The 65,822 acre Mark O Hatfield Wilderness is located east of Portland, OR within the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area and Mt. Hood National Forest. The north part of the Wilderness has features characteristic of the Columbia River Gorge, including basalt cliffs and multiple waterfalls. As you climb from the river, the steep cliffs and waterfalls give way to panoramic views of the Cascade Range and Columbia River Gorge. The slopes rise from near sea level to the Benson Plateau and on to mountain peaks, talus slopes, and lakes. Elevations range from approximately 100 feet near the Columbia River to 4,900 feet on Mount Defiance. Some main waterways--Herman Creek, Eagle Creek, and Tanner Creek--flow north toward the river, supporting borders of western hemlock and fir.
Expansion to Mark O Hatfield Wilderness in 2009 includes the Gorge Face and Larch Mountain additions. The Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness - Gorge Face includes the cliffs, canyons, and waterfalls from Oneonta Creek west to Viento Creek in Hood River County. The northern boundary of this addition is within one mile of the Columbia River. The Larch Mountain addition to the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness includes Multnomah Creek, Oneonta Creek canyon, and Bell Creek. These drainages contain old-growth Douglas fir and cedar.
The southwest boundary of the Mark O Hatfield Wilderness is the Bull Run Watershed, which provides drinking water to the Portland metropolitan area. To protect the water supply the watershed is closed to public entry except for the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail which travels along the eastern edge of the watershed. Many of the 200 miles of trails follow drainages and often contain steep cliffs or drop offs near the trail and may be of concern for people uncomfortable with heights. Many of the trails are interconnected providing a number of loop opportunities.
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At a Glance
||A Wilderness permit is required to enter any Wilderness in Mt Hood National Forest from May 15 through October 15. You must have a copy of the completed permit in your possession during your visit to Wilderness. Permits are free and self-issued at trailheads and Wilderness boundaries.
||Wilderness restrictions apply
Fires, building, attending, maintaining, or using a fire, except for a pressurized liquid or gas stove, is prohibited: June 1 through September 15 between Eagle Creek Trail #440, at the Wilderness Boundary, to junction with Eagle-Tanner Trail # 433, and within 200 feet of Wahtum Lake, except at designated sites cfr 261.52(a).
Camping within 200 feet of the shoreline of Wahtum Lake, is prohibited except at designated campsites.
Stock allowed only on Pacific Crest Trail #2000, Herman Creek Trail #406, and Rainy Wahtum Trail, all other trails in the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness closed to stock.
Dogs must be on a 6 ft. leash on the Eagle Creek Trail.
||Hood River, OR; Cascade Locks, OR; Portland, OR
||Some trailheads require a day use fee. View a list of available Recreation Passes that may be used in lieu of day use fee payment.
Trails within Mark O Hatfield Wilderness:
Mark O Hatfield Wilderness is located east of Portland, OR. Trailheads that lead into Mark O Hatfield Wilderness are accessed from Interstate 84 in the Columbia River Gorge, and Whatum Lake in the Mt. Hood National Forest.
Access from the south near Wahtum Lake:
Access from the north within Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area:
Maps of 2009 Wilderness Additions
Bonneville Dam, Carson, Dee, Mount Defiance, Tanner Butte, Whatum Lake. Download free U.S. Forest Service Topo maps here.
Buy maps online
Buy the Mark O Hatfield Wilderness (formerly Columbia Wilderness) and Badger Creek Wilderness map online at the National Forest Store.
Approximately 14 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail and the Eagle Creek Trail receive the most use in Mark O Hatfield Wilderness. The Eagle Creek Trail, with seven waterfalls, a tunnel, and designated campsites, can be hiked in a 16-mile-plus loop that includes a climb over Tanner Butte. Eagle Creek Trail's proximity to Portland makes it a popular destination. If you require solitude, take one of the quieter trails; Tanner Butte, Herman Creek, and Nick Eaton Ridge. Each of these is approximately 10 to 12 miles round-trip.