Sunshine predicted for Wednesday! This is one of my favorite hikes to do any time of year, but a sunny day will be even nicer for this classic Gorge trek on the Washington side.
TOTAL MILES: 8.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 2100 ft
PACE: “Moderate” (2.0~2.5 mph)
DIFFICULTY RATING: Moderate
ESTIMATED HIKING TIME: 5 hours with a long, leisurely lunch break to work on our tans
PERMITS: Discover Pass
Return time: around 4 -4:30 pm.
CARPOOLING: RT mileage is around 80+ miles, give or take; I suggest a mileage donation of 10 cents/mile/person, or $8.00. Exact change makes it easier to divide among our drivers. No one will be turned away for an inability to contribute. Thanks!
This trail climbs steadily as you leave the trailhead on the approach to Hardy Falls. The falls are always scenic and includes the Pool of Winds. The trail then drops down to cross the creek and then again begins its accent again. I plan to take the "more difficult" route up to the summit. We'll take a break, then follow the ridge down to an open saddle where there are more great photo opportunities, We'll then loop back via Don's cutoff and several forest roads. A hike description is here:
A Washington State Discover Pass is required to park. I will have one with me and plan to drive. Rangers check every day and the fine is $99 for not having the pass. A daily pass is $10. If we don't have enough drivers with passes, we will buy day passes and divide the cost among the group, so bring some $1s with you.
NO DOGS or small children, please.
There are restrooms at the trailhead and one on the return loop.
If you plan to drive, please come with enough gas for the trip so we don't need to stop.
What to bring:
• Two or three light layers of clothing that can be adjusted or removed as necessary (NO COTTON!!!)
• Rain shell (can double as a windbreaker)
• Safety whistle, preferably on a cord around your neck (highly recommended)
• The 10 essentials*
• Trekking poles (never a bad idea)
• Lunch, snacks and plenty of water
*Navigation, Sun protection, Insulation, Illumination, First Aid, Fire, Repair Kit/Tools, Nutrition, Hydration, Emergency Shelter. For a more detailed description, check out “The Ten Essentials” on the Portland Hiking Meetup Group’s FILES page.