High Point: 3665'
DirectionsTake I84 or Hwy 14 East from Portland/Vancouver, if you choose I84 you will have to cross the Columbia using the bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks. Once across the river turn right onto Hwy 14. Continue on Hwy 14 for about 15 miles. This hike shares the same parking lot as Dog Mt., the parking lot will be on your left. There are no signs on the hwy, but it is huge and normally has at least a few cars. A forest pass is required
There are two ways to approach this hike. First is to hike the Augspurger Mt. Trail, this is the most straightforward way. Alternately, you can hike the Dog Mt. Trail, turn left before the summit, and hike .9 miles to the Augspurger Mt. Trail. What ever your pleasure, both trails start at the same location heading in opposite directions (signage is outstanding).
We took the first choice, the only down side with this choice is you have to walk the same trail twice (big fan of the loop). The first half or so (through the turn off to Dog Mt. Trail 2.8 miles) is a steady climb on a well-maintained trail. There are a couple steep stretches and a few switchbacks. If you have climbed Dog Mt. this is nothing to worry about. The first part of this section is mostly open, in and out of forested areas, lots of poison oak, wild flowers, and many views. The second part is forested, few views, but beautiful all the same.
The real fun comes when you arrive at the Dog Mt. turn off trail. Follow the trail sign to Augspurger Mt. down a wind swept ridge. Most of the trail resources say to make this climb in early spring because the trail gets over grown. This is particularly true for this part of the trail. The trail drops approx. 400 ft. and was covered grown with broad-leafed plants. This made traveling down the trail challenging coupled with the moisture from dew and early morning rains made travel slow, wet, and cold. When you reach the bottom you will walk through forested area past a few HUGE trees. This trail ends on a power line service road. Turn right and follow up hill. Follow road under the power line and back into the forest. Once in the forest continue for a bit, the Augspurger Mt. Trail will be on your right marked with a sign.
Now the second climb and the push to the summit, this trail section is the best part of the hike. Varied terrain, forested sections, open ridge sections with beautiful views, and alpine meadows full of wild flowers (depending on the time of year). The trail starts out nicely maintained, but as you climb the forest has been reclaiming it. The trail is easily followed, however you will have to do a little bush wicking. You will eventually arrive at what you would think is the peak, large flat meadow lined with trees. This is a great place for a break just not the peak. The trail will drop a little then start to climb again. The true peak is densely forest and the trail drops quickly after the peak has been reached.
Just before reaching the forested area there is a trail marked by a streamer on your right. This trail leads to a viewpoint and is well worth the half-mile hike. This trail is not maintained and it parked with can tops nailed to trees. At the end of this trail is a rock pile, spectacular views (when not obscured by clouds), and makes a great place for lunch.
Allow for 5 to 8 hours, we did it in about 6 hours including lunch. This is a great hike and I am surprised it is not more popular. The only people we saw were planning on camping over night. I would be inclined to do the same next time. There are many camping places just off the trail. The only issue is there is no water.