Exploring Larch Mountain

Saturday, July 9, 2022

9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Hike Difficulty level: Strenuous: 8 miles | 1,500-ft elev. gain

Before you register, please:

  • Read our updated digital Liability Waiver here. You will be asked to check a box acknowledging you read waiver during registration.
  • Read our COVID-19 Event FAQ here. Friends now requires participants to be vaccinated in order to attend outings. After you register, you will be asked to present proof of vaccination.
  • Complete the CDC's Coronavirus Self-Checker 48 hours before the outing.

Outing Description

Exploring Larch Mountain – Larch Mountain Crater and the Headwaters of Multnomah & Oneonta Creeks

Follow hike leaders Christoph Stauder and Jay Nutt downhill on Larch Mountain Crater’s western rim with its dense high-elevation forest of silver fir, grand fir, Douglas fir, and western hemlock to the crater’s quiet marsh. Then explore the less-traveled route to East Multnomah Creek and Oneonta Creek before returning to the summit’s parking lot via the more popular Oneonta Creek trail adjacent to the Bull Run Watershed, the source of Portland’s drinking water. Afterwards, reward yourself with the superb view of Mount Hood and the entire Columbia Gorge from Mount Defiance to Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge from Sherrard Point.

*Strenuous hikes will challenge most hikers. The hike will generally be longer and steeper, but may be deemed "Strenuous" because of the elevation gain. Generally 7 to 10 miles.

Trained volunteers lead Friends outings

  • Hike Leader(s): Christoph Stauder, and Jay Nutt
  • Hike Shepherd: Ralph Rogers

What you can expect on this guided outing: This is a very strenuous and challenging hike, you should only attempt this hike if you are conditioned for very strenuous hikes. Be aware, you will have to cross talus (large rock) fields throughout the trail which can test your balance, hiking poles are recommended. This hike can be a steep, rocky descent on tired legs.

Hazards: Talus, downed trees. Portions of this trail are on rocky talus, semi-rugged, and steep in sections. View the recommended 10+ Essentials List to help you pack.

What to Bring:

  • Lunch, snacks, and plenty of water (1 liter for every two hours);
  • 10+ Essentials in backpack;
  • Hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen;
  • Hiking poles (if you have them, they will be very helpful when navigating the rocky area.);
  • A photo/copy of your vaccination card if proof not sent via email.

What to Wear:

  • Sturdy, closed-toe shoes, sneakers, or boots.
  • Long durable pants to protect from poison oak.
  • Dress for weather: extra layers of clothing for protection against wet or cold weather. Be ready to shed layers in hot temperatures.


  • 9:00 a.m. - Meet at the trailhead
  • 4:00 p.m. - Outing concludes back at the trailhead

Fee: A valid Northwest Forest Recreation Pass is required at Larch Mountain trailhead. You can purchase a Day use or Annual pass, for more information click here.

Restrooms: Nearest restroom located at Larch Mountain Trailhead.

Managed By: U.S. Forest Service.

Directions: For directions, visit this page.

What to expect at a Friends guided outing: Expect a supportive and welcoming space where experienced hike leaders and shepherds guide you throughout Gorge outdoor spaces. Friends outings provide the opportunity to explore the Columbia Gorge, build community, and learn how Friends is the only conservation organization entirely dedicated to protecting, preserving, and stewarding the Gorge.

A confirmation email with outing details will be sent out 3-5 days before the event.

Questions? Please contact Melissa Gonzalez at hikes@gorgefriends.org or 971-634-1265.

Photo: Stan Robinson