Our hiking trip assembles early morning of Day 1 in Portland and we’ll van shuttle the short distance through the western portal of the Gorge. We’re headed to Cape Horn for our first introduction to the gorge. This recently upgraded trail features wide-ranging views up and down the river, rocky cliffs and crags, streams and a waterfall. We’ll then head to Cascade Locks for our first of three evenings at the Columbia River Inn.
On Day 2, we’ll set out hiking along Herman Creek, which explores the largest surviving forest of old growth fir, cedar, and hemlock left in the Columbia Gorge. We hike past waterfalls, moss carpeted creeks and sub-alpine lakes on our trip up the valley.
So many falls, so little time but we’ll bag a bunch as we dedicate Day 3 to the falls of the Columbia Gorge. We have the option to hike to Latourell, Wahkeena, Horsetail and magnificent 620 foot Multnomah Falls (7 miles).
On Day 4, we’re headed to Beacon Rock State Park, named for the massive rock promontory identified by Lewis and Clark as they passed along this section of the river as winter approached in 1805. We’ll hike the Hamilton Mountain Trail, an eight-mile loop that includes a visit to stunning Rodney and Hardy Falls before cresting Hamilton’s summit for its breathtaking views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams and Table Rock. And that is just where we are headed next, as we shuttle across the river to the slopes of Mt. Hood, where we’ll spend our final two overnights at the grand, historic Timberline Lodge. We’ve planned our spring Columbia Gorge hikes relatively early in the season with an ulterior motive in mind. Both the Gorge, and particularly the Hamilton Mountain trail, and the Mt. Hood area well may offer the most spectacular wildflower displays that we experience throughout our entire program. We present this portion of our trip in partnership with Mt. Hood National Forest.
On Day 5, we’ll climb to the summit of Tom, Dick and Harry Mountain, passing Mirror Lake, in the shadow of Mt. Hood’s southwestern flank through an unbelievable rhododendron forest (7 miles). Upon our return to Timberline Lodge guests can choose to relax or explore the facilities including a ride up the chair lift to the ski mountain, a hike on the Pacific Crest Trail to Zig Zag Canyon (6 miles) or a hike to Trillium Lake. Then enjoy a lovely meal in the Cascade Dining room before off to bed.
Following our final evening at Timberline on Day 6, we’ll visit beautiful Tamanawas Falls, named by Native American inhabitants of the region who regarded this 100 foot curtain as a “friendly guardian spirit” protecting Mt. Hood’s eastern flank (5 miles). Following lunch, we’ll return to Portland where our Columbia River Gorge Hiking Tour concludes.