Hiking The Columbia River Gorge
by Russ Schneider, revised by Jim Yuskavitch (Falcon Guides)
© 2014 Russ Schneider, revised by Jim Yuskavitch/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
This is a great hike and it will for sure test your strength. I actually packed 45 lbs up the mountain and slept on top with the deer. I wouldn’t recommend this as the extra weight made the last mile to the top dangerous. Next time we are going to set up a base camp below to do an overnighter. Be sure to filter water at the lake on the way out as most of this section is without tree cover and you will most likely be tired and in need of plenty of water.
If you are looking for a long hike, mostly under a tree canopy with a grueling (OK, maybe that is a little srong) 1.3 miles at the middle going up ... and down .. this is it. I went on a date when it was humid and 95 degrees, but luckily overcast. The 1.3 miles to the top is mostly out in the open. The view at the top can't be beaten.
I would STRONGLY recommend at least 3 liters of water, 4 is better (you can stash some at the junction, before the 1.3 mile ascent. I think a hiking stick is also STRONGLY recommended for the ascent, and more so for the descent. It's boulder-y about half the time, and the other half is loose rock / dirt, so this is VERY easy to slide on the steep slopes.
A stop at Gillette Lake on the way back is a must. It is us about 8 hours, with 20 minutes at the top and 30 minutes at the lake.
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