The Angel’s Rest hike is a short trek that leads to an incredible view of the Columbia River Gorge. You'll hike through many different landscapes on your way up, from lush green forest, to charred remains of trees near the summit (the result of a 1991 forest fire). About a half mile from the summit, you'll hike through rockfall to get to the huge rock formation that gives the trail its name and provides a place to sit, relax, and take in the amazing views. And given it's proximity to Portland, the trail can get crowded at times, so make sure to get there early to beat the crowds especially on the weekend.
What Makes It Great
Once the hiker reaches the end of the trail, a short walk to the left leads him to a bench that is a perfect break spot before the decent back to the parking lot. Though it can get a little windy up there, it is a perfect lunch spot, with plenty of room for a couple of friends. There is room to spend some time up here, as it is a rocky bluff, which allows for lots of seating even if the bench is taken. The seemingly endless and unique beauty of the Columbia River Gorge that can be viewed from this area is unmatched by any spot that close to Portland.
The Angel’s Rest Trail is very close to Portland and there are such stunning views of the Columbia River Gorge at the end, which makes this a perfect trek for a short day trip. It is one of the most expansive views of the gorge and is only 2.5 miles to the peak. Not only that, but if you want to get some views in of beautiful waterfalls, just continue down the Historic Highway about 2.5 miles to get to Wahkeena Falls and the famous Multnomah Falls is just half a mile after that. To get to the waterfalls, continue straight on the Historic Highway instead of taking a right to get to the Angel’s Rest Trailhead.
More experienced hikers or anyone looking for a longer hike have the option of hiking to Devil’s Rest by heading up the trail that leads away from the river. Keep right at the junction after about .2 miles. The peak there is covered in trees, but the walk through the forest is absolutely charming.
Who is Going to Love It
It's a moderately challenging hike, with a 1,450-foot elevation gain. This trail is possible for any level of hiker because of its brevity, but the hiker should be warned of incline. Less experienced hikers will feel the challenge of this hike and will be well rewarded at the end by that amazing view. For more experienced hikers, this is a quick jaunt up for a short day trip with an incredible pay off at the end.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Getting to the Angel’s Rest Trailhead is very simple. Just drive east on I-84 from Portland and take exit 28 for Bridal Veil. The trailhead is on your right when you reach an intersection with an interstate access road, only 0.2 miles after you exit the highway. Park at the trailhead and you will see the trail sign that signifies the start of the trail just across the road.