Larch Mountain Trail, Multnomah Falls Trailhead, Portland - Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
Larch Mountain Trail - 13.6 miles
Multnomah Falls Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||13.6 miles (add .5 miles roundtrip to Sherrard Point)|
|Start-End Elevation:||78' - 4,056' (4,056' @ Sherrard Point viewing area)|
|Elevation Change:||+3,978' net elevation gain (+4,183' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Larch Mountain Trail - 13.6 Miles Round-Trip
The Larch Mountain Trail runs 6.8 miles from Multnomah Falls to Larch Mountain Trailhead, where a .25 mile path continues up to Sherrard Point (4,056') with views out to Mount St Helens, Mount Adams, Mount Rainier, Mount Jefferson and Mount Hood.
This challenging hike features several waterfalls, scenic bridges, kinetic creeks and diverse forests en route to some of the best views in the Columbia River Gorge.
Larch Mountain Trail (#441) begins at Multnomah Falls and runs steeply past Dutchman, Weisendanger and Ecola Falls to the Wahkeena Trail split.
It then moderates along Multnomah Creek through impressive old growth before steepening away in a montane forest to the Larch Mountain Parking Lot. A paved path leads from the lot to Sherrard Point for climactic views across the gorge:
The trail begins at Multnomah Falls Plaza with postcard-like views of the falls. A paved path climbs .2 miles to Benson Bridge, which spans the 542' and 69' tiers. Steep, paved switchbacks continue to a spur for Multnomah Overlook (1.1 miles : 760'), a short excursion to the falls' precipice.
The Larch Mountain Trail transitions to dirt and dips across a bridge to Dutchman Tunnel, a natural overhang carved from lava. It traces Multnomah Creek to Dutchman Falls, Weisendanger Falls and Ecola Falls with good looks at each.
Weisendanger is most accessible with a quick scramble down to the creek bed, then up to the base of the falls. You'll pass the top of Ecola before reaching the Wahkeena Trail split (1.7 miles : 1,174'). Veer left on the LMT to a long bridge over Multnomah Creek (1.9 miles : 1,190'). Signs recommend only person cross at a time.
Once over, travel moderates along the east bank with easy creek access and views of tributaries and falls on the far side. Notably large cedar and fir line this Jurassic-like corridor.
At 2.4 miles (1,525') you'll reach the High Water Trail split, an option that leads above potentially flooded sections and rejoins the main trail .1 mile ahead.
This is only necessary during peak rains and runoff; the main trail continues right along the water to a clearing and junction with Multnomah Basin Road (2.7 miles : 1,605'). Follow signs across for Larch Mountain Trail.
Here the trail narrows in heavier brush to the Franklin Ridge Trail split (3.0 miles) and a bridge over East Fork Multnomah Creek (3.1 miles : 1,760'). The bridge is fairly narrow and rudimentary compared to others; cross carefully when slick.
The trail continues up the east side of Multnomah Creek to a final (sturdier) bridge back to the west bank (3.6 miles : 2,135'). It steepens away to a long, open talus slide (3.75 miles : 2,260') and resumes steady climbing to the Multnomah Creek Way Trail split (4.8 miles : 2,910').
Grades moderate to a big campsite (5.19 miles : 3,218') just before reaching a junction at Service Road 315 (5.25 miles : 3,210'). Follow signs straight across for Larch Mountain.
Travel steepens once again through dense, uniform timber for another half mile before leveling off to an unmarked fork (6.55 miles : 3,875'). Take the right fork past picnic tables to the Larch Mountain Trailhead Parking Lot (6.8 miles : 3,890').
Follow signs (left) onto a paved path for Sherrard Point. The path runs quickly to a fenced-in outcrop on Sherrard Point (7.05 miles : 4,056'). Helpful signs point to Helens, Adams, Rainier, Jefferson and Hood. Mount Hood, only 22 miles away, is particularly striking from this point.
