You can’t do any real hiking without a car, right? Wrong. There are literally days worth of hikes a person without a car can do in the Columbia River Gorge. Here are a few I have come up with on the Oregon side.
Hiking in the Gorge without a car means simply being patient, flexible on timing, and getting to know the schedules and logistics of public bus systems — specifically the Columbia Gorge Express on the Oregon side.
I got a chance on New Year’s Day 2021 to go and hike some of the Eagle Creek Trail in the Columbia River Gorge for the first time since the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire.
The trail reopened around December 31, 2020, and the highway exit on the following day. All of that can change any time, because especially after the fire, landslides will be more common in the area. That’s why the exit was closed, and Eagle Creek Canyon will be even more prone to slides than usual for quite a while.
Update: This trail did, in fact, close again in early January because of landslides. Check with the Columbia Gorge NSA for the latest.