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Multnomah/Wahkeena Falls Loop + Devil’s Rest

August 13, 2011

This post is a little late.  I’ve been focused on other things.

Set out alone on July 30 to do the Multnomah/Wahkeena Falls Loop  trail.  Started at the “return trail” from the Multnomah side just about 7:15 am.  Temperature 62 deg.  My new Celestron barometer/altimeter show the elevation at Multnomah Lodge to be 55 feet.  This ghost in a gnarled tree greeted me at the start of the trail.

Traffic on the Wahkeena trail was very light — saw only 3 other hikers up to the junction and they were all taking pictures of the falls or the creek.  This is a popular trail that moves next to the eastern side of the creek for some nice scenery.  Just a short hike brings you to Wahkeena Falls.  The picture doesn’t do it justice.

Not far above the Falls is Lemmon’s View Point, a memorial to fire fighter Keith Lemmons who died fighting a fire in 1983.  A brass plaque marks the spot, which offers nice views of the Gorge.

As I reached the junction with the Devil’s Rest trail the sun was just peeking through the trees, offering interesting shafts of sunlight through the bit of remaining moisture.  This is one  of the reasons I like to get an early start.

The Devil’s Rest trail head is at a junction with the Larch Mountain trail at elevation 1,550 ft. (according to my Celestron).  Since I was feeling good I decided to add Devil’s Rest to this hike.  This adds about 1.6 miles out and back, but the day was young, even if I wasn’t.   It takes you through open, old growth forest.  The only really good lookout point I saw was near the end, where you can step just off the trail and overlook the Gorge with Mt. Adams in the distance.  Devil’s Rest itself is not marked and if you aren’t paying attention you might not realize you are there — except the maintained trail pretty much ends anyway.   My altimeter registered 2550 ft. at the Rest.  On the return I passed one couple coming up.  Otherwise I might as well have been alone in the world for the whole of the Devil’s Rest leg.  Incredibly peaceful.

Back at the junction, after a bite to eat and drink, it was on toward Larch Mountain for the next leg of the loop trail.  About half way along this section of trail it was mid-morning and I began to see more casual hikers coming up from the Multnomah side of the loop.  By the time I got to the junction of the Multnomah Falls trail and the Larch Mountain trail it began to get pretty busy.  The section of trail from this junction back toward Multnomah Falls follows along the west side of the creek and has really great scenery — falls, cascades, log jams, and pools.  Lots of photo ops here.  Lots more people too.  Note to self: come back with a better camera.

By the time I reached the top of the paved section of the Multnomah Falls trail it was definitely crowded.  This was, after  all, a beautiful, sunny Sunday morning and the paved trail attracts large crowds.  So I picked my way down to the bottom of the trail and headed home.  Total of around 6.5 miles and a 2400 foot elevation gain.  Elapsed time: 5 hours.

I’ll do this hike again, hopefully many times.


Book Review: Day Hike! Columbia Gorge

July 16, 2011

Seabury Blair, Jr., has put together a series of  excellent guides to 67 day hikes in the Gorge.  These are the most detailed descriptions I have found.  This is a 2nd edition (2011), published by Sasquatch Books.  Well worth a look.

Angel’s Rest July 14, 2011

July 16, 2011

Angel’s Rest.  Trail No. 415 in the Columbia River Gorge.  4.4 miles round-trip.  Elevation gain 1,540 feet.  Moderately difficult.  This trail is a pretty steady climb to the Rest.

I headed up Angel’s Rest for a short afternoon hike.  The weather was comfortable at 71 degrees and partly cloudy.  Passed Coopey Creek at about the 1/2 mile point.  Click on the images to enlarge.

Coopey Creek

Wild flowers look like they are past their peak but there was one lonely wild iris along with a few tiger lilies and columbine.

                                                                                                     Tiger Lily

Here is a view of the Columbia River Valley, looking west from the Angel’s Rest area.  Weather wasn’t optimal for pictures on this day.  You can see a couple of burned out trees from a fire that went through here (1991 I think).

The round-trip took about 3 hours, allowing for a rest and snack at the top, and time for photos.  All-in-all a  great afternoon hike.

Hello world!

July 14, 2011

Welcome to nwwalker.   I’m just getting started.  Check back for trail logs and reviews of hiking related books/gear.