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.
From Portland, drive east on I-84 th The Dalles. Take Highway 197 north across the Columbia River and continue about two miles to Highway 14. Turn right on Highway 14 and drive about two miles to the signed trailhead on the right.