Coyote Wall Long Loop Hike
Starts at old route 8, Bingen, Washington
150 mile ride - 9 mile hike
Coyote Wall is the rock formation that you see straight ahead.
The trail described here was created by and for Bikers (pedal bikes)
but the land owners generously welcome hikers, runners and the non-motorized
public to enjoy this site. According to the signs, most of this land is
part of the US Forest Service.
The trailhead is 4 1/2 miles East of the Hood River bridge on Washington
State route 14. Turn left (if heading East) on Courtney Road.
Immediately turn left into a very large, nicely shaded parking area.
The trailhead is directly across the street.
You will be traveling East down old Highway 8 which was closed after
route 14 was built.
You will quickly come upon a wooden cattle gate that is next to the
entrance to one end of the loop trail. The trail guide I read said
to continue down old highway 8 so that's what I did.
Pass this trail by for this hike.
Scroll to the bottom for more information about entering through
Continue East on old highway 8. This road hasn't seen any cars for a while.
Pretty obvious why they wanted to relocate this road!
This is the view West back towards the trailhead.
And the view East moving forward.
Mount Hood and Oregon across the Columbia River.
I really like it out here and I haven't even started hiking yet.
Here's a view of the Columbia River heading East.
Here's the second trail loop entrance. I went up this one.
This hike has everything I like. It's in the Gorge. It's an easy
to follow trail. It's *NOT* in the deep forest. And there are no
people here! Somewhat steep but not a terribly difficult 9 mile hike
that I wound up turning into a 15 or so mile affair..
The trail guide I was using got vague/misleading right off the bat.
There are a kazillion forks in the trail and the guide kept saying, "go left,
go left, go left", which would have been wrong. I traveled a basically
Northeast direction. When posed with a choice I took the trail that went
up... if there was more than one ascension choice I went East (preferred) or North.
I'm guessing this made my version of this hike longer than the published
nine miles but the route I chose was very scenic and easy to navigate.
I think you'll like it
This trail was created for and by bicycles, as you can see.
I'm already seeing some nice views.
Your path North will eventually be blocked by barbed wire fencing.
Start traveling West now.
You will come up on this opening for a road that allows you to
continue your ascent North.
This is the steepest bit here. Do not take the trail to the right.
I don't know where it goes but I don't think it will take you to the top.
You'll be walking along the rim of Coyote Wall for a few miles now.
You'll pass under some power lines.
Continue your ascent.
And don't forget to turn around often to admire the view.
And the numerous birds of prey. I was not able to get any
good pictures so I'm not sure if they were eagles, hawks or what.
I did see quite a few fresh bear and cougar droppings but since
this is a family web site I didn't post pictures of those.
There was a plaque/marker right around here somewhere for the Biker
who died when he accidentally rode off one of these cliffs. I was not
able to find it. It's a very long drop here and the ledges are unforgiving
It's a long drop as you can see. The crest at the top center is
You'll come up on this rest spot that's a good location to rest
have some lunch and enjoy the view.
Leaving the rest stop, you have a choice of taking a wide, easy but
boring trail to the right or the "Crybaby Trail" to the left. A word of
caution though - the views on this trail are great but the trail is *VERY*
narrow and hazardous in spots. One slip and you're history so this is not a trail
for people who don't care for heights or danger. I saw a lot of bicycle
tracks on this trail which IMHO is not the smartest thing to be doing.
The Crybaby Trail goes for about a half mile and ends with a steep
uphill scramble back to the main road you would be on had you taken
the right hand trail leaving the rest stop instead of going left.
This is pretty much it for the great scenery.
Turn left at the top and enter the forest.
The trail widens considerably to become a road. You'll start seeing
homes to the right up on the hill.
And a truck that's seen better days...
The road changes from dirt to gravel
You've been traveling on Atwood Road. You'll eventually arrive at
the beginning of this road. This is Courtney Road you are now on. But
it's many miles of walking down Courtney Road to get back to the trailhead.
It's around here that I got my directions goofed up. I'm still
going the correct way according to the trail guide. I considered going up
the trail to the left which looked correct to me. In retrospect, this is
probably the way I should have gone. Instead I went down the hill on Courtney
Road to the promised great view of Bingen and Hood River. At this point you are
several miles West of the trailhead. To get back to the Coyote Wall you'll
need to travel *EAST*, not Southeast as I did.
NOTE TO SELF: Go down the hill to the bend in the road for the great view.
Then come back to this point and take the trail to the left. There is a
no smoking sign at the beginning of the trail. It is across the road from the
hand made sign below and a nice home. Alternately, continue past forest road
230 and hope that the entrance to the Coyote Trail is further down the road.
The trail entrance should be on the left.
The decision to follow the trail guide instructions was helped by seeing
this sign placed by property owners who didn't want folks like me trespassing
on their land.
It's pretty overcast now and it will be pouring buckets in a few hours.
But it's still a nice view West at the bend in the road.
And the view East.
According to the trail guide, the entrance to the Coyote Trail is
supposed to be 0.90 miles down this road (Courtney). Perhaps I didn't go far enough
but it seemed like I had gone over a mile when I came across forest
road 230 on the left. That's the trail I took which was obviously wrong.
Back in the forest. There were a *LOT* of forks on this trail.
I figured going East or South would be correct. I tried to head
mostly East, Southeast figuring that I would run into the Coyote Wall eventually.
I wound up coming out on the right side of Courtney Road (heading South)
which seemed impossible to me since if the trail guide was correct, Courtney
should be considerably West from my location. I followed the winding, downhill,
thoroughly uninteresting five mile long Courtney Road back to the trailhead.
Next time I'll start this hike at the first loop entrance and see where it comes
out at the top. Then I'll update this page with the correct descent information.
This is the alternate route:
Taking the trail that starts to the left of the cattle gate
almost as soon as you enter old highway 8
For the first 3-4 miles upward, you really can't go wrong. There aren't
many opportunities to take the wrong trail and Coyote Wall will always be
in sight to your right.
There is one fork in the trail in this area but someone has conveniently
blocked it with logs to divert bicycle riders.... it diverted me too...
You'll come up on a concrete wall. Just a little past this point and
getting lost is a distinct possibility. If you head in most any direction
except South you will likely run into Courtney or Cooke Road. I *THINK* the
correct route is to go up/to the right/straight ahead/North when you come to
a fork in the trail. But with all the low hanging branches and fallen trees
blocking that trail, I don't think this is the way the bycycle guys go.
I need to come up here yet again to find and clearly document the best hiking
route up and back... a GPS would be very helpful in saving time finding the
correct trail. I was maybe 1/2 mile from Cooke Road and once you get there,
I've already documented how to get back by walking the Coyote Wall (just do it
in the reverse order from the above trail guide).
Three Capes Scenic Loop
Banks-Vernonia State trail