5 miles of hiking • 1500' elevation gain •
Short and sweet pretty little hike on the eastern Washington side of the gorge. I love this area, and seeing how the landscape changes as you drive out from Portland.
The trail starts with a somewhat steep climb, with an option to check out the abandoned convict road when you hit the sign for the orchard. We peaked around the bend but a significant landslide made us turn back. Perhaps I'll check it out in the summer on a dry day, without my dog. Onwards and up, we hit a trail split, and walked westward for some nice views. Even with cloudy dark skies it is still an excellent look at the geology of the gorge. We backtracked and continued our climb up. This is where the trail can get kind of thin, and a little scary for those afraid of heights as the drop offs are significant. The trail was fairly frozen on our way up, but turned to slippery mud on our way down. I highly recommend poles. Keep your eyes open for river rocks deposited from the Missoula floods as you ascend.
Once finished with the final ascent, we found ourselves in a delightfully spooky forest of trees, straight out of a Tim Burton scene. The final section of this hike is mostly gentle, with one final viewpoint Eastward of The Dalles before returning the way we came. There are options to extend the hike on a farm road/powerline corridor, but we turned back as we had discovered a few ticks on our dog Lily.
Wonderful gloomy hike in the gorge.