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.
This trail was impacted by the 2017 Eagle Creek fire. We encourage hikers to be extra alert when hiking in burned areas in the Gorge. Falling trees, landslides, and debris flows are more likely in the burned areas because of unstable soil due to less vegetation to hold it in place.
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
The Herman Creek trailhead is one of the best starting points in the Gorge, because it’s less crowded than other trailheads, with many out-and-back and loop options. This pretty, out-and-back hike follows Herman Creek 4 miles to a crossing of Casey Creek, one of its tributaries, with an optional exploration of an old-growth grove. The 8-mile hike gains 2,000 feet of elevation (1,716 feet outbound, and 374 feet on the return).
Permits & Pets
This site is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. A Northwest Forest Pass is required and can be purchased here. Dogs must be on leash. Parts of the trail are within the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness. Wilderness restrictions apply.
- From the Herman Creek trailhead, begin hiking the Herman Creek Trail (Trail 406). At 0.6 mile, keep left on Trail 406 where the Herman Creek Bridge Trail (Trail 406E) forks off to the right. The Herman Creek Trail turns into a shaded, mostly smooth logging road; keep to the main trail, ignoring side trails or overgrown logging roads. Herman Creek can be heard far below.
- In 1.3 miles, where Gorge Trail 400 and Gorton Creek Trail (Trail 408) come in on the left, stay on Trail 406. In another 0.1 mile, the Nick Eaton Trail (Trail 447) comes in on the left. Again, stay right on Trail 406, and pass several waterfalls.
- At 3.8 miles from the trailhead, the Casey Creek Trail (Trail 476) comes in on the left. At a campsite here is a short, steep trail to the right that leads down toward Herman Creek and through one of the largest stands of old-growth forest in the Gorge. Stay on Trail 406 another 0.2 mile to the crossing of Casey Creek.
- Retrace the route to the start.
- 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.
Find brewpubs and restaurants by retracing the drive from the trailhead into Cascade Locks. Ice cream, beer, pizza, salmon chowder, and other hearty fare await along WaNaPa Street. On the riverfront is a brewpub and cafe at the Port of Cascade Locks Visitor Center at Marine Park.
Other Hikes from This Trailhead
Eastbound I-84: Take exit 44/Cascade Locks, and head straight (east) on WaNaPa Street through town for 1.4 miles, cross under I-84, and turn left on Frontage Road. Drive 1.7 miles and turn right on Herman Creek Road.
Westbound I-84: Take exit 44/Cascade Locks, and immediately turn left, passing under I-84. Turn left on Frontage Road and drive 1.7 miles to Herman Creek Road. Turn right.
In winter, the gate may be closed. If so, park along Frontage Road and walk the paved road 0.4 mile to the trailhead. If the road is open, follow it to the Herman Creek trailhead, on the right. Park here or along the road by the campground. Restrooms are at the trailhead.