Length: 3.5 miles out and back. (7 miles round trip)
What to Wear: We hiked this trail in early May on a sunny day and were comfortable in shorts and short sleeved shirts and sneakers.
What to Pack:
- Bug Spray (important!)
- Check out our full list of what to pack for a day hike here
- Buy a parking pass on Sauvie Island. Passes are strictly enforced and parking tickets are $75 if you choose to risk it.
Things to Know:
- No alcohol allowed in this entire trail or beach area(s). Police are around and WILL enforce this rule.
- When the river is high, parts of the trail are under water. The deepest areas were knee-deep. Bring waterproof sandals or flip flops if you don't want to wade barefoot. We were barefoot and the trail is very soft.
- In the late afternoon around the standing-water areas, the mosquitoes come out. Bring your bug spray.
- Parking is abundant, but this is a popular area since it's one of the few sandy beach areas in all of Portland. If you arrive by mid-morning, you shouldn't have a problem.
- Parking is $10 for a day pass and must be purchased at one of the two corner markets you'll find on your way to the trail on Sauvie Island.
We really loved this hike. The washed-out areas of the trail were a surprise, but once we got used to the idea of kicking off our hikers and wading through standing water for a short area, it was no problem. The trail bed is soft and there didn't seem to be any critters to worry about.
If you're hoping for a big payoff with the lighthouse at the end of the trail, you'll be disappointed. The payoff of this trail happens during the hike itself, with abundant wildflowers and views of Mt. St. Helens and the Columbia River being the highlights. The lighthouse is, well, "stubby."
Getting Started on the Trail to Warrior Point Lighthouse
After you park and make your way to the trailhead, you'll walk alongside the Columbia River through open cow fields with beautiful views of the river and Mt. St. Helens before you enter the tree cover.
Tall Trees, Wildflowers, and Views of the Columbia River
The trail is completely flat. It ranges from single-track dirt to wide open grassy areas to washed-out water areas you'll have to wade through. The entire walk is quiet, with only the sound of the breeze in the trees, frogs, birds, and the occasional boat cruising by.
Be Ready to Get Wet
We were told by one of the police officers that the river was higher than he has ever seen it. We're assuming that's what caused the trail to be washed out in some areas. In the Summer, we're assuming this is not the case. But even so, if you have to wade through, it just adds to the adventure. The water is clean and the trail bottom is soft enough for bare feet.
The Lighthouse at Warrior Point on Sauvie Island
As I stated in the beginning of this post, if you're hoping for a huge payoff when you arrive to the lighthouse at Warrior Point, you might be disappointed. The beach is beautiful and the views of the river are gorgeous. But the lighthouse is short and when the river is as high as it was when we hiked it, you can't actually get near the lighthouse. During the drier months, as I understand it, you can walk right up to it.
Don't let this deter you from taking this hike. The fun really is in the journey on this one. The destination, even with the "stubby" little lighthouse, is still beautiful and peaceful, and a great place to kick off your shoes, sit in the sand and enjoy the sounds of the forest.
Things to Remember About Hiking to Warrior Point
The hike is easy. It's flat. Bring your dog but keep him or her on a leash. (Yeah, right, Portlanders. We know your dog is special and doesn't need a pesky leash. Just keep in mind... fines are REAL at this trail.) Make sure to buy a parking pass at one of the tiny markets on Sauvie Island, and arrive in the first half of the day for an ideal parking spot. And if you don't want to walk barefooted through knee-high water in the Spring, bring your Tevas or flip flops. And finally, don't forget the bug spray!
Heed our advice, and you'll have a great time at this hike. So far it's my favorite hike on Sauvie Island. :)
Have You Walked the Trail to Warrior Point? We Want To Hear From You!
Tell us about your adventures at Warrior Point in the comments section, below!