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Wind River Arboretum

Southwest Washington > Columbia River Gorge - WA
45.7992, -121.9344 Map & Directions
Length
2.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
40 feet
Highest Point
1200 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Easy
Follow the signs along the trail to learn about the trees here. Photo by Susan Saul. Full-size image
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Good for kids
  • Fall foliage

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

Visit a historic arboretum on connected paths that form a 2 mile interpretive trail, with the option to do shorter loops. Continue reading

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Hiking Wind River Arboretum

U.S. Forest Service research dates back almost to the time the national forests were created. In 1910, research began at Wind River to learn more about reforestation following the Yacolt Fire in 1902. Established in 1912, the Wind River Arboretum is the oldest in the Pacific Northwest and ranks among the earliest forestry experiments still in existence in the region. 

This interpretive trail passes dead and surviving trees of 250 species from all over the world planted here to see which ones would grow best for timber production. Small placards identify each species; 14 larger interpretive signs tell how the exotic trees fared. It’s no surprise native trees grow best in this climate. 

If you start your hike on the trail to the left at the arboretum entrance, you will be able to read the interpretive signs in sequence. As you walk through the groves, contemplate the long-term learning that has happened here over the last century. When you leave, look up in awe at the Giant Sequoia trees in front of the historic houses on Chapman Avenue; they have grown very well at Wind River.

The low elevation makes this family-friendly hike accessible most of the year, but spring brings wildflowers under the trees.

WTA Pro Tip: Some of the former Forest Service houses have been renovated and are available to rent for overnight accommodations. If you’re visiting for the day restrooms are seasonally available at the Hemlock Picnic Area at the junction of Hemlock Road and FR 43. 

Toilet Information

  • No toilet at trailhead

More information about toilets

WTA worked here in 2021!

Hike Description Written by
Susan Saul, WTA Correspondent

Wind River Arboretum

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 45.7992, -121.9344 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 SR 14, take the exit to Carson. Drive north on the Wind River Highway for 7.6 miles. At Stabler, turn left onto Hemlock Road. Drive for 1.3 miles and pass the former Wind River Ranger Station, now closed. Cross the bridge over Trout Creek and continue straight onto Chapman Avenue, passing historic buildings on your right. Follow the signs to the arboretum, which is located behind the Pacific Northwest Research Station building.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Southwest Washington > Columbia River Gorge - WA

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mount Adams Ranger District

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Wind River Arboretum

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