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Located near Plymouth Park, the Portage Route Trail follows the Washington shoreline of the Columbia River. This trail highlights all forms of transportation and industry. Bound by the railroad to the north, McNary Dam to the east, its lock to the south, and passing under I-82 to start the journey, this isn’t your typical trail.

  • What To Do
    • Walking Path/ Biking

      At roughly two miles in length, this out-and-back trail starts near Plymouth Park and terminates at McNary Dam. This is a short trail, easily navigated by foot or bicycle. The mostly dirt and gravel path passes through an old train tunnel as it follows the Columbia River.

  • What To Expect

    The first half of the trail is wide and mostly gravel, passing through two tunnels. The first is a small corrugated tunnel under the I-82, and the second is an old train tunnel through basalt rock roughly 100 yards in length. The tunnel's end is visible upon entry, but it is quite dark so bring a source of light.

  • When To Go

    This trail is accessible year round. In summer months, remember this part of the state is a desert so pack plenty of water and sunscreen. There are few opportunities to find shade. After rain or perhaps as any snow melts, the trail does puddle fairly significantly.

  • How To Get There

    From Walla Walla head west on HWY 12 for 30 miles to Wallula Junction and keep straight joining HWY 730, which follows the Columbia River. Continue on HWY 730 for 25 miles to the town of Umatilla, OR and turn right onto I-82 W/US-395 N to cross the Columbia River. Take exit 131 and turn left to join HWY 14. Follow for one mile, and then turn left on S Plymouth Road. The road will make a Y, turn left onto Engineers Road and follow to its end. The trail begins at the tunnel.

Please do not solely rely on Google Maps as their route might not always reflect what is maintained.

  • Your Public Lands

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

  • Distance:

    Within 1.5 Hours

  • Difficulty Level:

    Day Tripper

  • Seasons:

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

  • Elevation:

    290 feet

  • Pets:


  • Reservations:


  • ADA:


  • Multi-Use:


  • Motorized Vehicles :


  • Fees


  • Permits

    None required to park or utilize the trail.

  • Regulations

    Leave No Trace

  • Amenities


  • Wildlife Awareness

    We are all so fortunate to recreate in the Blue Mountains. So many opportunities exist to play outside whether in a national forest, wilderness area, on a Wild and Scenic River, and more! With these opportunities comes great responsibility to appreciate that we are mere visitors and should all take pride in being good stewards of the wild. Many animals call these protected places home, including moose, elk, bear, cougar, bobcat, and snakes to name a few. Take precautions to respect their home and understand the appropriate response should an encounter occur. Additionally, many plant species thrive in the Blue Mountains, so staying on trail is always good practice. Carry First Aid supplies to better respond to accidents or encounters, and always let others know where the day's adventure is taking you.

  • Field Notes

    Navigation: Consider downloading the Avenza Map app. This app allows users to upload three maps (or unlimited with a subscription) to use offline. It can track your location offline and overlay GPS data from the phone onto the map. The vehicle use maps (for trails allowing motorized vehicles) are the easiest to use. Otherwise, Geo Tracker offers similar tracking capabilities and additional details about your adventure. If no service, Geo Tracker will at least show your location. The Blue Mountains and surrounding area offer a remote recreating experience, and knowing your location is paramount to staying safe. Always make sure to bring paper maps. Tell others where your adventure is taking you and when you expect to return.

    Difficulty Level: Here is what we are thinking when we assign a difficulty level: Day Tripper--You don't have much experience in the area but want to get outside! Great for families of all ages. Adventurer--You know your way around the Blue Mountains and love a leisurely day outdoors. Mountaineer--You are ready for a challenge. Wild places excite you and sweat is the goal. Small children beware. Keep in mind some activities may apply to multiple difficulty levels based on usage.

    Pets: In general, pets are allowed on a leash and under control throughout jurisdictions. The only restrictions we have encountered are around swimming areas. As a best practice, be mindful of riparian habitat in general. You never know where a precious spawning area might be located. Pack it in and pack it out applies to your furry friend as well.