Sandy River Delta

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. 

Pay the 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 and Washington State passes NOT accepted.