Geologists estimate that Table Mountain's dramatic south face and pyramid profile were created sometime between 1200 and 1600 A.D., when a major landslide sheared off the south face of Table Mountain.
The resulting debris created the original Bridge of the Gods, leaving a vertical wall visible from miles in either direction along the Columbia River Gorge.
These days the rock bridge has been replaced by a steel structure, and Table Mountain's steep face beckons the adventurous hiker ready for a strenuous climb that is good training for summer summit attempts to come. The top features one of the best panoramas of the Columbia River Gorge, as well as views of Mt. St. Helens, Rainier, Hood and Adams. Carry a guidebook with good route information as there are a couple of options to the summit and signage may be lacking.
Begin at the Bonneville Trailhead off of Highway 14 opposite the Bonneville Dam. From the trailhead follow the Tamanous Trail 27 for 0.6 miles to the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Turn left onto the PCT and follow it northwest for 1.9 miles to Gillette Lake. Continue on the PCT for another 5.5 miles to the junction with the Eastway Trail (also known as Heartbreak Ridge). A second route to the summit off of the PCT, the Westway Trail, is another 0.4 miles further.
Both Eastway and Westway trails join near the summit to the final 0.3 mile Overlook Trail that leads to the southern face of the mountain.
From here, you can turn between Mount Adams and Mount Hood or stare down at the snaking sheer face of the ridge reaching south from where you stand. For those accustomed to seeking majestic sights by looking up at tall peaks, you may find gazing earthward is even more impressive here.
Many hikers make a loop by ascending the Eastway Trail and descending the Westway Trail. portlandhikers.org has a hiking guide with a detailed trail log of this area.
As of January 2017, the Bonneville Hot Springs Resort & Spa has been closed to public entry. The Dick Thomas Trailhead at the former resort is no longer an option. The only legal choice for hikers is to begin this hike at the Bonneville Trailhead.
- 16.0 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 3350 feet
- Highest Point
- 3417 feet
Hiking Table Mountain
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 45.6479, -121.9795 Open in Google Maps