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Three Corner Rock

Two Hike options:
(1) Long option is 9 miles round trip with 1,900 ft elevation gain. Start where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses Road CG 2000. The PCT starts in a former clearcut, then traverses second-growth Douglas-fir forest, winding in and out of several creek drainages before finally reaching the ridge leading to Three Corner Rock.

(2) Short option is 4.4 miles round trip with 800 ft elevation gain. Start where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses Road CG 2090. Selective logging occurred on both sides of the trail within the last 5 years. The well-graded trail gains elevation, passing into mountain hemlock and Pacific silver fir forest. Views open up as the trail climbs the ridge in three switchbacks. Mount Adams dominates the northeast horizon. As the path curves around the ridge, Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens come into view.

After 1.5 miles, large fallen signs mark the junction for the Three Corner Rock Trail. Turn right and follow the trail through open woodland and beargrass openings. Pass a short, marked side trail, signed "Water Trough" that leads to a piped spring. Shortly beyond, the trail ends at a jeep road. Turn right and climb the badly eroded tread a few hundred yards to a 4-way junction at a saddle. To the left is a gravel road accessing a microwave relay tower. Straight ahead is the Three Corner Rock Trail climbing 9.2 miles from the Stebbins Creek trailhead along the Washougal River. To the right is the rock pinnacle itself.

Walk up the spur jeep road to the base of Three Corner Rock. Concrete steps lead to within 12 feet of the top. Scramble the rest of the way to the flattened top where a lookout tower formerly stood. Enjoy 360 degree views that include Mt Hood and Mt Jefferson to the south, Mt St Helens and Mt Rainier to the north, Mt Adams to the northeast, and the Columbia River glinting to the southeast and southwest. Other notable high points include Silver Star, the highlands of Indian Heaven Wilderness, and the Columbia River Gorge sentinel peaks of Dog Mountain on the Washington side and Mount Defiance on the Oregon side.
Driving Directions:

Drive SR 14 east from Vancouver to milepost 43. Turn left on Rock Creek Drive (signed for Skamania Lodge and Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center). At 0.3 mile, just past the entrance drive for Skamania Lodge, turn left on Foster Creek Road (which becomes Ryan Allen Road. At 0.9 mile, turn left on Red Bluff Road for 0.3 mile, then continue on gravel DNR Road CG 2000. Take this winding, uphill road along Rock Creek. At about 8.5 miles, the PCT crosses this road. For the shorter hike, continue going uphill on CG 2000 to where it tops out at Rock Creek Pass. CG 2000 curves to the right, but go straight ahead on Road CG 2090 for 0.3 mile to the PCT crossing.

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Recent Trip Reports

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There are 3 trip reports for this hike.
Three Corner Rock — May 11, 2013 — Blisters
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
Issues: Water on trail | Snow on trail | No water source
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We did the short version of this hike yesterday. The driving directions as listed are pretty accura...
We did the short version of this hike yesterday. The driving directions as listed are pretty accurate although at the junction of road 2090 and 2000 there is a third road that confused us slightly since the sign for 2090 is pretty hard to read but 2090 is the road going uphill to the left (the number is actually spray-painted on a tree there). The road is gravel but in great condition.

There is a small parking pull-out along the road to the right where the PCT crosses the road. We weren't sure which way on the PCT to go since the trail appears to head uphill from either side of the road. We felt that the trail to the right (next to the parking area) was the way to go and we were right.

It's a beautiful little hike with lots of wildflowers blooming and views of Mt. Adams through the trees as the switchbacks take you higher. There were several patches of snow on the trail higher up but everything was passable. Once in a while we would punch through the snow but it was only about ankle deep. My mom hiked in tennis shoes without any trouble. The trail is unmarked due to fallen signs but the directions on this site are good. The Jeep road was mostly covered in snow and shrubbery but again very passable.

