I’m afraid I may have underestimated this hike. Although my book Curios Gorge described this as “nothing less than grueling,” I was still surprised to find this hike so difficult. It definitely falls into the scramble category and even pure rock climbing at some points of it. For example, exhibit A:
You may say “What a lovely rock wall.” But this is actually part of the trail; one of many rock walls you must climb over. (But oh how fun!) But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s start at the beginning.
Directions: From I-84 east take exit 40 and turn right to park at the Wahclella Falls lot. Walk back up the way you came and turn left to go over a paved bridge. Gorge Trail 400 is on your left past the bridge. This trail mirrors I-84 for about a mile until you find a random trail on your left that goes straight up. You can expect this steepness the rest of the way! Once on this trail there are a few options, but each side trail will eventually get you to the top so don’t fret too much. This hike is 1.8 miles each way and took us about 4 hours.
The Gorge Trail 400 is your typical grassy, flowery gorge trail which is pretty in its own way but you can see and hear the freeway for the whole mile.
Once we ventured off on the unmarked side trail I didn’t take any pictures so I could focus on my footing and breathing; it was VERY hard! Eventually we came to our first viewpoint but we weren’t even close to the top.
Right before you do get to the top with the views of munra point, you have to climb up this chimney-like rock wall. Today this part was the most bottlenecked since you have to go one at a time and this hike was actually very crowded.
But all that hard work was absolutely worth it for these views.
This would not be a good hike for dogs, kids or people afraid of heights. I would say it was harder than Dog Mountain, which was always one of the hardest gorge hikes in my mind. I also would not do this one on a hot day.