Wauna Point
Central Gorge, Oregon
On the Wauna Point trail (Debbie Asakawa)
Hike Details
Type:
Out and back
Distance:
9.4 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:
3380 feet
Difficulty:
Strenuous
Trail Features
Family Friendly:
No
Restrooms:
Yes
Trailhead Pass:
No
Trail Details
WaterfallWaterfallBeautiful Views
Head east on the paved bicycle road from Tooth Rock Trailhead, and past the electrical substation for a quarter mile. Watch for a damaged sign and a trail heading uphill to the right. After another quarter mile, watch for another trail going off to the right, more steeply uphill. A sign states that it leads to Trail #400. This trail quickly turns into a dirt road. Turn right, going uphill. In a couple hundred yards, take Road #777, cutting left. There is no sign here. Follow this for over a mile to the old Tanner Butte Trailhead. You will see a few signs here for Tanner Butte and Wauna Point.

- Hike descriptions were collaboratively written with the generous support of oregonhikers.org.

Driving Directions

Toothrock Trailhead:  From I-84, take Exit #40/Bonneville Dam. Turn south at the stop sign and drive about 100 feet. Turn left at the fork (right takes you to Wahclella Falls trailhead). Follow the short road uphill to the end where you'll see the trailhead parking lot.

Community Connection

Lyle Cherry Orchard’s trailhead is located approximately one mile from the Gorge town of Lyle and is home to the “Lyle” sign that sits above the community. Since this preserve was opened to the public the Lyle Cherry Orchard has provided the community with an accessible natural space right in their back yard. The sunny and dry preserve is the perfect hiking spot to visit during the rainier fall days in the western gorge. Visitors from the Gorge and beyond recreate on Lyle Cherry Orchard and in turn support the local economy.

Photo: View of town of Lyle from Lyle Cherry Orchard (Debbie Asakawa)

Preserve Story

The property where Lyle Cherry Orchard Preserve lies currently was once grazing land for cattle and as the name suggests the eastern part of the preserve held a cherry orchard. The orchard and its trees were well abandoned by the time Nancy Russell purchased the property piece by piece in the 1990’s and later donated it to Friends in 2009. Nancy purchased the property when it came up for sale because it was within key viewing areas on the Oregon side of the Gorge and would have most likely become subdivided for development.

The land is also home to remnants of Lyle Convict Road, a demonstration road built by Sam Hill to convince Washington legislators to fund a Columbia River Highway. When Washington showed no interest in Sam’s project, he invited the entire Oregon legislature to his Maryhill estate to see his "Good Roads" work and Oregon quickly agreed to build on their side of the river what is today the Historic Columbia River Highway.

The trail at Lyle Cherry Orchard was started in when Friends' founder Nancy Russell purchased the property and has been open to the public and maintained Friends and its land trust ever since. In 2019, Washington Trails Association started work to reroute some parts of the trail and add new trail to explore for the benefit of Gorge residents.

In 2013, the land trust and volunteers removed a dilapidated house and outbuildings on the southwestern end of the property. Countless hours were spent removing building materials, old vehicles, garbage, and debris. In 2015 volunteers removed over 1,700 feet of fencing material on the property to allow for the free movement of wildlife across the landscape. Without the help of Friends volunteers and Gorge community members, projects like this would not be possible.

Photos: Before and after cleanup at Lyle Cherry Orchard (Friends' archive)