An excellent hike just outside Portland, Oregon that leads up to a ridge about 1600 feet high, overlooking the Columbia River Gorge (and I-84).

The route, from trailhead to summit, is approximately 4.4 miles and is fairly steep and rocky. For an out-of-shape computer jockey like me, it's murder going up, but the view from the top is well worth it. More seasoned hikers (like the ones who were breezing past me on the way up) will probably find the trail moderately easy. If you do the hike in the spring or early summer, you'll see hundreds of species of wildflower along the trail. In addition to the beautiful wildflowers, you're likely to see a wide range of birds, squirrels, snakes and other small animals.

There's a nice burbling creek that runs by the trail approximately a third of the way up. This is a great place to sit for a minute, maybe get your head wet to take away the heat in the summer.

Near the summit, there's a large rocky area where snakes like to sun themselves when the weather's good. Don't worry, there are no native poisonous snakes in Oregon -- most of the snakes you'll see are garter snakes or grass snakes, which are perfectly harmless.

Once you reach the summit, be sure to look for the nice wooden bench. It's a great place to sit and watch small planes and boats go through the gorge below you. The view on a clear day is absolutely stunning -- you can see for miles in every direction.

For those of you with GPS devices, here are a few useful coordinates I made a note of:

  • Trailhead: N45°33.616' - W122°10.363'
  • Bridge over creek: N45°33.700' - W122°09.775'
  • Big goofy rock: N45°33.771' - W122°09.497' (just 600 more vertical feet to the summit!)
  • Bench at summit: N45°33.852' - W122°09.194'

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