Skunk Cabbage emerging spring of 2021

Hikes: Indian Creek Trail, Hood River, OR

WHAT: When you are in Hood River, Oregon, here is a trek you can make if you want to Hike, Walk, or Run, on a Bicycle-friendly Trail, Hood River Views. Called the Indian Creek Trail, you have lots of opportunities to hear the sound of water flowing in the background, and chances for Pear Orchard View up the Hood River Valley. The trail is approximately 3.8 miles with future plans to fully connect the trail spans which will be almost 6 miles long when completed.

WHEN: Open all seasons, all year, the trail has magic surprises from Sunrise to Sunset, daily.

WHERE: There are three sections of the park, as outlined on the maps of Hood River: 1) Hazel & 2nd St to Dutch Bros Coffee; 2) 12th St to Devon Court dead end; and 3) Hood River Valley High School to Barrett Park. Please note that the trails are adjacent to private property and trail users are reminded to be respectful of property owners by staying on the trail and picking up after your dogs.[1]

Looking down the flights of stairs into downtown Hood River

The oldest section of the trail, Hazel & 2nd Street to Dutch Bros Coffee, begins above the canyon of Indian Creek where it’s confluence becomes Hood River. This was the old trail connecting the upper and lower parts of the city. The trail also served as the conduit for the old wooden flume which brought water to a fruit cannery located downtown. The historic wooden flume is still there in parts, although it no longer carries water. This trail section has a picnic table, bench with a views of the Hood River and pear orchards up the valley.

Stairs from downtown

This is a very nice hike right outside downtown Hood River. One of the best places to start the hike is by ascending the staircase adjacent the Big Horse Brew Pub. After going up a few steep flights, you’ll notice a marker that indicates the Indian Creek Trail (Hazel Avenue Trailhead) is to the left. Between here and the start of the trail there are no other markers, so keep walking until you see the Indian Creek Trail marker with other useful and interesting information. From here you’ll enjoy a very leisurely 3.1-mile hike, listening to the sound of the creek.

There are interesting markers that discuss the historical significance of the creek to the Hood River’s fruit industry. The old wooden pipeline, known locally as the Penstock Flume, that diverted water to the Wilson Park reservoir is visible alongside the trail in the beginning of Eliot Park. In spring and summer there are pretty purple wildflowers scattered throughout this section of the trail. [2]

Section of the old wooden Penstock Flume, held together with wire straps
Old flume lies parallel to newer cement flume, the wooden pipe no longer carries water.

Not much further, you’ll notice the trail is under construction; a map that re-directs you back onto the trail is provided. It’s recommended to take a snapshot of this map because it is only provided once or twice more during the re-route. The makeshift route leads you passed Columbia Gorge Community College, picturesque apple orchards with views of Mount Rainer and Mount Hood, and the Indian Creek Golf Course. You’re back on track once you reached the Arrowhead West Trailhead in a residential area next to the golf course. There are two points where golf cart paths cross the trail itself so use caution at these areas. From here, the trail leads you beside the creek itself and across multiple wooden bridges. You’ll eventually come to a clearing with many wildflowers. From here on, the trail leads you alongside Hood River High School and offers a nice view of Mount Hood. At this point you’ll be about .45 miles from the end of the trail, which weaves through a beautiful farmland area. [1]


[1] https://www.outdoorproject.com/united-states/oregon/indian-creek-trail

[2] https://hoodriverparksandrec.org/indian-creek-trail

Miner’s lettuce along the path.
Tracy on the flume trail