Increased visitation puts increased pressure on the Gorge’s limited resources. If you’re planning a trip to our region, please help keep our communities safe by following CDC and local health guidelines and respecting the requests of individual businesses. Please plan before you go and always have a Plan B in case your destination is too crowded or closed. When recreating on trails, maintain at least 6 feet of distance from other hikers and bikers.
Creating a World-Class Trekking Network Encircling the Gorge
Learn more about the initiative to create a 200-mile loop trail network in the Gorge.
On the Trail
This difficult, 12.5-mile, out-and-back hike gains 4,400 feet of elevation. Because it shares its trailhead with the popular Dog Mountain hike, avoid crowds by going early or late, March to October.
Permits & Pets
To address the growing popularity of the Dog Mountain Trail (which shares this trailhead), a permit system was launched in 2018 for Dog Mountain’s peak balsamroot bloom season, approximately April to June. On weekends during this window, hikers must obtain a permit one of two ways:
- Option 1: Obtain a hiker permit by riding the shuttle. For $2 round trip, ride Skamania County’s shuttle from Skamania County Fairgrounds and receive a hiker permit. Learn more.
- Option 2: Purchase a hiker permit online before you go.
The site is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Forest Service employees will check hikers for permits at the trailhead. One ticket is required for each hiker. Carry a printed or electronic version of the permit with you. Purchasing the permit does not guarantee parking at the trailhead. Hiking permits are not required on weekdays.
In addition to the hiking permit during the peak season, a Northwest Forest Pass is required every day, year-round, to park at the trailhead. Day passes can be purchased at the trailhead with $5 cash or online.
We recommend always keeping your dog leashed to protect the sensitive landscape and respect other hikers.
- At the trailhead, the Dog Mountain Trail is on the right. On the left, start your hike with the Augspurger Trail (Trail 4407). After climbing 2.8 miles, come to a junction, with the Dog Mountain Trail on the right. Keep left on Trail 4407 and descend into a small valley before joining an old road. Keep straight and follow the road until a bend in the trail, which takes you into the forest. Follow the trail as it curves west and up the side of a ridge, then turns back to the right and into an open area. The trail becomes steeper and wanders in and out of the forest until it reaches the highest ridge, which is the forested summit of Augspurger Mountain, at 3,667 feet.
- To reach a great viewpoint, continue on the trail as it descends steeply for 0.1 mile and pops out of the trees onto a long open ridge covered with wildflowers in late spring. There are excellent views to the north of Mount Saint Helens, Mount Rainier, and Mount Adams, as well as Silver Star Mountain to the west. Stop here or continue down to the end of the ridge, which adds approximately 1 mile round trip, with about 300 feet of elevation loss and regain. This part of the trail is especially overgrown in summer.
- Please always stay on the trail and clean your boots before and after you hike. Hikers and their dogs are common vectors for spreading invasive seeds.
- Restrooms are at the trailhead.
After this long hike, a cold beer and sandwich aren’t far away. Drive 6.4 miles west on SR 14; turn right on Wind River Highway and drive 1 mile to Carson’s only brewpub, Backwoods Brewing Company, where on fine days you can watch the cows while you enjoy your meal.
From the intersection of SR 14 and Wind River Highway, drive 6.3 miles east on SR 14 to the large Dog Mountain parking lot and trailhead on the north side of the highway (at milepost 53). When the parking lot is full, do not park along SR 14. Tickets can be issued and towing can happen for improper parking along SR 14.
A seasonal shuttle operates from Skamania County Fairgrounds in Stevenson, Washington, to the extremely popular Dog Mountain trailhead on weekends. View schedule and fare information.