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Sandy River Delta

Trailhead in Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Overview

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Stewardships

Description

Pay the new $5.00 per vehicle per day fee at Recreation.gov or at an official Recreation Pass Vendor near you. Or, display a valid pass: NW Forest Pass“Every Kid Outdoors”, “America the Beautiful” or Golden Age/Access. Sorry, Oregon & Washington State passes NOT accepted. 

This 1,500-acre natural area is a gateway from Portland to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area that offers horseback riding, hiking, biking, wading, and fishing. Acquired by the Forest Service in 1991, the delta is managed to restore and protect scenic, cultural, recreational, and natural resources in the river bottomlands where the Sandy River meets the Columbia River. The delta's forests and meadows have been under ecological restoration for decades, and in 2013, an old dike was removed from the Sandy River, restoring its natural channel and improving habitat for salmon and steelhead. 

A “key viewing area,” the delta offers spectacular views of the western Columbia Gorge. Rich in biological diversity, it was long the site of thriving native culture and was even visited by the Lewis and Clark expedition. Five miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails offer year round recreation. East of the buck and rail fence, a closed Wildlife Habitat Zone supports migratory birds and wildlife.

Seasonal waterfowl hunting by shotgun at the site is only allowed on lands northeast of the buck and rail fence and powerlines, for those holding a valid state hunting license or exercising tribal rights.

Please conserve and care for the Sandy River Delta by practicing “Leave No Trace” principles. This means keeping dogs under control, ensuring they do not alter the landscape by digging holes, and by packing out their waste. Pets must be leashed in the parking, bathroom, and picnic areas and along Confluence Trail.

Multi-use trails include:

  • Confluence Trail - A 1.25 mile gravel ADA trail leading to an eliptical bird blind designed by Maya Lin, made possible by our partners at Confluence Project. Please leash dogs with 100 feet along this trail. The bird blind, comprised of black locust slats, list all the species encountered by Lewis and Clark during the 1904-1906 Corps of Discovery expedition. Listen to Confluence's audio tour
  • Boundary Trail  - A 1.25 mile trail near the habitat restoration zone
  • Meadow Road - 0.25 mile route leading to Confluence Trail
  • Meadow Trail - 2 mile path through meadows with Columbia Gorge views
  • Ranch Dike Trail - 1.25 miles through cottonwoods
  • Old Channel Trail - 1.75 miles along the Sandy River's pre-restoration channel

Commercial dog walking is prohibited at Sandy River Delta, as it can impact public health and safety, aggravate crowding, create conflicts, and damage the floodplain ecosystem. 

Allowed Activities
Hiking
Picnicking
Mountain Biking
Horseback Riding
Geocaching
Fishing

Additional Information

Activities

  • Day Hiking
  • Geocaching & Letterboxing
  • Horse Riding
  • Mountain Biking
  • Picnicking
  • River and Stream Fishing

Fee

$5.00 per vehicle per day -- pay at Recreation.gov, visit an official Recreation Pass Vendor near you, or display a valid federal pass (see Passes section). Sorry, Oregon & Washington State passes NOT accepted. Federally-recognized American Indian tribes may request a free administrative pass for select activities. No cash is accepted on site.

Hours

Open sunrise to sunset.

Restrictions

  • No camping or being in the area from sunset to sunrise.  
  • Fireworks and fires are always prohibited. 
  • Dogs must be on leash in parking lot, bathroom, picnic areas, and within 100 feet of Confluence Trail.
  • Commercial dog walking is prohibited. Do not charge a fee to walk, train, or care for other’s pets here.
  • Hay and crop products must be certified weed-free.
  • Hunting is restricted to waterfowl shotgun hunting in the designated area east of the buck and rail fence and north of the power lines.

Open Season Start

year round