Horsethief Butte
Horsethief Butte

Horsethief Butte

Eastern Gorge, washington

To find this trail from the parking area, pass a couple side trails and take the first grassy path marked with stones that heads off to the right. Go straight on the main trail here, and you’ll come to another junction. The left fork here leads to a rocky climb. For this hike, take the right fork. The well-marked trail leads across a flat area around the west side of the butte. After about a quarter mile, there’s a signed trail junction. This side-trail leads up into a maze of narrow, rocky canyons. There are at least two signed works of Native American art in the canyons and the whole area is worth a side trip. Beyond the junction, the Horsethief Butte Trail continues around the south side of the butte. The rocky cliffs above the trail are home to several colors of lichen. There are more views of the river, this time toward the east. The trail ends about half a mile from the trailhead at the top of a cliff. Return the way you came.

View a map of this area.

View a map of the entire Columbia Hills State Park.


Trail Map

Driving Directions

Horsethief Butte Trailhead: From Oregon, from I-84 take Exit #87/Highway 197 north (The Dalles Dam bridge). Cross the Columbia River and continue about two miles to WA Hwy 14. Turn right on WA Hwy 14 and drive about two miles to the signed trailhead on the right.

From Washington, the trailhead is at about MP #86.

Hike Information:

  • Type of Hike: Out and Back
  • Length: 1.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 150 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Restroom Facilities: Yes
  • Fees and Regulations: Trail closes at dusk


  • Beautiful Views
  • Cultural History
  • Ice-Age Floods
  • Family Friendly

Difficulty Levels

Easy: Up to 3 miles, less than 700 ft. elevation gain

Moderate: Up to 5 miles, less than 1,500 ft. elevation gain

Strenuous: Up to 10 miles, up to 2,500 ft. elevation gain

Expert: Over 10 miles, steep trail, over 2,500 feet elevation gain

All hike distances are round-trip.

Gorge Wildflower Search

Want to look up Gorge wildflowers, or find out bloom conditions? Greg Lief's website Oregon Wildflowers has search options for both the Oregon and Washington sides of the Columbia River Gorge.

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Contact Information


Trail maps are courtesy of Hike descriptions were collaboratively written with the generous support of