Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Hiking Guide Balfour Klickitat Day Use Area

Balfour Klickitat Day Use Area

Southwest Washington > Columbia River Gorge - WA
45.6992, -121.2932 Map & Directions
0.75 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
150 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
The fireplace at Balfour Klickitat Day Use Area. Photo by Anna Roth. Full-size image
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Wildlife
  • Good for kids
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Rivers

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Saved to My Backpack

A short, paved loop trail just outside the town of Lyle that offers excellent bird-watching and a quiet walk in the east side of the Gorge. Continue reading

0.00 out of 5

(0 votes) Log in to rate

Hiking Balfour Klickitat Day Use Area

Formerly a ranch, this area was acquired by the Forest Service in 1994, and is now a quiet, barrier-free trail for all visitors to enjoy just outside of the town of Lyle. Efforts are being made to restore native grasses and flowers on this property, and the wildlife here is abundant – in winter, look for bald eagles in the trees, and in early spring, the grasses are abuzz with creatures great and small.

From the parking area, head towards the restrooms, and then turn left onto the upper trail, which goes back away from the highway. After a short stroll, arrive at an interpretive sign just below a directional sign pointing the way to a ‘Wildlife Viewing Area’.

It’s just a short descent to a picnic table and an overlook area where you can watch for bald eagles in winter without disturbing them. Across the way, chickens and ducks in neighboring yards may raise a ruckus, but otherwise it’s remarkably quiet for how close to the highway this location is.

Once you’ve birdwatched to your heart’s content, turn around and come back the way you came. This time, when you reach the interpretive sign, take the lower trail, which parallels the Wild and Scenic Klickitat River as it heads south towards the highway.

At one point, water crosses the trail, which may make for tricky passage for those on wheels. Finish your hike by rounding a corner and heading uphill back to the parking lot, passing an old fireplace at the tail end of the trail. This is the last remnant of the land’s history as a ranch.

Toilet Information

  • Toilet at trailhead

More information about toilets

Wheelchair Accessibility

The switchbacks at this trail are somewhat steep and the pavement is puckered in places. Some wheelchair users may require assistance.

Hike Description Written by
Anna Roth, WTA Staff

Balfour Klickitat Day Use Area

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 45.6992, -121.2932 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee


WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

Coming from the west, travel on Highway 14 and go just past the bridge leading out of Lyle. Turn right onto Old Highway 8 and travel about 300 yards up the hill. The turnoff will be on the right.

Coming from the east, you'll drive west on Highway 14 and just before coming to Lyle, turn left onto Old Highway 8. Follow directions as stated above.

More Hike Details


Southwest Washington > Columbia River Gorge - WA

Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry!

Balfour Klickitat Day Use Area

2 Trip Reports

Hiked here recently?

Submit a trip report!
Trip Reports