To Reach (From
Take I-84 eastbound,
26 miles to exit 28 (Bridal Veil), and park at the junction with the
old Columbia River Highway.
This is one
of the most popular hiking trails in the Columbia River Gorge, and for
good reason. The views atop Angel's Rest are spectacular, and
it's only 2.2 miles to get there! There are good spots at
the top for lunch, and for viewing the sunset, if you're so inclined.
The trail heads
immediately uphill, through fern-laden slopes, gaining most of it's
elevation right away. After a half-mile, you'll pass 100-foot
Coopey Falls, and then climb pas an upper, 30-foot falls, and cross
Coopey Creek on a small footbridge. Beyond Coopey Creek, the trail
continues to launch upward, switchbacking and traversing a rockslide.
Turn left when you reach a crest, and head out to the lookout, where
you can enjoy lunch overlooking the Columbia River Gorge.
The views from
here are spectacular, and the rocky ridge provides a feeling of isolation.
The ridge is exposed here, so be careful. Also be careful of the
poison oak, which notoriously graces this trail, particularly the trail
out to the ridge. To return, hike back down the trail the way
I guess we
forgot our camera this day, which was unfortunate because the views
from the ridge are amazing. Panoramic 270° views await you, as
you sit, dangling off the rocks at the edge of the earth. Friendly
chipmunks come to share your lunch, as you try to avoid the plentiful
poison oak here.
The trail is
quite pleasant, is close to Portland, and is short enough that a couple
of hours is all you need. We'll definitely do this again when
time, or our energy, are running short.