2017 Trips To Date Subscribe via RSS


Table Mountain

18 miles of hiking • 4750' elevation gain •

It was supposed to be a glorious day, and the views from Table Mountain could've been just incredible! Ah well, we had some great exercise. The skies were overcast, but the ceiling was high enough most surrounding volcanoes were visible. Winds were pretty strong, though, enough so to worry about losing (yet another!) hat. Snow's entirely gone on Westway, but still sketchy in woods above boulders on Heartbreak.

Comment 0 comments

April 16, 2017


Lyle Cherry Orchard

8 miles of hiking • 2000' elevation gain •

First time here with enough time to actually climb to the top, so we made the most of it. Looped the butte closest to town first, following the old "convict road," which was constructed in 1910-11 under the direction of Sam Hill. Climbed the bluff east of the high school, and hooked back into the main trail to the orchard. Wonderfully green vistas greeted us as we surveyed the Gorge. Found the two remaining, but just barely, cherry trees which were just starting to bud out. Finished with a wonderful stroll through the scrub oak up above.

Comment 0 comments

April 14, 2017


Dalles Mountain Ranch

5.5 miles of hiking • 1000' elevation gain •

After finishing the cherry orchard loop, we headed east and stopped first at Horsethief Lake to see the petroglpyhs. Oh my, what a treat that was! Then we just drove up to the ranch, and did a big loop through the lower bluffs. Not too many flowers out yet, though they're definitely getting underway. Really beat the rain to the east, that's for sure!

Comment 0 comments

April 14, 2017

Heart_bw 1

Eagle Creek

15 miles of hiking • 1750' elevation gain •

First springtime trip up Eagle Creek was no disappointment! The day, and the trail, were dry. Actually went up beyond Sevenmile Falls and back without ever getting wet feet, despite only wearing trail runners. We did choose to ford Wy'east Creek on purpose, rather than by falling off one of the very slick logs partially across it. The waterfalls all were glorious, and the wildflowers were starting to pop. A most excellent day in the woods, with a wonderful friend! :-)

Comment 0 comments

April 9, 2017

Heart_bw 1

Table Mountain

17.5 miles of hiking • 4750' elevation gain •

Decided it was time to see how tackling Table from the Bonneville trailhead, now that the Hot Springs has been sold and is off-limits, changed this old favorite. This definitely adds to the challenge, no doubts about it! It's a good 6.5 miles and 1700' of EG just to the point where the PCT meets the old trail up, and you're still no where near half way up given the roller-coaster nature of the 700 year-old landslide the trail crosses getting there.

Went up Heartbreak Ridge, which was probably a strategic mistake. Trail was under snow from the Two Chiefs viewpoint over to the boulder field, and again from the top of the boulder field to, well, the top! I think Westway may have been the better ascent option still, but who knows? Came down the same way, given how late in the day it was and how many unknowns there may have been using another untraveled exit.

My footprints were almost the only ones up top. Saw one other set, that could've been day old. Views were spectacular! The farther trailhead will keep them pretty serene, too, most likely. At least until a closer trailhead gets built.

Comment 0 comments

March 31, 2017


Silver Falls

12.5 miles of hiking • 1250' elevation gain •

Soaking wet day, which seems appropriate for waterfallin'.

Comment 0 comments

March 27, 2017


Oaks to Wetlands (RNWR)

2.5 miles of hiking • 250' elevation gain •

Nice sunny stroll through the refuge, somewhat limited by the Columbia running at flood stage, followed up with a car loop through the South ("River S") Unit.

