Herman Creek to Mud Lake
Central Gorge, Oregon
alert Trail Alert, Mar 27, 2020: Most trails in the Columbia Gorge are now closed to the public due to the social distancing measures enacted by local and state health officials in Oregon and Washington. Friends of the Columbia Gorge is urging all members of the to public to stay local and give Gorge trails a break. If you can get to a neighborhood recreation spot by walking or biking, even better. Check the U.S. Forest Service, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department or Washington State Parks websites for additional information and breaking updates.

Hike Details
Type:
Out and back
Distance:
17.8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:
3400 feet
Difficulty:
Expert
Trail Features
Family Friendly
Family Friendly:
No
Restrooms
Restrooms:
Yes miles round trip
Trailhead Pass
Trailhead Pass:
Trail Details
WildflowersWildflowers
Start your hike at the Herman Creek Trailhead. Head up the trail until you pass the Gordon Creek cutoff and the Nick Eaton Ridge cutoff trails, and then will slowly climb high above Herman Creek. After you enter the Hatfield Wilderness, you will start to pass by streams that have beautiful waterfalls. At about four miles, you will come to the Casey Creek cutoff trail and a nice camp area. There is a short, steep trail off to the right that leads down toward Herman Creek and through one of the largest stands of Old Growth forest in the Columbia River Gorge.
 
Shortly past this campsite, cross Casey Creek and continue your gentle climb toward Mud Lake. At about seven miles, the intersection of Trail #410 could provide an alternate route back. This trail climbs another 1500' and follows Nick Eaton Ridge back to the Gordon Creek cutoff trail that you encountered earlier on this hike. To continue on to Mud Lake, travel about another 2 miles. After a quick climb, you will see the Mud Lake sign nailed to a tree on your left. From here, it is a short downhill walk to the lake. The lake is in its prime in mid to late summer.
 
Please note: Depending on how far you hike from this trailhead, you may be entering the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness. Wilderness restrictions apply.

Driving Directions

Herman Creek Trailhead:  From the west, travel on I-84 to Exit #44/Cascade Locks. At the stop sign turn right/east and follow Wa-Na-Pa street through town. Continue under the freeway and turn left/east on Frontage Road (on the south side of the freeway) to the Herman Creek Campground sign. From the east, take Exit #44/Cascade Locks. Immediately turn left and travel under the freeway. Turn left/east onto Frontage Road (on the south side of the freeway) to the Herman Creek Campground sign. Follow the narrow, paved road that goes up to the campground (to the left) and trailhead (to the right). There is room to park at the trailhead, and along the road towards the campground, but don't block the campsites in the campground. Sometimes in the winter the gate is closed but you can park along Frontage Road. Hike up the 1/2 mile paved road to the trailhead.