Interactive GPS Topo MapKey GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84
- N45 34.655 W122 07.022 — 0.0 miles : Multnomah Falls Trailhead
- N45 34.675 W122 06.860 — .35 miles : Gorge Trail split
- N45 34.604 W122 06.712 — 1.0 miles : Steep, paved switchbacks
- N45 34.566 W122 06.810 — 1.13 miles : Spur to falls overlook
- N45 34.474 W122 06.522 — 1.35 miles : Weisendanger Falls
- N45 34.428 W122 06.422 — 1.55 miles : Ecola Falls
- N45 34.294 W122 06.449 — 1.7 miles : Larch Mtn - Wahkeena Trail split
- N45 34.251 W122 06.280 — 1.9 miles : Cross long suspension bridge
- N45 34.068 W122 05.739 — 2.4 miles : High Water Trail split
- N45 34.116 W122 05.457 — 2.7 miles : Multnomah Basin Road junction
- N45 34.106 W122 05.156 — 3.0 miles : Franklin Ridge Trail split
- N45 34.060 W122 05.041 — 3.1 miles : East Fork Multnomah Creek Bridge
- N45 33.703 W122 04.758 — 3.6 miles : Cross last bridge, begin steeper climb
- N45 33.426 W122 04.835 — 4.0 miles : Steady climb past open talus
- N45 33.036 W122 04.725 — 4.5 miles : Steady climb in transitional forest
- N45 32.831 W122 04.911 — 4.8 miles : Multnomah Creek Way Trail split
- N45 32.715 W122 05.106 — 5.0 miles : Steady, moderate climbing
- N45 32.736 W122 05.364 — 5.25 miles : Cross over dirt road
- N45 32.441 W122 05.659 — 5.75 miles : Steep grades start to moderate
- N45 32.031 W122 05.689 — 6.25 miles : Fast, level travel in thick timber
- N45 31.864 W122 05.493 — 6.55 miles : Unmarked fork; go right
- N45 31.779 W122 05.322 — 6.75 miles : Larch Mountain Parking Lot
- N45 31.964 W122 05.263 — 7.05 miles : Sherrard Point (4,056')
- The one mile segment between the Wahkeena Trail split and Multnomah Basin Road junction features impressive old growth trees and lively cascades. Even if not tackling the entire trail, consider visiting this area.
- Ecola Falls is hard to fully appreciate from the main trail. Avoid potentially unstable edges when peering over to see the falls.
- Stay on designated trails and watch for poison oak.
Camping and Backpacking Information
Camping Rules and Regulations
- There is no fee to camp on this trail if beginning at the Multnomah Trailhead. A free permit must be completed and kept with you if camping within the Hatfield Wilderness.
- Group size is limited to 12 individuals or any combination of people and stock.
- Camp in established sites whenever possible. Sites are first come, first served. Some may be closed for restoration.
- Bury human waste 6-8" deep, at least 100' from any trail or water source.
- Campfires - Columbia River Gorge NSA: Campfires are permitted in the CRGNSA, with potential seasonal and area-specific restrictions. Up-to-date rules are posted at the trailhead and along the trail.
- Campfires - Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness: Campfires are permitted in the Hatfield Wilderness, with potential seasonal and area-specific restrictions. Up-to-date rules are posted at the trailhead and along the trail. Campfires are not permitted June 1 - September 15 (peak season) along the Eagle Creek Trail from the wilderness boundary to the Eagle-Tanner Trail. Fires are permitted from September 16 - May 31 unless otherwise posted.
Rules and Regulations
- No fee or recreation pass is required to access Multnomah Falls Trailhead.
- Dogs must be leashed at all times.
- It's illegal to disturb fish in Multnomah Creek.
Directions to Trailhead
Directions to Multnomah Falls Trailhead
From Portland (points west):
Travel east on I-84 to Exit #28 (Bridal Veil Falls). Park in the large island parking lot and walk under the interstate to the Multnomah Lodge, Visitor Center and Trailhead. Alternatively you may take Exit #28 and drive east on the Historic Highway to the Multnomah Plaza.
From Cascade Locks and Hood River (points east):
Travel west on I-84 to Exit #35 (Ainsworth State Park). Follow the Historic Highway 4 miles to the Multnomah Lodge, Visitor Center and Trailhead parking area.
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
902 Wasco Ave | Suite 200
Hood River, OR 97031
Hood River Ranger District
6780 Highway 35
Parkdale, OR 97041
Mt. Hood National Forest | Headquarters
16400 Champion Way
Sandy, OR 97055
Hours: Monday – Friday, 7:30a – 4:30p (closed 11:30 – 12:30)