Friends of the Columbia Gorge Hike Program Information & Guidelines

Friends of the Columbia Gorge Hike Program Information & Guidelines
A Friends guided hike group walks the Little Baldy trail, summer 2016. (photographer: Chris Holguin)

Registration Information

  • Online registration is required to sign up for outings. 
  • Upon successful registration, a confirmation email with more details is automatically sent. If you do not receive one, contact
  • Due to the popularity of our hikes and as a courtesy to others, we urge you to only sign up if you are sure you will attend.
  • All outings are open to the public, except when noted as “members only.”
  • Children are welcome with parent/guardian supervision. Please choose hikes appropriate for child’s age and ability.
  • Please note difficulty levels when choosing hikes:
    • Easy: Up to 3 miles | up to 700 ft. elevation gain
    • Moderate: Up to 5 miles | up to 1,500 ft. elevation gain
    • Strenuous: Up to 10 miles | up to 2,500 ft. elevation gain
    • Expert: Over 10 miles, steep trail, | over 2,500 ft. elevation gain

Carpooling Information

  • Carpool details are sent out in the reminder email five days prior to the outing date. We'll ask for you to indicate where you'll meet the group (carpool location, or trailhead).
  • Carpools generally leave between 8 & 9 am from Gateway/NE 99th Ave TC Park & Ride (NE Portland)
  • Suggested carpool donation is $7-$12 per rider.
    • Western Gorge (Portland to Cascade Locks): $7
    • Mid-Gorge (Cascade Locks to Mosier): $10
    • Eastern Gorge (Mosier to Deschutes River): $12  

General Information 

  • The hikes offered for our Hike Program are all approved in advance from the governing agencies (U.S. Forest Service, WA & OR State Parks, U.S Fish & Wildlife, Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust) and are only on official trails in and around the Columbia Gorge.
  • Friends practices Leave No Trace principles; we'll stay on trail to minimize impact on the landscapes and to sensitive habitats.
  • All participants must sign in at the start of each outing. You will be signing off on the following liability terms:
    • You agree to release Friends of the Columbia Gorge and Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust and all its employees, volunteers and other agents from any and all liability for injuries that may be sustained during this hike or traveling to and from this outing.
    • You agree to assume full responsibility for your own safety and the safety of others in your group.
    • You agree that your hike leaders may decline your participation if you are deemed incapable of completing the outing or if you're not property equipped.
    • You agree you are responsible for your own medical and evacuation expenses, whether or not you are able to authorie them, in the case of any accident or incapacity.
    • You agree you do not bring intoxicants or firearms (or pets with exception of dog-friendly outings) on any outing.
    • You acknowledge your vehicle is insured and you have a valid driver's license, if you are providing a ride for others.
    • You agree and understand that Friends may use any photographs taken of you for any lawful purpose like publicity, advertising or web content.


  • Contact or call 971-634-1265 to cancel from an outing. 
  • No refunds are given for fee-based outings.
  • We rarely cancel our outings due to weather. However, we would do so if the weather is threatening (ex: thunder & lightning or snow) or if the trail is deemed unsafe.

What to Bring

  • At a minimum you will need to bring a daypack with a lunch, snacks, water, first aid items, insect and tick repellent, sunscreen, Tecnu (poison oak wash), and extra layers for warmth or rain.
  • We recommend having the complete 10+ Essentials with you on all Friends hikes and on your own.
  • Hiking poles are recommended on many Gorge trails.
  • Recommended field guide: Wildflowers of the Columbia Gorge by Russ Jolley.

What to Wear: Layers!

  • Synthetic or wool fibers are best for hiking and other recreation activities. Do not wear cotton or jeans.
  • Long sleeves and long pants are best, with sturdy hiking shoes or boots.
  • It’s always good to have a rain jacket. It’s the Pacific Northwest; it can always rain!
  • Layers!  A typical hike is:
    • Cold in early morning at the trailhead (fleece, jacket, gloves, etc.)
    • Then climbing uphill and heating up.  Stop to shed a layer or two.
    • Stop for lunch, usually at the turn-around point. Sweaty; get cold; put a layer back on!
    • Then downhill.  Also later in the day.  So you might want a light layer to be comfortable.
    • And remember!  It can rain or turn cold (or hot) any time.  The weather is unpredictable and can change suddenly.  Be prepared for anything.

Tick Prevention

Ticks are most active in the spring, particularly in the eastern Gorge. We recommend wearing tan colored clothing so it’s easier to see the ticks on your clothing. Also by tucking your pants into your socks keeps the ticks from getting under your clothes. Use natural or chemical tick repellant as desired.

Contact Information