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Dayhikes: Dillon Falls, OR
Monday, April 28 @ 09:26:15 PDT by (164 reads)
Day hikes in the Northwest.Drew writes "
Vicinity Location: The trailhead is about 125 miles southeast of Portland, Oregon in the Deschutes National Forest. 

Directions:
From Portland, drive to Bend, about 175 miles. From Bend, drive south onto Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway passing through several traffic circles. After the last traffic circle, continue on Cascade Lakes Highway / SW Century Dr for about 5 miles.

Turn left onto Dillon Falls Rd / NF-41 and continue for 2.6 miles.

Turn left onto Forest Road 4120 for .5 mile, and take the left fork to head south for 1 mile on Forest Road 4120 100. The road leads to a parking area just upstream from the falls.

There is a restroom at the trailhead.

From May 1 through September 30 $5 daily permit or a Northwest Forest pass is required. No on-site purchase for permits. No permits are needed to park between October 1st and June 30.

Dogs are allowed and have to be on-leash from May 15th to September 15th.

Trail:

Deschutes River Trail.

There is no geocache on this trail, but there is farther up the Deschutes River Trail.

Trail Maps:
Topo MapDownload Garmin .gpx file

Length and Elevation:
1.3 miles roundtrip. Elevation at the trailhead is 4,050 feet. Elevation gain totals 100 feet. Total gain and loss is 200 feet. Highest elevation is 4,050 feet. 

Review: April 17, 2014.
Dillon Falls was named after Leander Dillon, a homesteader from the late 1800’s. The trail goes north towards Dillon Falls with a short side-trail to the river’s edge. Here the river spits water into the air during the spring runoffs. The river races over a series of small waterfalls and quickly drops about 10 and into a narrow canyon. Over the next quarter mile the river drops about 50 feet more. Follow the trail along the rim of the cliff as the Deschutes River is squeezed into a quarter-mile long chasm that is 40 to 60 feet wide. There are several nice views looking both upstream and downstream at the churning water.

After following the trail downstream for about .25 mile, there is a trail junction with steps leading to a trail that continues downstream along the bottom of the lava cliffs. Follow this for as long as you like. It eventually rejoins the upper trail.

The river fans out at the end of the canyon and this is a good place to turn around and return up the stairs.

Back at the junction, wander a bit more downstream for more nice views of the Deschutes

You can continue along the trail and go upstream and enjoy other views of the Deschutes River or return to your car.

This trail is good for children who have done some hiking and know to stay back from the cliffs and fast-moving river. Use caution with your pets as squirrels and other rodents can safely scamper over the edge of the cliff but your pet cannot.

Enjoy the photos!!

Gallery Pics

Switchback Steve

"

(Read More... | Score: 0)

Dayhikes: Memaloose Hills, OR
Monday, April 28 @ 08:34:15 PDT by (162 reads)
Day hikes in the Northwest.Drew writes "Vicinity Location: The trailhead is about 65 miles east of Portland, in the Columbia River Gorge.

Directions:
From Portland, drive on I-84 East from Portland for about 65 miles, driving past Hood River.

Take exit 69 for U.S. 30 and drive towards Mosier for .2 mile.

Turn right at the stop sign onto U.S. 30 E and drive for about 2.8 miles,  passing through Mosier, to the parking area for the Memaloose Overlook.

There is no restroom at the trailhead.

No permits are needed to park here.

Length and Elevation:
Total length is about 1.5 miles. Elevation gain is 700 feet and 700 foot loss. Elevation at the trailhead is 200 feet. The high point is 900 feet.

Trail:
No official named trails. The 1.5 miles is not the total length of this trail as there are connections to other trails.

There is at least one geocache for this trail at: N 45° 41.153 W 121° 20.364 Info at Geocaching.com.

Trail Maps:
Topo Map - future, Download Garmin .gpx file - future

Review: May 11, 2014
From the parking area along the road, find the signboard on the left side and walk a short distance downhill to an overlook with a stone railing. The overlook provides great views of basalt rock formations in the Gorge. From the overlook you can see the part of Memaloose Island that wasn’t covered when the Bonneville Dam was built, over 30 miles downstream.

Walk back across the road and watch out for bicycles speeding downhill. There is a fair amount of Poison Oak near the trailhead but very little once you reach the groves of oak trees.

This is one of the shadier hikes in the east end of the Gorge. You walk through and alternate landscape of lovely meadows and under old oak trees along a winding trail. Though the trail is fairly rocky with cantaloupe sized rocks poking above the soil, there are plenty of places where it is a dirt path with very few rocks.

The countryside is a carpet of green. Everything is green; the grasses, the lupines, the desert parsley, and the oak trees are that nice shade of new-leaf green with the wildflowers sprinkled throughout.
The nice breeze and rustling leaves makes you want to lie down and take a nap.