Comment 0 comments

March 19, 2017


Deschutes River Trail

24.5 miles of hiking • 750' elevation gain •

Delightful ramble up, just a bit past the old abandoned ranch, and back down the Deschutes. Probably the only place in the entire PNW where it wasn't dumping buckets. The normally brown desert was resplendent in emerald green for Saint Paddy's Day, though. Saw lots of bird life, the flowers were just starting to pop, and it was just an awesome leg stretcher! :-)

Comment 0 comments

March 17, 2017


Stacker Butte

17 miles of hiking • 3500' elevation gain •

After a drenching week, it was time to head east again, where we (again) found blue skies and bare ground! Delightful hike, starting at the Crawford Oaks trailhead down along SR-14, winding along the Vista Trail and enjoying magnificent river views, then wandering off trail from the hang-gliding launch spot on up. Winds were howling most of the day, but particularly up high. Creeks, many of which I had no idea even existed, were flowing full. Lots of early bloomers out below 1500' or so.

Comment 0 comments

March 10, 2017


Klickitat Rail Trail

18 miles of hiking • 500' elevation gain •

Had a nice walk up the Klickitat River to just past MP8 and back, enjoyed a fresh slice of raspberry pie à la mode in the Lyle Diner, then (since it wasn't yet dark) did a loop around the Lower Catherine Creek area and found the first grass widows of Spring! Really nice day with blue skies and (mostly) bare/dry trails!

Comment 0 comments

March 3, 2017


Hamilton Mountain

12.5 miles of hiking • 3000' elevation gain •

Yep, again. It's a good thing the closest mountain to home is also such a fun one to play on, because I just seem to keep going back. And now, it's one of the few Gorge trails that's actually doable. Finally. What a mess this winter has been!

Fair bit of storm damage, but overall the trails in Beacon Rock State Park are hikable. Traction (microspikes) helped a lot in the upper areas. The snow is very dense, and kicking steps really isn't an option when needed. First time I've ever been turned back on Don's Cutoff. Hillside was just too steep and hard, and sliding into a tree there would hurt!

So after taking the road down from the saddle, we headed back uphill towards the Equestrian Bridge, which we found with well over a meter of snow covering it! First boot prints along that whole stretch, which after looping back to the Hardy Creek crossing added another nice 3.5 miles to the day.

A huge tree has fallen just past the bridge below Hardy Falls, and its rootball has taken out most of the trail. It's still passable, but prepare to get muddy!

Comment 0 comments

February 25, 2017

Heart_bw 1

Bells Mountain Trail

19 miles of hiking • 3750' elevation gain •

Finally! After four months of some of the worst weather ever... Miles and miles of trail over dirt and duff! This is a great low-elevation option, just far enough from the Gorge not to have suffered all the ice-storm damage, to break out of the winter blahs.

We started with a quick side-trip over to Yacolt Creek Falls, where we found the bridge had been swung wide open, so we couldn't do the mini-loop. Then enjoyed the classic views of the Moulton Falls Park bridge, before heading south along Bells Creek Trail. It's just as steep as ever those first couple miles. :-)

Hitting the first clearcut, we enjoyed magnificent views of Mount Saint Helens and surrounding peaks. (Even Minnie!) The older clearcuts are really starting to take off, with new trees 15-20' high now. Lots of reforestation happening in the newer ones, too. But, despite the reputation, most of the trail is through forested buffers and along gorgeous waterways.

Hiked a bit more than 7.5 miles along BMT before we hit Cold Creek day use area, beside Cedar Creek Falls, for lunch. The return was very much the same... Joyful! Just to be on dry ground again. Not even the couple ticks picked up by the dog could put a damper on this (what seemed to be) first day of Spring!

Comment 0 comments

February 17, 2017


Whipple Creek

5.5 miles of hiking • 1000' elevation gain •

Had a ton of yardwork to do, but slipped away for a couple hours in the afternoon to go explore Whipple Creek Park again. Hadn't been in here in 15-20 years or so, because it was SO DAMN MUDDY the last time. But it seems the WTA has been putting in a lot of good work, and the trails are really in very nice shape. (Especially given the horrid winter we've had!)

Had to cross trails with a half-dozen horses, or so, as well as two unleashed German Shepherds (wth is wrong with people?), so that was kinda fun with my dog. He'd never encountered horses "in the wild" before. This is a great "new" option to add to local leg-stretchers! I'll be back.

