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
Permits & Pets
This trail is within Beacon Rock State Park. A Discover Pass is required at this Washington State Park. Dogs must be on leash.
- The Hamilton Mountain Trail begins at the north end of the parking area. On the trail, walk 0.4 mile to a junction on the left. This trail, the Hadley Trail, leads to a park campground and Little Beacon Rock. A bench here invites you to sit and enjoy views of Hamilton Mountain and Bonneville Dam. For now, keep straight on the main trail and come to a side trail leading downhill to a viewpoint of Hardy Falls, a 90-foot horsetail that plunges into a pool. The viewpoint looks down on the falls, from the side.
- Continue on the main trail to two-tiered Rodney Falls. It first drops 35 feet to a pool called the Pool of the Winds, and then drops another 45 feet. Switchback down to a bridge over Hardy Creek, at the base of Rodney Falls. From here, retrace the route back to the start for a 1-mile hike to Little Beacon Rock before the return to the car.
- 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.
On the return, turn right on the Hadley Trail. In 0.3 mile, turn left onto the Little Beacon Rock Trail. Look and listen for the squeaks of pikas, also called rock rabbits. Usually found at higher elevations, the Gorge’s deep talus slopes provide the cool daytime refuge this little creature requires. This beautiful Little Beacon Rock Trail was built by Civilian Conservation Corps crews in the 1930s and rebuilt by volunteers in 2002. It leads in 0.2 mile to Little Beacon Rock, a volcanic outcrop in a talus field. Scrambling around and atop the rock leads to great views of the river and Beacon Rock itself.
Retrace your steps to the Hadley Trail. Turn left and walk out to the park’s seasonal campground. Walk its circle, then return downhill on the park road to the Hamilton Mountain trailhead. Please use caution, as cars travel on this road.
Bring a picnic, and after the hike, drive a short way uphill on the park road beyond the trailhead; on the left, a road leads to a beautiful, large Works Progress Administration-era picnic shelter overlooking Beacon Rock. Afterward, explore other trails in Beacon Rock State Park; the 1-mile trail through the pasture-turned-meadows of Doetsch Ranch makes a nice counterpoint to this upland hike.
Other Hikes at or Near This Trailhead
- Beacon Rock
- Doetsch Ranch Loop
- Hamilton Mountain
- Hardy Ridge
Directions & Travel Tips
From SR 14 near milepost 35, come to Beacon Rock State Park. Turn north on the paved park road, signed for the campground (east of Kueffler Road). In 0.3 mile, turn right into the parking lot for the Hamilton Mountain trailhead.
A seasonal weekend shuttle stops at this trailhead. View schedule and fare information.