Car-Free Travel in the Gorge

Three weekend transportation options provide opportunities for car-free travel to Gorge trailheads

Car-Free Travel in the Gorge
Hikers board a Skamania County WET Bus after hiking the Dog Mountain trail. (photographer: Micheal Drewry)

Skip the Car

Imagine this for your next hike: no trailhead parking hassles or congestion, no trailhead pass required, lowering your carbon emissions, and saving on fuel expenses. There are now three transportation options for car-free hiking in the Gorge.

NEW! Visit the Car-Free Gorge microsite, a one-stop resource to learn the best options for exploring and getting to and from the Gorge car-free.

Visit Car-Free Gorge

West End Transit Bus

In Skamania County, the West End Transit (or WET Bus) will resume full service again in 2019 on summer weekends to nine trailheads and Gorge communities. With connections to TriMet and C-TRAN, weekend day and overnight trips to the Gorge from Portland and Vancouver, WA are a reality. View spring 2019 schedule.

Dogs, Bikes and Wi-fi:
  • Leashed or well-controlled dogs are allowed on the bus.
  • Bikes can be accommodated on the two-bike carrier or with additional bike storage inside the bus.
  • Free wi-fi; instagram your adventure from the road!

Dog Mountain Shuttle

The Gorge WET Bus 2019 seasonal transit service will begin with a Dog Mountain shuttle program. Due to the safety issues at Dog Mountain and a new Forest Service required permit, the WET Bus will shuttle visitors on Saturday and Sunday from April 20-June 16. The shuttle will start at 7:30 a.m. located at the Skamania County Fairgrounds parking lot located on Rock Creek Dr. in Stevenson. The shuttle will run every 30 minutes with the last return trip from Dog Mountain Trailhead leaving at 4:30 p.m. The fare is $1 each way and includes the cost of the required hiking permit.
With the increased visitation to Dog Mountain and the safety concerns with hikers parking and walking along SR 14, the U.S. Forest Service is introducing a new permit system at the Dog Mountain trailhead on weekends during peak wildflower season. Hikers can obtain a permit online at or by riding the Dog Mountain Shuttle (see below). Shuttle riders will be given a free permit/wristband.
Many local Stevenson businesses are offering shuttle riders $2 off (with a minimum $10 purchase), by showing their shuttle wristband. These and some other businesses will be offering the discount:
  • Walking Man Brewing
  • Big River Grill
  • North Bank Books
  • Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum
Friends is a partner in offering this transportation option; grant monies funding this service are provided by Washington State Department of Transportation, Skamania County and Stevenson Lodging Tax Grants. For a complete bus schedule, visit the Skamania Transit Facebook page or call Skamania County Senior Services at 509-427-3990.

Travel by bus to Dog Mountain trailhead where your adventure starts long before you hit the trail!

Columbia Gorge Express

In Oregon, the Columbia Gorge Express offers year-round service between Portland, Multnomah Falls, Cascade Locks, Hood River, and The Dalles. Up to 8 trips are scheduled per day, making it easy and convenient to access some of the top destinations in the Columbia Gorge.

Columbia Gorge Express Route and Schedule

Sustainable Recreation, Car-Free

Gorge Towns to Trails links Gorge communities with outdoor recreation. When you take the bus to a hike, you’re keeping Gorge roads congestion-free by using transportation options.