Tom McCall Nature Preserve

AreaColumbia Gorge (east - OR)
(Mount Hood National Forest)
Best time to visitFirst half of May
Blooming NowYES
Elevation700-1722 feet
Trail Info3.5 miles round-trip, 1100 foot elevation gain
 Hike information - Oregon Hikers Field Guide
DogsPROHIBITED. Please respect this location by leaving your dog at home.

NOTE: The blue marker indicates the trailhead.


The Nature Conservancy manages this magnificent plateau overlooks the Columbia River. It is named in honor of former Oregon Governor Tom McCall, who was extremely progressive in terms of environmental issues.

Home to spectacular spring wildflower displays, this area's diversity stems from the fact that it lies in the transition zone between the moist, heavily-forested west side of the Cascades and the drier bunchgrass prairies of the east. The geology of the plateau is also intriguing. Lava flows, catastrophic floods and volcanic ash deposits shaped a mound-and-swale topography that perplexes the experts. Earthquake sorting, freezing and thawing, erosion, soil accumulations by plants and wildlife burrowing activities have all been suggested as having caused the mounds.


If you are coming from Portland, take Interstate 84 east to Hood River and continue 5 miles to Exit 69 (Mosier). Take Highway 30 east through the town of Mosier, and in 6.6 miles you will see the Rowena Crest Viewpoint parking area on your right.

May 2017 update: a landslide has closed Highway 30 east of Rowena Plateau. Please check with ODOT before assuming that that has been reopened. In the meantime, Rowena and Tom McCall are still accessible via Mosier (see above).

If you are coming from The Dalles, take Interstate 84 west 8 miles to Exit 76 (Rowena). Cross under the freeway and turn right (west) onto Highway 30, and drive up the hill approximately 2.6 curvy miles to the Rowena Crest Viewpoint parking area on your left.

The trail starts next to the parking area, on the east side of the highway.

Trip Reports

DateSubmitted by
Reports from previous years
05/12/2023Greg Lief
05/10/2023Greg Lief
04/22/2022Becky Chinn
03/21/2022Greg Lief
05/24/2017Greg Lief
05/14/2017Greg Lief
04/21/2016Greg Lief
04/10/2016Greg Lief
03/18/2016Greg Lief
05/08/2015Greg Lief
04/03/2015Steve Luther
03/21/2015Greg Lief
05/03/2014Greg Lief
05/05/2013Greg Lief
02/20/2013Marianne Nelson
05/19/2012Oak Aw
05/13/2011Victor von Salza
04/23/2011Greg Lief
04/11/2011Victor von Salza
05/20/2010rick wheeler
05/02/2010Greg Lief
03/04/2010Tom Nelson
02/17/2010Marianne Nelson
05/13/2009John M. Roberts
04/06/2009Betsy Toll
03/21/2009Marianne Nelson
05/24/2008Victor von Salza
05/16/2008Victor von Salza
05/09/2008Greg Lief
04/27/2008Victor von Salza
04/11/2008Victor von Salza
04/02/2008Victor von Salza
03/22/2008Victor von Salza
03/22/2008Brent Miller
03/06/2008Marianne Nelson
02/26/2008Victor von Salza
02/25/2008Marianne Nelson
02/09/2008Victor von Salza
04/30/2007Cheryl Hill
03/14/2007Steve Hart

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Photo Gallery

View from Tom McCall trail #1

View from Tom McCall trail #2

Mount Hood from McCall Point

Mount Hood from Tom McCall Point

Mount Adams from Tom McCall Point

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'Like music and art, love of nature is a common language that can transcend political or social boundaries' -- Jimmy Carter