Hike #5: Angels Rest Trail

Angels Rest Trail is rated as easy trail but should be rated as moderate as there are rocks you’ll need to scramble over to reach the breathtaking views. 

 There is ample parking on a designated lot for the trail as well as an overflow lot a few hundred feet away. There is also plenty of street parking. One thing to note is there are no bathroom facilities. The nearest is 0.8 miles west at the Bridal Veil trailhead. 

The Angel Rest trailhead starts at the street level across the designated parking lot. The trail climbs steadily up and rises 1384 feet in about two miles. So be prepared and bring lots of water. 

Although my AllTrails ap indicated the trail to be open from June to November, it was open when I went in March. There were signage to instruct hikers to remain on the trail. So perhaps parts of the spur trails were closed until June. 

The trail steadily climbs for 0.5 miles before the first switchback. At the end of this first section, you’ll be rewarded with a view of a waterfall. I’m not sure of the official name for the waterfall but you’ll actually hear the water before you see it. 

 The next section before encountering another switchback is also about 0.5 miles long. At the end of this leg you’ll cross over the stream on a wooden bridge. This stream feeds the waterfall from the first section. Before crossing the bridge there are a few spurs off the trail that allows you to access the water. It’s a great spot to cool during the hotter summer months.  

The next 0.5 mile section is lined with trees and the climb continues. This is where the trail became a little slippery.  

I would recommend to have proper hiking shoes and not where tennis shoes. Some hikers had tennis shoes and had little to no traction. During the summer months this trail would be dry but during this time of year it’s best to wear hiking boots. 

The next section of the trail switches back to the direction of the Columbia River and curves around the base of the rock outcropping of angels rest. Since it was still winter and the trees were not fully clothed in their summer foliage, views of the snow covered mountain range in Washington state could be seen. 

 The trail here is a mix of muddy patches and as well as rocky terrain. Where this section curves, be sure to take in the breathtaking views. 

The next section was again lined with trees and the path became more slushy. At least that’s the terrain during this time of the season. After traversing through the sludge, the next section has a few short switchbacks then opens out onto a rock cropping.  

If you hadn’t removed your top layer this would be a great spot as your gear would not get soiled from the muddy trail. This is also a great place to rest and take pictures. 

The trail resumed at the end of the rock outcropping and after taking the next switchback, it continues to climb to the second rock outcropping. This one is a much smaller outcropping than the lower section. Passed the second outcropping are several lookout points that require some rock climbing onto a few mini rock towers. Take care climbing these structures as once on top there is a good 500 foot drop to the canyon below. 

Going passed the mini rock towers is the main viewing section of the Angels Rest Trail. Luckily the weatherman was right and the early morning rain gave way to clear skies. On windy days, remain a safe distance from the edge as there are no handrails to help protect you from falling over. 

Today, there was only a slight breeze and clear skies. It was a spectacular view!!

Hike #5 summary:

  • place: Angel Rest Trail in the Columbia River Gorge
  • miles: 4.2
  • trail type: in and back
  • elevation change: 1384′
  • weather: sunny with a slight breeze
  • temp: low 50s 
  • completion time: 3 hours

#hiking #trails #outdoors #living #angelresttrail #pacificnorthwest #menshealth #portland


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