Craving an off-season hike? The Gillette Lake to Greenleaf Overlook trail is a great option if you don’t mind a little mud. You can shorten or extend the route to suit your preference (you can really make it a long one by picking up the Pacific Crest Trail from here), or try our version which easily fits into your weekend plans.
- Starting point: Bonneville Trailhead
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Distance: 6.9 miles
- Route type: Out-and-back
- Elevation gain: ~1,165 ft
- Trail surface: Dirt and rock
- Wheelchair accessible: No
- Open: Year-round
- Dog friendly: Yes, on leash
There’s a large parking lot at Bonneville Trailhead with two vault toilets. Pay the $5 parking fee or bring a Northwest Forest Pass. You’ll follow Tamanous Trail for ~0.7 mile (it starts uphill and can be very muddy), then keep left at the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail. You’ll hike beneath dense forest canopy interrupted by clearings and logging roads with views of the Gorge and Table Mountain. Descend to Gillette Lake, which is stocked with trout and home to ducks, beavers, and native Western pond turtles. Continue on, taking a footbridge over a creek, before turning around at Greenleaf Pond.
Why you should try it
Like many trails along the Washington side of the Gorge, this route is ideal for hikers looking for a less trafficked experience without sacrificing many of the area’s popular draws (though there are no waterfalls on this trail). It’s a solid workout but not a constant uphill climb.
Download a map from an app like All Trails. When you’re done hiking and feel delightfully dusted, kick the mud off your boots and drive four minutes to Trailhead Taproom. Order a beer, cider, or hard seltzer on tap and something to eat, then relax on the heated patio — you deserve it.