Greenleaf Overlook
Central Gorge, Washington
Take the PCT to Greenleaf Overlook (photographer: Micheal Drewry)
Hike Details
Type:
Out and back
Distance:
8.8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:
800 feet
Difficulty:
Moderate
Trail Features
Family Friendly:
No
Restrooms:
Yes
Trailhead Pass:
Trail Details
Beautiful Views
This hike starts at the Bonneville Trailhead and then heads east until it connects to the Pacific Crest Trail (#2000). You will follow the trail north where you will come upon Gillette Lake. Once you pass the lake, you will cross many streams and pass another lake on your way to the Greenleaf Overlook. This is a good destination for spectacular views of the Columbia Gorge.
 
Hike by Bus! The Skamania County WET Bus stops at this trailhead. Plan your next trip using this service with our suggested hike itinerary. Learn more.
 
- Hike descriptions were collaboratively written with the generous support of oregonhikers.org.

Driving Directions

North Bonneville Trailhead:  From Oregon, take I-84 to Exit #44/Cascade Locks. Follow the signs to Bridge of the Gods/Stevenson and cross the bridge ($2 toll). Take a left and travel west on WA Hwy 14 for about a mile and a half. After you see Bonneville Dam on your left, start looking for the trailhead sign on your right. From Vancouver, travel east on WA Hwy 14 for 35 miles. After you pass Beacon Rock State Park and the town of North Bonneville, you'll see Bonneville Dam on your right. Just past the dam on the left side of the highway is the Bonneville Trailhead.

Community Connection

Lyle Cherry Orchard’s trailhead is located approximately one mile from the Gorge town of Lyle and is home to the “Lyle” sign that sits above the community. Since this preserve was opened to the public the Lyle Cherry Orchard has provided the community with an accessible natural space right in their back yard. The sunny and dry preserve is the perfect hiking spot to visit during the rainier fall days in the western gorge. Visitors from the Gorge and beyond recreate on Lyle Cherry Orchard and in turn support the local economy.

Photo: View of town of Lyle from Lyle Cherry Orchard (Debbie Asakawa)

Preserve Story

The property where Lyle Cherry Orchard Preserve lies currently was once grazing land for cattle and as the name suggests the eastern part of the preserve held a cherry orchard. The orchard and its trees were well abandoned by the time Nancy Russell purchased the property piece by piece in the 1990’s and later donated it to Friends in 2009. Nancy purchased the property when it came up for sale because it was within key viewing areas on the Oregon side of the Gorge and would have most likely become subdivided for development.

The land is also home to remnants of Lyle Convict Road, a demonstration road built by Sam Hill to convince Washington legislators to fund a Columbia River Highway. When Washington showed no interest in Sam’s project, he invited the entire Oregon legislature to his Maryhill estate to see his "Good Roads" work and Oregon quickly agreed to build on their side of the river what is today the Historic Columbia River Highway.

The trail at Lyle Cherry Orchard was started in when Friends' founder Nancy Russell purchased the property and has been open to the public and maintained Friends and its land trust ever since. In 2019, Washington Trails Association started work to reroute some parts of the trail and add new trail to explore for the benefit of Gorge residents.

In 2013, the land trust and volunteers removed a dilapidated house and outbuildings on the southwestern end of the property. Countless hours were spent removing building materials, old vehicles, garbage, and debris. In 2015 volunteers removed over 1,700 feet of fencing material on the property to allow for the free movement of wildlife across the landscape. Without the help of Friends volunteers and Gorge community members, projects like this would not be possible.

Photos: Before and after cleanup at Lyle Cherry Orchard (Friends' archive)