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Catherine Creek - Universal Access Trail

Southwest Washington > Columbia River Gorge - WA
45.7104, -121.3622 Map & Directions
Length
1.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
120 feet
Highest Point
300 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Easy
Ponderosa pine and black oak trees standing guard above Catherine Creek. Photo by Lee Coulthard. Full-size image
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Mountain views
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Good for kids
  • Rivers

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

Beautiful views, amazing wildflowers, oak woodlands, open grasslands—this short hike is the perfect way to sample the best of the Catherine Creek area. More than 90 varieties of wildflowers bloom here, making this a favorite springtime destination. Continue reading

Rating
3.00 out of 5

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Hiking Catherine Creek - Universal Access Trail

Beautiful views, amazing wildflowers, oak woodlands, open grasslands—this short hike is the perfect way to sample the best of the Catherine Creek area. More than 90 varieties of wildflowers bloom here, making this a favorite springtime destination.

The well-maintained loop trail will take you through three distinct terrains. The eastern portion meanders through the scattered ponderosa pine and black oak trees above Catherine Creek. Nearer the river, the trail skirts past grass-covered rock outcroppings that illustrate the geological history of the area. The western portion of the loop crosses a grassy slope with stunning views of Mount Hood and the Columbia River.

The trail is designed to help people enjoy this scenic portion of the Gorge. Interpretive signs explain the geology, vegetation, and history of the area. Benches are strategically placed at viewpoints to provide a place to relax and take in the scenery.

Wildflowers are a primary draw to the Catherine Creek area. No other place in the Gorge has the diversity or duration of blossoms. Flower lovers come here for months to enjoy the annual progression of wildflowers. Purplish-red grass widows typically appear mid-March, blue camas lilies mid-April, and yellow balsamroot mid-May.

This hike starts across the road from the parking area. After a short distance, the trail connects with the loop. Keep to the left at all junctions and follow the loop clockwise so that you will have the easier, less steep way up. While barrier-free, this trail is steep in places. 

Wheelchair Accessibility

Sections of this trail are quite steep and the pavement is puckered and uneven, making the cross-slope challenging to navigate. Manual wheelchairs may be able to manage the entire trail with assistance.

Hike Description Written by
Patricia Coulthard, WTA Correspondent

Catherine Creek - Universal Access Trail

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 45.7104, -121.3622 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From Bingen, drive east about four and a half miles on Highway 14, until you see a junction on the lefthand side of the road. This is Old Highway 8 (County Road 1230). Turn left onto it and drive 1.5 miles to the parking lot for Catherine Creek, located on the north side of the road. The trailhead can be found on the south side of the road, so cross carefully!

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Southwest Washington > Columbia River Gorge - WA

Catherine Creek UAT (#4400)

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Guidebooks & Maps

100 Hikes in NW Oregon 4th ed. William L. Sullivan. Navillus Press. 2013.

Curious Gorge. Scott Cook. Maverick Publications. 2010.

Best Desert Hikes

Washington. Alan L Bauer and Dan A. Nelson. The Mountaineers Books. 2004.

Green Trails Columbia River Gorge East

No. 432S

National Geographic Columbia River Gorge

No. 821

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Catherine Creek - Universal Access Trail

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