Wildflowers cover Mosier Plateau in spring (photographer: Joe Urmos)
Trail Description Driving DirectionsThis trail begins in the town of Mosier, follows Mosier Creek through the community’s Pocket Park and then ends up on Mosier Plateau, which is owned by Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust. This trail is part of Gorge Towns to Trails project, a comprehensive trail system that wraps around the Columbia Gorge, linking communities with recreation. The trail was completed in the summer 2013 with numerous partners and volunteers. Enjoy!
Begin the hike close to the totem pole in Mosier, in the public parking area between Highway 30 and the railroad. The trailhead is actually 1000 yards east up the road, on the south side of Historic Highway 30, just over the historic bridge. You'll see a bench just after crossing the bridge and a trail. This is the beginning of the hike. You'll also see a sign for the pioneer cemetery here.
Follow the trail past the pioneer cemetery as you follow Mosier Creek on your right (to the west). Soon you'll come to a viewpoint overlooking Mosier Creek Falls and the canyon walls of Mosier Creek. Continue on the trail making your way to a series of switchbacks and four sets of stairs, arriving at the top of the plateau. Here you'll find yourself at the view point, soaking up the outstanding Gorge views and agriculture of the Mosier Valley. Continue down the trail to where it meets the gravel driveway and foundation of what used to be a garage. Just past the foundation on your left you will find a loop trail on the lower part of the plateau. Hike this lower loop and start heading back the way you came for your return trip back to your car.
NEW! Spring 2016 - Watch a 9-min segment from Garden Time TV about the wildflowers on this trail and Friends' Land Trust.
Read an article from the local newspaper about the making of this trail.
Watch a short video about the Mosier Plateau hike being the first completed trail segment for Gorge Towns to Trails.
- Best time to hike is March through May, with the peak of the wildflowers being mid-to-late April. (Over 30 different flower species have been counted!)
- Best time to swim in Mosier Creek (local swimming hole) is July and August, when the water is the warmest.
- Best time for solitude is a full moon evening hike or a hazy day hike at dusk in the late summer or early fall.
- Best time to observe bald eagles soaring at the edge of the plateau is in January at the lower bench on the lower loop just below the concrete foundation..
- Wildlife is abundant in winter and early spring (lots of deer and turkey have been observed).
Rules of the Trail
To ensure the best experience for you and other hikers please follow these rules:
- Start your hike at the Mosier City parking lot between Hwy 30 and the railroad below the Mosier Totem Pole.
- Stay on designated trails (There are sensitive plants, cliff edges, and private property very close to trails in some areas).
- No motorized vehicles, horses, or bicycles on trails. Steepness and trail construction is designed for pedestrians only plus motorized vehicles could precipitate fires in the summer.
- Smoking and fires are prohibited.
- Please keep you dog on leash to protect wildlife and the neighbors pets and to keep your dog safe from ticks and poison oak.
- No hunting (neighbors have requested this and Friends would like as much wildlife as possible on the land).
Stewardship Efforts have Included (and will continue to):
- Friends’ member Tom Wood installed three bluebird boxes. Five chicks hatched the first year they were installed. Bluebird population has declined due to habitat loss and the introduction of house sparrows and European starlings. Building birdboxes in an open wooded habitat is one way it help this situation.
- Removing teasel, skeleton weed and knapweed since 2007.
- Removing lower tree limbs to reduce fire risk.
- The neighbor who at one time owned the property stated that his relatives had a few cattle on the property 75 to 100 years ago.
- Since the late 1950's a "microwave station" has been at the top of the property. It is used for the city of Mosier to send signals to firepersons in the Mosier Valley for fire calls. There is also a cell tower lease that has been in place for about 15 years.
- In the early 1990's, there were two manufactured houses placed on the property. The owner lived in one and rented out the other one (two separate properties of 20 and 22 acres). In 2005, Nancy Russell, Friends' founder, bought the parcels with the manufactured homes and garages for $900,000, it was the height of the real estate market.
- In 2007, Nancy sold both manufactured homes to a low income housing provider in The Dalles.
- In December 2007, Friends Land Trust received the land from Nancy as a donation.
- In early 2008, Friends Land Trust bought an adjacent parcel of land, totaling 2.65 acres. This is the property at the edge of the bluff and in the urban area.
- Today, the Mosier Plateau includes 44 acres (3 different land parcels) to create approximately 3.5-mile (round-trip) out-and-back trail.
- Type: Out to a loop and back
- Distance: 3.5 miles round trip
- Elevation Gain: 600 feet
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Family Friendly: Yes
- Restrooms: Yes
- Trailhead Pass: No
Gorge Trailhead Passes Guide
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Begin the hike close to the totem pole in Mosier. The trailhead is actually 1000 yards east up the road, on the south side of Historic Highway 30, just over the historic bridge. You'll see a bench just after crossing the bridge and a trail. This is the beginning of the hike. You'll also see a sign for the pioneer cemetery here.
No motorized vehicles, horses, or bicycles on trails. Please keep your dogs on leash to avoid poison oak, ticks, and protect wildlife and avoid intrusion onto neighboring properties. Steepness and trail construction is designed for pedestrians only plus motorized vehicles could precipitate fires in the summer. + Read More