Columbia River Gorge, Ore. — Feb. 24, 2023 – The U.S. Forest Service will release permits March 15 online at Recreation.gov for hikers headed to Dog Mountain on weekends from April 29 through June 19 this year. Permits will also be required on two holidays falling on a Monday including May 29 (Memorial Day) and June 19 (Juneteenth).
Visitors may obtain a permit either by reserving one online or by taking the Columbia Area Transit Dog Mountain Shuttle.
One adjustment this year is that permits will be per vehicle rather than per person. Hikers must provide either digital or hard copy evidence of permit on the Dog Mountain Trail system when parking at the Dog Mountain parking lot on Saturdays and Sundays between April 29 – June 19.
Ride the CAT Dog Mountain Shuttle from Stevenson for FREE. A permit is included when visitors take the CAT Dog Mountain Shuttle from/to the Skamania Fairgrounds in Stevenson. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis. The shuttle runs about every half hour from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends and Memorial Day from April 29 to June 19 (Juneteenth). For more information, please visit: www.ridecatbus.org/dog-mountain-shuttle/.
Reserve a permit online. Anyone using the parking lot at the Dog Mountain Trailhead will need to reserve one permit per vehicle online at Recreation.gov and pay the $2 non-refundable administrative fee (per vehicle). Visitors accessing the site in their own vehicles are also required to pay the daily recreation use fee of $5 per vehicle or have a valid pass. Annual passes such as the Northwest Forest Pass and other interagency senior, military, and Every Kid Outdoors passes will continue to be accepted as alternate forms of payment for the recreation use fee. Reserving a permit online does not guarantee a parking spot will be available at the time a hiker arrives, so visitors are encouraged to have a Plan B—to either take the shuttle out of Stevenson or proceed to another trail.
This year, there will be 90 permits available per day through the online reservation system at Recreation.gov. Of these, 50 permits for each day will be released March 1 and an additional 40 permits for each day will be released and available online three days in advance.
This permit system was put in place in 2018 to ensure public safety at Dog Mountain. Prior to implementing the permit system, the trailhead parking lot reached full capacity early on weekends during peak season, causing visitors to park and walk along State Route 14 to access the trail system. The road’s high-speed traffic, narrow shoulders, and limited sight distances made it unsafe for pedestrian traffic and created a serious public safety concern.
More details about the permit system and related shuttle are available at: fs.usda.gov/goto/crgnsa/hikedogmountain.