Angel’s Rest is a moderately strenuous 4.8 mile roundtrip hike, that starts near the entrance to the Columbia River Gorge AND brings hikers up almost 1500 vertical feet as they pass charred trees, on their way up to an excellent view of the Gorge, while standing on top of the eroded million year old lava flow that create this plateau.
The hike begins up a short, but steep slope at the Angel’s Rest Trailhead where you’ll immediately find yourself walking amongst Broadleaf Maple Trees (quick hint – they’ve got leaves like these).
Keep steady on your way up as the trail can be uneven with brief but mild periods of exposure from here on out.
About Half a mile in you’ll pass short side trails that lead you to see Coopey Falls – continue on til you pass Coopey Creek – and this marks the last flowing ground water you’ll see on the trip.
From here the path gets steeper.
The slog forward sidehills up the valley and forth until the trail starts to open up. Where it’ll be easier to see out into the gorge and to see all of the damage done from the two fires, both the 2017 Eagle Creek where 50,000 acres of forrest were affected – and the much smaller 1991 fire that burned less than 2,000 acres over 6 days.
Brief history lesson aside – watch your step over roots as you make your way up to, and past, these tabletop rocks.
This is how you know you’re basically there. Enjoy playing around on top of the Basalt plateau and take in the great views, on days when there aren’t clouds, before hiking down. p.s. this is a great trip for trail runners. Big thanks to Jordan Cummings for being in the video!