Hike 63
The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
Mosier Tunnel Hike
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Map of Mosier Tunnel Hike

Length: 9 miles round trip
Elevation Change: 300 feet
Season:   Late winter thru late fall
Difficulty:   Moderate
Permit:   Oregon State Parks Pass Required
GPS:   N45 42.2256, W121 29.2068
Latitude:   45.70376
Longitude:   -121.48678

 Click for PDF Topo Map of this Hike 

I call this the Moiser Tunnel hike, but most refer to it as the Historic Columbia River State Trail. A project that was completed in 2000 to restore a portion of the old Columbia River highway to its original condition between Hood River and Mosier. Today, hikers and bike riders enjoy this unique paved trail most anytime during the year. Winter conditions can make the trail impassable.

One can start at either end of this 4.5 mile trail. I consider beginning at the east end the better option in that you only need to hike about .75 miles to come to the tunnel system for which the entire hike is famous. I recommend hiking only half way along this road, unless you have shuttle sytem in place to pick you up at the other end. There is really no great reward in hiking the entire 4.5 miles from one end to the other, only to have to retrace the 4.5 miles back to your vehicle.

This hike is unique. It is certain worth doing. And the reward is not only the very unique tunnel system, but the incredible views of the Columbia River Gorge and in season the wonderful foral displays. It is easy enough for the very young and/or the elderly.

A view looking out from the Mosier Tunnel
A view looking out from the Mosier Tunnel

How to get there:

Hatfield O. Hatfield East Trailhead: From I-84 take Exit #69/Mosier. Follow the Historic Columbia River Highway as it curves left toward the town of Mosier. At the base of the bridge, turn left and circle under the bridge. Drive approximately 1 mile to the trailhead parking lot on the left.

From the western end of the trail: Drive I-84 east to Exit 64 for Highway 35, White Salmon, and Government Camp. After exiting, turn right at the Stop sign and then make another right turn. Head up for 0.4 miles to a four-way intersection. Turn left here for the Historic Highway State Park. Wind up the hill for 1.2 miles and turn left into the parking area at Mark O. Hatfield Western Trailhead. From the parking lot, which has a vault toilet, you need to walk downhill and across the road to get to the paved road that takes you to the trailhead.

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