The view from the top is amazing. We sat up there for quite a while just taking it all in. Worth the drive on the gravel roads.
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Three Corner Rock, Pacific Crest Trail - short segment — Jun 16, 2012 — StewCrew
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
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My daughter and I arrived at the PCT crossing of CG 2090 under cool conditions and heavy cloud cover...
My daughter and I arrived at the PCT crossing of CG 2090 under cool conditions and heavy cloud cover. Perfect hiking weather and the trail was clear all the way up without any obstructions. Many wild flowers were in full bloom. We left the PCT at the designated 1.5 mile turn that leads to Three Corner Rock. As we followed the trail, the birds sang to us all the way to the end of the trail where there is another turn onto an ORV trail that leads to the summit. One side note, watch your footing on this ORV trail. As we approached the summit, Three Corner Rock was visible to our right. Although there was heavy cloud cover, nothing could have prepared us for the spectacular 360 degree view that awaited us. It's a hike well worth the effort. We made our way over to the Three Corner Rock, and I climbed all the way to the top, where a fire lookout once stood. Let me just say, I was blown away by the view! In particular was the view of downtown Portland, Oregon through binoculars, as the Fremont Bridge was visible along with all the buildings. In addition to the view of Portland, we had breathtaking views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Jefferson's peak. Mt. Adams view was partially blocked due to cloud cover, but it was still awesome to see it. We were a little disappointed that Mt. Saint Helens and Mt. Rainier decided not to come out and play, but we are already talking about coming back when the skies are clear. We ate our lunch, talked and viewed the landscape. Also, saw a functional fire lookout to our SW on another hill summit. All in all, it was an epic day hike, and we pretty much had the place to ourselves, as we saw only one other hiker on the way down. This is a great way to remember Father's Day 2012 with my daughter!
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Three Corner Rock — Jun 16, 2009 — Sunrise Creek
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming
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Three-Corner Rock is a little-known but landmark lookout site on DNR land adjacent to the Pacific Cr...
Three-Corner Rock is a little-known but landmark lookout site on DNR land adjacent to the Pacific Crest Trail with a view of 5 snow peaks and segments of the Columbia River. The summit ridge has vast beargrass meadows.

Drive SR 14 east from Vancouver for 43 miles. Turn left on Rock Creek Drive (signed for Skamania Lodge). Just past the Skamania Lodge entrance drive, turn left at 0.3 mile on Foster Creek Road, which becomes Ryan Allen Road. At 0.9 mile, turn left on Red Bluff Road for 0.3 mile, which then becomes gravel DNR Road CG 2000. Take this road for about 8.5 miles to the point where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses the road. For a longer 9-mile hike with 1,900 ft elevation gain, park at the pullout and start here. The summit elevation is 3,550 feet.

For a shorter 4.4-mile hike with 800 feet elevation gain, continue on Road CG 2000 for another mile or so to Rock Creek Pass. Turn on Road CG 2090 for 0.3 mile to where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses this road. Park at a pullout on the right.

The trail is marked only by a PCT symbol on a tree. Hike up the well-graded path, passing views of Mount Adams, Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens at about the 1-mile point. At 1.5 miles, reach a junction where large fallen signs mark the turn for the Three Corner Rock Trail. This .75-mile trail leads to the summit, passing a side trail to a piped spring and water trough for horses. At a jeep road, turn right and walk up its badly eroded tread for a few hundred yards to a junction at a saddle. To the left is a gravel road and microwave relay tower. Straight ahead is the 9.2-mile Three Corner Rock Trail coming up from the Stebbins Creek trailhead on the Washougal River. To the right is the pyramid-shaped rock summit itself.

Concrete steps lead to within 12 feet of the top. It's an easy scramble the rest of the way to the flattened top and burned lookout tower's foundations. Mount Hood rises to the south, and Mount Jefferson can be seen on the southern horizon. The Columbia River glints below Dog Mountain to the east and snakes westward pass the smoke plume of the Georgia Pacific papermill in Camas. The western horizon is marked by Silver Star and Bluff mountains. All of the high country of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest stretches north to Mountain Rainier and northeast to Mount Adams.

Most of our group decided to take the longer approach and started hiking at the PCT crossing of Road CG 2000. Lots of wildflowers were blooming in the woodlands, including bunchberry and star-flowered smilacina. As we climbed higher the woodlands changed to mountain hemlock and Pacific silver fir and we encountered beargrass and avalanche lilies in bloom. By the end of the hike, our wildflower expert had counted over 40 species blooming.

The PCT was in good shape, although a few trees bent or broken by last winter's snows still wait to be logged out. Once we turned onto the Three Corner Rock connector trail, we encountered brush encroaching and the tread could use some attention.

At the summit, we joined the group members who had elected the shorter option and lunched together surrounded by the blooming beargrass meadows before returning the way we came.
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Three-corner-Rock_7-2011.jpg
Mt. St. Helens hiding behind Three Corner Rock, July, 2011. Photo by Jim Ebacher.
Location
South Cascades -- Columbia Gorge
DNR/Yacolt Burn State Forest
Statistics
Roundtrip 4.4 miles
Elevation Gain 800 ft
Highest Point 3550 ft
Features
Wildflowers/Meadows
Mountain views
Summits
Guidebooks & Maps
100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon (1st edition - 1993) by William L. Sullivan, Navillus Press, Eugene, Oregon
Yacolt Burn State Forest

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Red MarkerThree Corner Rock
45.7447066733 -122.007808685
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