The Labyrinth hike, in the Columbia Gorge, is one of my absolute favorite Washington hikes. On this hike, in the Catherine Creek area, you get it all. A few waterfalls, a stunning view of the Columbia Gorge and Mt. Hood, basalt outcroppings, and wildflowers in the Spring. Plus, the crowds are smaller than you will find at the neighboring Coyote Wall hike. The Labyrinth is the name for the area between Coyote Walland the Rowland Basin.
You can even take your dog on this hike! Note that dogs must be on a leash from December 1st to June 30th. The only downsides to this hike is there is a lot of poison oak, so make sure to stay on the trail. This is also a spot where rattlesnakes like to hang out, so be on guard. You also will be sharing the trail with mountain bikers, which is my least favorite thing about this hike.
To start this hike, you will walk down old Highway 8 and pass Lower Labyrinth Falls almost immediately. You will soon find yourself wandering between old oak trees, a cave, and a creek which leads to the second water fall.
The hike is just over 3 miles which makes it one of the best Washington hikes to do if you are short on time. However, if you want a longer hike, it’s easy to add on the Coyote Wall hike for a hike that’s almost 8 miles.
There’s not much shade on this hike, so make sure to take plenty of water and to wear sunscreen.
To get to the Coyote Wall Trailhead from Portland, take I-84 east to exit 64 for Highway 35/White Salmon/Government Camp. Turn left and drive over the Hood River Bridge for 1.2 miles. This is a toll bridge, so make sure to take $1 each way. Turn right on Highway 14 E and go 4.7 miles to take a left on Courtney Road.
Take an immediate right into the trailhead parking area.