Deadwood Camp Loop via Gorton Creek Trail #408 and Herman Creek Trail #406
There are several loop hike options from Herman Creek Trailhead in the Columbia River Gorge. This difficult lollipop loop includes the Nick Eaton Trail on the southwest and the Gorton Ridge Trail on the northeast. The route has sections of wildflowers in summer and fall colors in fall but is somewhat unremarkable otherwise. The trail passes through a patchwork of forest burned in the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire. The worst section is along Nick Eaton Ridge, sections of which are shadeless, overgrown and very steep.
From the Herman Creek Trailhead, ascend on the Herman Creek Trail to a junction with the Gorton Creek trail. For a clockwise loop, turn onto the Gorton Creek Trail, for a counterclockwise loop, continue straight to the Nick Eaton trail junction in 0.2 miles and turn left. To complete the loop, continue until the Nick Eaton and Gorton Creek trails intersect and continue on the other trail.
To shorten the loop, take the Deadwood Camp Trail or Ridge Cutoff Trail, both of which connect the Nick Eaton and Gorton Ridge trails.
On a clear day, great views are found on a short detour to Indian Ridge.
The Herman Creek Trailhead is at the end of Herman Creek Campground road, off the I-84 frontage road between I-84 exits #44 and #47. There is a privy at the trailhead and limited parking, which can fill on summer weekends. The campground closed after the 2017 Eagle Creek fire and has not reopened as of summer 2023.
Tough hike for children due to the length and elevation gain. Steep drops at Indian Ridge.
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