View from Mitchell Point (photographer: Greg Lief)
Trail Description Driving DirectionsThis short hike to Mitchell Point covers a lot of scenery in just 2.6 miles. The trail is often steep—nearly 1300 feet elevation gain—and rugged, so you'll feel like you've made a longer trek. The rewards make the trip well worth the effort—lots of views, wildflowers and interesting terrain throughout the hike. Note that the 0.3 mile side trip to Mitchell Spur is included in the mileage and elevation totals for this hike.
Like most eastern Gorge trails, this route has several patches of poison oak that you'll need to watch for, and you should check for ticks when you get home. Long pants are essential for this trip.
The trip begins at the Mitchell Point Trailhead. Take a paved path heading into the trees uphill until it begins to follow an old road, then quickly veer to the right onto the main trail. The route curves gently but briefly through forest before beginning the steep climb. You'll notice a prominent trail heading straight from the last switchback before you reach the open talus slopes of Mitchell Point—this will be your side-trip to Mitchell Spur on your return. The main trail continues past several switchbacks traversing open talus slopes before curving back into forest and another switchback, then to a brushy powerline corridor. From here, the trail climbs under the powerlines for a short distance, leaving the corridor at the crest of a saddle and heading directly up the south ridge of Mitchell Point. Hiking poles will be especially helpful along this final stretch where loose scrabble can make the steep path slick. Wildflowers bloom here in spring and summer, including grass widows in late March and early April.
Soon, pass dramatic cliffs and ever-expanding views as you reach the rocky plug that forms the summit of Mitchell Point. This is a good spot to stop and enjoy the view—the cliffs beyond are dangerous should not be explored. After taking in the view, carefully descend the summit ridge and retrace your path to the side path just beyond the talus slopes. This trail is easy to follow as it descends to a low saddle below Mitchell Spur. From here, the path gets faint, but the route is obvious—just make your way to the open summit straight ahead, which is dotted with wildflowers in spring and summer. From the top of Mitchell Spur, you will have more views, including the imposing pinnacle of Mitchell Point, towering above you. To complete the hike, follow the side path back to the main trail, and follow it back to the parking area.
- Hike descriptions were collaboratively written with the generous support of oregonhikers.org. + Read More
- Type: Out and back
- Distance: 2.6 miles round trip
- Elevation Gain: 1270 feet
- Difficulty: Strenuous
- Family Friendly: No
- Restrooms: Yes
- Trailhead Pass: No
Gorge Trailhead Passes Guide
Preserve the Wonder Hike Challenge
This spring’s hike challenge highlights the many wonders of the Gorge.