock climbing pictures – Beacon Rock Southeast Face Climbing.

[Beacon Rock looking East from top of Rock of Ages]

[Beacon Rock in the distance. Picture taken from Wauna Viewpoint on the Oregon side]

Beacon Rock is a great little ‘walk in the park’ hike. It is not the hike you would want to be doing on a summer day unless you don’t mind the crowds. It can definitely get crowded along the trail that is literally built onto the side of the rock. It is located directly off of Highway 14 – easily accessible to all. For me, every time I’ve hiked up its been spur of the moment sort of deal – I’d be in the area and notice that the parking lot is near empty and the weather is decent and decide to head up the trail for a quick sweet view of the Columbia River Gorge. If you plan on doing some rock climbing here you’d better get an early start. It is a popular area for climbing due to the ease of climbing, accessibility, and close to the city.

Atop Beacon Rock it is pretty exposed to the elements and can be extremely windy. I enjoy the views of the Bonneville Damn, Oregon Waterfalls, and the Columbia River. Check out below a little video of what its like atop Beacon Rock…

Beacon Rock Hiking Pictures

Beacon Rock Climbing Pictures

Beacon Rock Trail Information


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