Rowena Plateau Loop
Eastern Gorge, Oregon
Blooming balsamroot at Tom McCall Preserve looking north toward Rowena Plateau (photographer: Greg Lief)
Hike Details
Type:
Loop
Distance:
2.5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:
250 feet
Difficulty:
Easy
Trail Features
Family Friendly:
Yes
Restrooms:
No
Trailhead Pass:
No
Trail Details
WildflowersBeautiful ViewsIce Age FloodsIce Age Floods
This easy stroll over a plateau in the eastern gorge is a great hike to view the geological reminders of the ice age floods which created the Gorge. Views up and down the Gorge show the rolling hills and valleys across the river, but also the depressions, now "kolk" lakes, created by the floods. In late spring, the balsamroot and other wildflowers are abundant and help to create a palette of warm tones for photographers and hikers.
 
You can't talk about the Rowena Plateau without talking about the Tom McCall Nature Preserve. The Nature Conservancy has worked to preserve the fauna and flora here. Ecologists work to monitor rare plant populations. Starting in spring, volunteers lead interpretive hikes.
 
There are no restrooms here. The closest option is at Mayer State Park.
 
A more strenuous hike to the McCall Point also leaves from this trailhead/nature preserve.
 
Please note: No dogs are allowed since this is a nature preserve managed by The Nature Conservancy.

Driving Directions

Rowena Plateau:  From I-84, take Exit #69/Mosier. Follow the Historic Columbia River Highway into Mosier. Continue east on the highway for almost 7 miles. Look for a turnoff on your right with a big sign reading "Rowena Crest."