Nesmith Point


9.8 miles round trip

3800 feet elevation gain

Open April through November

Mountain climbers often use the challenging trail to Nesmith Point as a spring conditioning trip because the goal—the highest point in the cliffs lining the Columbia Gorge—is snow-free by April. But this hike offers other rewards than mere exercise. Expect a variety of wildflowers, the solitude of a high valley’s natural amphitheater, and of course a bird’s eye view across the Columbia to the snowpeaks of Washington.

Nesmith Point’s promontory was unnamed until 1915, when the Portland Mazamas club suggested it memorialize James Nesmith, a burly Oregon Trail pioneer whose wagon raft was driven ashore near here by high winds in 1843. Nesmith was forced to wait out the storm reading The Merry Wives of Windsor.

If you’re coming from Portland on Interstate 84, take exit …

Other Options

By arranging a short car shuttle you can …

This chapter taken from the book 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Northwest Oregon & Southwest Washington.