Angels Rest

  • Level: Moderate
  • Length: 4.6 miles
  • Elevation: 1,500 ft. gain
  • Type: Out and back
  • Open: all year
  • Permit: n/a
  • Drive time from Portland: 30m
  • Google map: “angels rest”
  • Features: Columbia River Gorge, Coopey Falls, views out the yingyang

Angels Rest, you are the McDonalds Value Menu of trails and I’m lovin’ it. So much bang for your buck and because of this, it gets really crowded. SO CROWDED. This used to be a go-to of mine, but despite it’s amazing beauty, it’s been downgraded because people. Hence why  it hasn’t been profiled here until now. Regardless, I highly recommend it. It’s a great trail for people who want to work on their elevation gains and it’s one of the closest Gorge trails to Portland. I have a particular fondness for it because it’s one of the first “hard” ones I ever did. I think it was 2012 or so and I was still in The Fog© of my life: hungover, unhealthy, sad, negative, angry, ashamed, but still somehow hopeful. It crushed me like a bug. I learned what a “false summit” is. I cried, I fell in mud, I almost turned around twice, but when I got to the top, I felt like such a bad ass. It started my love affair with hiking.

The trail is basically just a series of steep switchbacks for 2.3 miles. No other trails intersect until near the end. At about the first half-mile, you reach Coopey Falls, which apparently only idiots climb down to see (MEMEME). I don’t recommend the scramble if you are not surefooted, especially in the mud. I, embarrassingly, had a really difficult time climbing back up to the trail. At the 2.1 mile mark, you will reach a huge talus slope with a stunning view west. Honestly, the first two times I did this trail, I thought this was the end point. The actual “Angels Rest.” It’s not, you still have about 0.2 mile to go. Locate the tree tunnel just beyond and it’s one or two light switch backs to a junction, go left and climb some rocks and you’ll reach your end point with incredible views west, north and east. Return the way you came.

Coopey Falls. Those red things are willow roots!

False summit! You still have about 0.2 mile to go.

Brie and I the day we did this the first time back in 2012. I guess I stopped crying long enough for a decent selfie.

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