Updated: Dec 10, 2021
Now, I will preface this and say -this is a very hard hike, not hard as in climbing over rocks and such, (if you read my piece on Abiqua Falls, this is much different) but it is a 4,000 elevation gain in 4 miles. So be prepared to sweat and work! And...the way down is just as hard - *activate quads!*
Dog Mountain is located in the George (yes, it was VERY deserving of it's name) on the Washington State side, meaning if you are coming in from Oregon be prepared to pay a small fee when crossing the bridge.
Now the drive to Dog Mountain reminds me of movies when all the windows are down and there's some corny country song basting from the stereo- needless to say the drive along the George is - Gorgeous!!!
Now, a few tips: The Spring time gets very busy because Dog Mountain is known for its remarkable wild flowers. A permit is required for each person hiking Dog Mountain. There are two ways to obtain permits. There will be 100 permits available per day through recreation.gov, for $1. Note that parking is limited at the trailhead and a hiking permit does not ensure a parking spot.
The hike begins with a heart-thumping one-half mile climb through a wooded area to a junction. Turn right and continue your uphill trek. At this point I was already questioning why I wanted to do this hike. Soon you will be treated to glimpses of the Columbia River through the foliage, shedding so light to my "why". One mile past the junction, the trail comes to a viewpoint where you get a panoramic view of the Columbia River. This makes a good picnic spot and turnaround point for a shorter hike, but I challenge you to keep going! The push is worth it!
Getting to the top is a cause for celebration! The Gorge is known to get pretty breezy, so be prepared to have some strong gusts while you sit and enjoy your lunch, snack, and in my case, rosé! Just not too much, remember you have a very steep hike back to the car.
For sure one of the most rewarding hikes I've done!
Be safe and Happy Dreaming!