“Castle Canyon Trail, near Rhododendron, is a short, steep route to some awesome pinnacle formations.
— Kathleen Walker
All visitors must obtain a self-issued Wilderness Use Permit at the Wilderness Permit box. Do not block driveways. This trail is low elevation and accessible nearly year round, but use caution as the wet rock can be slick.
Fall Colors — Spring — Views — Wildflowers
Castle Canyon Trail #765 is a short route into the Mt. Hood Wilderness which leads to interesting tower-like rock formations called the Pinnacles. Similar tower like volcanic breccia can be found on the other side of Zigzag Mountain at Frenches Dome.
To access the trail, turn left (north) at the Mt. Hood Foods in Rhododendron onto E. Arlie Mitchell Road. Go about 200 yards, and bear right for almost 1/4 mile. Turn left onto Forest Road 1819 at the junction with Henry Creek Road and go another 1/2 mile to the trailhead. Once on the trail, cross an old road bed and head towards the wilderness board and permit box.
The first half of the trail has gradual grades through old growth forest with occasional large stumps. The second half of the trail is steep and narrow, gaining almost 800 feet in elevation in less than 3/4 mile. The trail comes to the bottom of a large pinnacle and then climbs up around it. The last 1/4 mile is a bit of a scramble to the trail’s end at the Pinnacles rock formations.
Runners should use caution as there are steep drop offs. The trail is not recommended for kids or dogs.
Castle Canyon has a variety of wildflowers in the rocky outcroppings that abound around the pinnacles.