Hiking in the Pacific Northwest is a wonder in itself—towering trees, crisp air, and stunning views. Add a plethora of spring and summer wildflowers to the mix, and you will get an experience that will keep you coming back every year. Here are five must-do hikes within easy driving distance of Vancouver, Washington, that bloom blankets of color for all to enjoy.

Cape Horn

25 mile drive | April-May | Moderate
One of the closest hikes in the Columbia River Gorge to Vancouver, Cape Horn attracts hikers for its stunning views and cascading waterfalls. The nearly eight-mile loop overlooks the river at about 1,200 feet before dropping down to the water’s edge along fields of lava rocks. In the spring, wildflowers complement the beautifully wild landscape.

RELATED: Nature escapes within 20 miles of Downtown Vancouver

Silver Star Mountain

30 mile drive | April-May | Hard

Experience the enchanting beauty of Silver Star Mountain's spring hike, just a short drive from Vancouver. Take a journey through a kaleidoscope of wildflowers, including the delicate white Beargrass, vibrant Tiger Lilies, and charming Columbines. While snow may linger until late June, we recommend checking road conditions before leaving. The spectacle of colors reaches its peak in mid-July. Though the hike may challenge your stamina, the reward at the summit is unparalleled—a panoramic vista featuring a breathtaking view of five majestic mountains: Rainier, Hood, Jefferson, Adams, and St. Helens. Every step taken is justified by the five-star, five-mountain panorama awaiting atop Silver Star Mountain.

Dog Mountain

53 mile drive | May-June | Difficult
Hike the steep switchbacks to get beyond the tree cover, where you will find breezy meadows of yellow balsamroot that transport you into a scene from The Sound of Music. Those who conquer the 2,800 feet of elevation gain are rewarded with panoramic views of Wind Mountain, Mt. Hood, and the Columbia River. Make sure you have the correct permits for this one, especially on the weekend!

Dalles Mountain Ranch Loop Hike

97 mile drive | Mid-April to May | Moderate

Dalles Mountain is known for its spectacular wildflower displays in the spring, with absolutely no shortage of beauty to explore. It has become an annual pilgrimage for many when the yellow balsam roots blanket the trails, appearing like bunches of mini sunflowers low to the ground. Along with a backdrop of old ranch buildings, vistas, steep rimrock, creeks, and wildlife. If you can, venture out on weekdays to avoid crowds and stroll prepared with water and snacks.


Coyote Wall

72 mile drive | May-June | Moderate
This uniquely unshaded trail offers views the entire way up with a steady progression of wildflowers, including grass widows, prairie stars, yellow bells, camas lilies, and balsamroot. Share the approximately six-mile trail with mountain bikers and pups as you make your way to view the magnificent syncline wall.



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