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.
If you are a person who enjoys an arduous hike with a relatively scarce amount of scenery, then this is the trail for you. However, I desired for a little of both - challenge and beauty, yet I did not find exactly what was promised. I had conducted a fair amount of homework into this trail before setting out for my journey. What I had read was that it was a very popular trail and it was well-maintained. Furthermore, the view from the top, as well as the view along the way were said to be fantastic. This is far from what I experienced. Don't get me wrong, the views from the top are beautiful - but they are not that exciting... definitely not worth the amount of work it takes to get there!
This is a difficult trail with a steep grade, but the views from the top are spectacular and well worth it. In wet weather I'd take the Augsberger trail down - it's not so steep and slick.
Provides awesome views of the Columbia Gorge. This isn't a trail for seclusion, though. I went on a beautiful weekend day, one of the first after a long Portland, OR winter, and found myself coming across others on the trail a lot.
Great hike -- did it on a gorgeous morning. The wildflowers were just starting to bloom. Friends did this hike two weeks later (mid-May) and saw ALL the flowers in full bloom! Little windy up top, so bring a windbreaker. Amazing views of Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens & Mt. Adams.
I do recommend getting to the trail head early on a Saturday. We were the 1st car in the parking lot (~7am) had the trail mostly to ourselves. However, finished the hike at 11am & the lot was full (3 rows deep). Other note, I'd leave the dog at home -- way too much poison oak on the trail at lower elevation.
The view of the Gorge from this trail is one of the best I have seen yet, as I usually hike on the Oregon side. As mentioned in the other review, you definately work for your view on this hike, but once you reach the top, there is a great place for a picnic. This is not a good hike when it is cold or raining out, as you end up very exposed on higher portions of the trail. Dog mountain is a great loop trail, but it is not my first choice for Gorge trails.
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