- Level: Easy to Rowena Plateau (Beginner Level: Doable)
- Length: 2.2 miles
- Elevation: 300 ft. loss
- Type: out and back
- Open: all year
- Level: Moderate to McCall Point
- Length: 3.4 miles
- Elevation: 1,000 ft. gain
- Type: out and back
- Open: May 1 – October 30
- Permit: n/a
- Dogs not allowed
- Drive time from Portland: 1h20min
- Google map: “Rowena Crest Viewpoint”
- Features: Columbia River Gorge, wildflowers
There are so many nature prizes in this small area. Truly something for everyone. Most notably, the springtime wildflowers are some of the best. The plateau trail is mostly flat and ideal for those who want to see some beautiful nature without getting their ass handed to them. The McCall Point trail is a great short climb with even more views and if you’re up for that one, you really might as well do both. Technically, the latter trail doesn’t open until May, but I did it in mid April and it was perfect.
Beware poison oak! It is everywhere on both trails, most prevalent on the McCall Point trail. Wear pants and/or be exceedingly careful.
McCall Point trail
Pond on Rowena Plateau trail. Tons of poison oak! -> View at the start of Plateau trail
From the Rowena Plateau trailhead:
Starts at the signboard opposite of viewpoint parking. There are a lot of paths and it’s easy to lose the main trail from time to time. It’s a small, open area, you will not get lost. For the best route, follow the main path for 0.3 mile to a fork around the pond (beware poison oak!). The trail skirts a cliff-edge viewpoint and returns to the main trail and continues to another smaller pond. Trail ends at a viewpoint of the town of Lyle across the Columbia River.
From the McCall Point trailhead:
Trail is located to the right of the parking area. It’s pretty obvious, though there are some side trails here and there. All of them either loop back to the main trail or dead end. You won’t lose it. After a a light climb for just a few tenths of a mile in, you’ll reach a signboard noting the official start of the trail. The switchbacks toward the top of the point are a little hairy. Probably not fun when it’s muddy. Your turn around point is the gorgeous meadow at the top of the point. There used to be a sign saying something like “McCall Point Summit,” but it wasn’t there this last time. Return as you came.
Up to McCall Point
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It's Poison Oak season. I've seen it at Coyote Wall & Rowena Crest/Tom McCall Preserve. It's usually greenish to reddish with leaves-of-three. Sometimes, it's round like this, sometimes lobed. Wear pants and/or be exceedingly careful. Most prevalent near water sources, but not always the case.