Comment 0 comments

February 12, 2017

Heart_bw 1

North Coldwater

9 miles of hiking • 1750' elevation gain •

Seems we may have taken a "wrong turn" somewhere, and "missed" our trail? We ended up scootching around the north side of Coldwater Lake, enjoying some pretty epic landscapes. Unfortunately, we also saw far too many signs of wanton forest rape, as a company that makes holiday wreaths and swags had given a buzz-cut to countless square miles of noble fir. About the nastiest treatment of living things I've ever witnessed personally. (Which is either a very good or very bad thing, I suppose?)

Other than the forest-rapers' devastation, it was a most-pleasant day indeed!

Comment 0 comments

January 28, 2017

Heart_bw 1

Forest Park

15.5 miles of hiking • 1500' elevation gain •

Had absolutely no interest (or stomach) for participating in the national media obsession du jour, so on this very gloomy day for the USA, decided that a nice, long walk in the woods was exactly what was called for. Fittingly, the woods were fairly gloomy too, as they were just beginning to recover from the most recent Snopocalypse.

It was my first time hiking in Forest Park, really. And I'll say it lived right up to all my expectations for muddy trails and invasive species. But it was relaxing and rejuvenating at the same time, to just walk mile after mile in the rain, paying little attention to the pervasive wetness. I'll be exploring this area more in the future, I suppose.

This day, we started at Lower Macleay Park, followed the Wildwood for what seemed like quite a ways, cut downhill on the Maple Trail, and then followed Lief Erickson Drive back to our starting point. Lesson learned, Lief Erickson is much shorter than it looks on the maps, compared to the other trails out there. Give it less weight when calculating turnaround times and distances.

Comment 2 comments

January 20, 2017

Heart_bw 1

Debris Flow Exploration

8 miles of hiking • 1250' elevation gain •

We seem to have missed a turn along the Boundary Trail, as we headed east into the blast zone intent on exploring the 1980 debris flows. Snowshoes meant we didn't even leave footprints, at least after 30 minutes of the persist winds. A most incredible day on the volcano!

Comment 0 comments

January 14, 2017


Icicle Tour

8 miles of hiking • 1750' elevation gain •

Fun day in the frozen Gorge! Hopped in and out of the car, hitting three different smaller adventures. Icicles galore! Started the day with a tour of Upper McCord and Elowah Falls, then a brief jaunt up Eagle Creek, and ended with a quick in-n-out at Wahclella.

First time I've wandered around our initial destination. Headed up towards the Upper McCall Falls first. Ran across a huge (12-14" diameter?) cast iron pipe running down the hillside at one point. No idea what the heck that might've once been! The railing-provided walkway blasted from basalt offered beautiful, crisp views of the mountains across the river in Washington. Then we hit the icicles, which ultimately had frozen up the entire trail. That was our turn around.

Headed down towards Elowah Falls and ran into Webfoot, an old "virtual" friend from PortlandHikers.org - always fun! The falls were spectactular! Ice formations of countless variation. Incredible 40'-tall(ish) pyramid of ice beneath the falls. Took lots of photos; froze fingers in the process. It was about 24° at this point. Just beautiful.

Thought we'd go check out the Metlako viewpoint, that is no more, next. But it wasn't to be. Got a mile, mile-and-a-half, up the trail and decided there was a spot that just didn't warrant the risk of continuing. Lots of ice had rained down from above, so footing wasn't solid and generally sloped over the very near cliff. The cable was no help, either, as it was pretty frozen in. Oh well. Ran into Don, another PH irregular here, too!

Final stop was the normally tourist-overrun Wahclella Falls, which today had but a fraction of its normal traffic. More beautiful than ever, ensconced in ice! Again, we passed under cliffs letting loose massive amounts of ice. Kinda crazy. But beautiful!

Great day in the Gorge!

Comment 0 comments

January 6, 2017


View trips from: 2013 2014 2015 2016