Herman Creek Trail #406

This trail is in the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness.  Herman Creek Trail explores the largest surviving forest of old growth fir, cedar, and hemlock left in the Columbia Gorge. Spring fed groves of ancient cedar tower above Big Cedar Swamp Shelter while equally large Noble Fir, Douglas Fir and Western Hemlock fill a fire-preserved basin of the East Fork Herman Creek. A parade of waterfalls, innumerable moss carpeted creeks, a sub-alpine lake, and ridge top vistas offer a variety of scenery for either the equestrian or backpacker using the Herman Creek Trail.

Herman Creek Trail starts at the west end of the Herman Creek Campground in the Columbia Gorge.  Near the beginning of the trail, keep left at an unmarked fork. Follow the switchbacks across a power line access road, then climb another 0.4 mile to a well-signed fork. Take the left fork (east). The path soon joins an old dirt road. Proceed uphill 0.6 miles to Herman Camp primitive campsite. Continue straight past Herman Camp. The road soon becomes a trail again. You'll cross several side creeks, one with a 100’ waterfall. 2.6 miles past Herman Camp, you'll reach a junction with Casey Creek Trail #476 on left (east). Continue right on Herman Creek Trail another 6 miles to junction with Pacific Crest Trail #2000. Turn left (east) on the Pacific Crest Trail and proceed 1.6 mile to south shore of Wahtum Lake.

Printable Recreation Opportunity Guide (.pdf)

At a Glance

Current Conditions: See Columbia River Gorge NSA trailhead for updated conditions.
Open Season: Year-round weather dependent
Usage: Light
Restrictions: Wilderness regulations apply.
Closest Towns: Cascade Locks, OR
Water: No
Restroom: No
Operated By: Forest Service

General Information


From Portland, OR take I-84 east to Cascade Locks exit # 44. Drive under I-84 and through town 1.8 miles to the eastbound entrance ramp. From the stop sign, continue east 1.6 miles toward Oxbow Fish Hatchery, then on to Herman Creek Campground. 

From Hood River, OR take I-84 west and to Herman Creek exit # 47. Drive 0.6 mile west on Forest Lane to Herman Creek Campground. The trailhead is at the west end of the campground.


Day Hiking

A parade of waterfalls, innumerable moss-carpeted creeks, a sub-alpine lake and ridge top vistas offer a variety of scenery for the equestrian or hiker.


See day hiking description

Horse Camping

Located at the Herman Creek Horse Camp

Horse Riding

See day hiking description

Viewing Plants

See day hiking description

Viewing Scenery

See day hiking description

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
10.5 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
160' - 4300'