As you walk through the woods, the trail gently gains elevation, goes up a little bump, then traverses a flat meadow before dipping down and climbing again.

Continuing along the trail there is a seasonal creek to cross.

The birds, crickets, and wildflowers make for a delightful hike. For a Gorge trail, this is an amazingly level trail and is great for kids who know what Poison Oak looks like. As with any trail in the Gorge, beware of ticks along the trail and in the trees.

Enjoy the photos!

Gallery Pics - future

Switchback Steve

"

(Read More... | Score: 0)

Dayhikes: Horsethief Butte, WA
Monday, April 28 @ 08:26:15 PDT by (157 reads)
Day hikes in the Northwest.Drew writes "Vicinity Location: The trailhead is about 77 miles east of Portland, in the Columbia River Gorge.

Directions:
From Portland, drive on I-84 East from Portland for about 65 miles, driving past Hood River.

Take exit 87 to Hwy 197 and drive 3 miles north to Highway 14 and turn right.

Go 2.8 miles, driving past the main entrance to Horsethief Lake State Park. Look on the right for the paved parking lot for the trailhead.

There is a restroom in the parking lot.

A Washington Discovery Pass is required to park here.

Length and Elevation:
Total length is 1.6 miles. Elevation gain is 220 feet and 220 foot loss. Elevation at the trailhead is 285 feet. The high point is 440 feet.

Trail:
There is at least one geocache for this trail at: N 45° 38.849 W 121° 05.861 Info at Geocaching.com.

Trail Maps:
Topo MapDownload Garmin .gpx file

Review: May 4, 2014
From the trailhead, walk past the restroom and down the gravelled path. Pass by a wet area containing dogwood and wild roses. After a short distance the landscape becomes very dry and the soil turns dusty. You soon come to a junction. The left fork heads to the butte and starts climbing. In a very short time the trail runs out and you are forced to climb rocks to continue. This is a good place to turn around and walk back towards that first trail junction.

Continuing on the right fork of the trail, walk along the base of Horsethief Butte to another well-trodden junction and continue on the right fork, walking around the butte. There are really nice views of spring flowers with the Columbia River as a backdrop.

All too soon the trail starts passing through Poison Oak then ends at a precipitous drop. This is a good point to turn back, make your way back to the last main trail junction, and turn right to head up onto Horsethief Butte.

It is an easy but rocky walk that leads up and into the center of the butte. It isn't long before you start seeing rock climbers. This is a very popular spot for beginning rock climbers and there is a good chance you’ll see clusters of climbers learning the ropes.

You can walk all the way through the center of the butte. Near the far end of the butte there is an easy scramble up to the north rim of the butte, providing nice views of the lava cliffs to the north and the Gorge both east and west. Sit and watch the rock climbers then make your way back the way you came to the trailhead.

This hike has some shortcomings in that there isn’t a loop trail and the terrain is dry. There are some wildflowers but not carpets of wildflowers. The views are nice but not spectacular. What can make this an outstanding trip is to hike Horsethief Butte then drive west for 1.2 miles and turn left down into the park and view the petroglyphs that were rescued when the dams were built and parts of the Gorge were flooded.

Full review soon.

Enjoy the photos!!

Switchback Steve

"

(Read More... | Score: 0)

Dayhikes: Mitchell Point, OR
Monday, April 28 @ 08:25:15 PDT by (142 reads)
Day hikes in the Northwest.Drew writes "Vicinity Map: 52 miles east of Portland in the Columbia River Gorge.

Directions:

From Portland, take I-84 east to exit 58.

The exit road leads to the parking lot.

To return to Portland, drive east to exit 62 for Hood River, cross over the freeway, and merge onto I-84 west, back to Portland.

No permits are needed for parking.

There is a restroom in the parking lot.

Length and Elevation:
Total length is 2.2 miles for the loop. Elevation gain is 1325 feet and 1325 foot loss. Elevation at the trailhead is 188 feet. The high point is 1,178 feet.

Trail:
There are no geocaches on this trail.

Trail Maps:
Topo Map,  Download Garmin .gpx file

History:
The Native American names for these prominent outcrops were called Storm King for Mitchell Point and Little Storm King for Mitchell Spur. The current name reportedly comes from an early trapper who lived in the area. In the 1940’s there was a roadhouse, service station, sandwich shop, and bungalows for rent at Mitchell Point.

Mitchell Point is composed of floods of dense layers of basalt lava that reached all the way to the Pacific Ocean. In this part of the Gorge, earth movements have tilted the earth by 30-degrees. This tilt is very apparent by looking at the layers composing Mitchell Spur. This tilt is also why the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge has more waterfalls than the Washington side of the Gorge.

The trail briefly follows a wagon road through the Gorge which was built in the 1870s.

Review: April 26, 2014
The trail meanders through the forest for several hundred feet, passing a few remnants of a powerhouse, then begins climbing several steep series of switchbacks up the rocky slope. After about .3 mile from the trailhead, there is a junction that drops off on the left. This leads to Mitchell Spur and is good for the return trip. Watch out for Poison Oak along the trail.

After about .4 mile from the trailhead, cross a talus slope with a nice field of spring blooming wildflowers. There are some nice views from the open slope but better views are ahead.

Back in the woods there are more spring wildflowers including Fairy Slipper, Prairie Star, and Oregon Grape. Continue climbing fairly steeply up towards the point.

In about .75 mile, you reach the powerline corridor with some nice views from a saddle. Of course the powerlines are part of the view. From here it is a short, fairly steep walk along the unprotected trail to the top of Mitchell Point. Spring wildflowers abound on the open slopes.

At the point there are great views all around. To the west, the Columbia River curves gracefully.

On the way back, take the junction out to Mitchell Point and return the same way to the junction. Continue back to the trailhead.

Full review soon.

Enjoy the photos!!

Switchback Steve

"

(Read More... | Score: 0)

Dayhikes: Benham Falls, OR
Monday, April 28 @ 08:24:19 PDT by (214 reads)
Day hikes in the Northwest.Drew writes "Vicinity Location: The trailhead is about 125 miles southeast of Portland, Oregon in the Deschutes National Forest.

Directions:
From Portland, drive to Bend, about 175 miles. From Bend, drive south onto Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway passing through several traffic circles. After the last traffic circle, continue on Cascade Lakes Highway / SW Century Dr for about 5 miles.

Turn left onto Dillon Falls Rd / NF-41 and continue for 4 miles.

After 4 miles, turn left onto a gravel road following signs for Benham Falls.

Drive for 2.2 miles on FR 400 and park at the end of the road.

There is a restroom at the trailhead.

From May 1 through September 30 $5 daily permit or a Northwest Forest pass is required. No on-site purchase for permits. No permits are needed to park between October 1st and June 30.

Dogs are allowed and have to be on-leash from May 15th to September 15th.

Trail:
Deschutes River Trail.

There is no geocache on this trail, but there is farther up the Deschutes River Trail.

Trail Maps:
Topo Map, Download Garmin .gpx file

Length and Elevation:
0.4 miles roundtrip. Elevation at the trailhead is 4,150 feet. Elevation gain totals 100 feet. Total gain and loss is 200 feet. Highest elevation is 4,150 feet.

Review: April 17, 2014.
The short trail goes down several gentle switchbacks through the pine-scented forest with the ever-present roar of the waterfall. The trail is enclosed by a split-rail fence to keep people from trampling the area around the overlook. Wind down to the overlook high above the churning falls.

The falls are really a series of rapids where the Deschutes River shoots through a 40 to 60 foot wide lava canyon. There was a lava flow about 6,000 years ago when Lave Butte erupted and the water has been squeezed into this narrow canyon. This area was named for J. R. Benham who filed for land in this area in 1885.

Head back to the trailhead and walk along upstream along the Deschutes River trail for a few hundred feet where there are some footpaths leading to unfenced cliff overlooks of the falls and a churning pool just before the narrowing of  the canyon.

You can continue along the trail and go upstream and enjoy other views of the Deschutes River or return to your car.

The official trail to the falls is a great introductory hike for small children and pets will enjoy a short break from car travel too.

Enjoy the photos!!

Gallery Pics

Switchback Steve "

(Read More... | Score: 0)

  
Random Photos


From: Dog and Hamilton Mountains July 2002

Looking east down one of the basalt scree slopes just below the summit of Wind Mountain you can see a tiny bit of the Columbia River.
Looking east down one of the basalt scree slopes just below the summit of Wind Mountain you can see a tiny bit of the Columbia River.
From: Wind Mountain, WA



From: Wonderland Trail Aug 14-20 2002



From: Mt. Rainier Wonderland Trail 2004

IMG 4944
IMG 4944
From: John Muir Trail, CA


Previous Articles
Monday, April 28
· Toketee Falls, OR
· Dalles Mountain Ranch, WA
· Mosier Plateau Trail, OR
Monday, January 06
· Indian Beach Trail, OR
· Greenleaf Falls, WA
Tuesday, September 03
· Whittier Ridge Trail, WA
Friday, February 15
· High Rock Overlook Trail, WA
· Pinnacle Peak Trail, WA
Monday, October 22
· Lyle Cherry Orchard Trail, WA
· Klickitat River Trail, WA
· Otter Bench, OR
Tuesday, September 18
· Smith Rock State Park, OR
· Horseshoe Ridge, WA
· Glacier Basin, WA
· Emmons Moraine Trail, WA
Tuesday, June 26
· Plaikni Falls, OR
· Garfield Peak, OR
· Sun Notch, OR
· Sweet Creek Falls Trail, OR
· Coldwater Lake, WA

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