Dalles Mountain Ranch

  • Level: Easy (Beginner level: challenging)
  • Length: ~5.5 miles
  • Elevation: >1,000 ft. gain
  • Type: loop
  • Open: all year, peak wildflower time is mid-April to mid-May
  • Permit: Discover Pass or $5
  • Drive time from Portland: 1h30m
  • Google map: “crawford oaks trailhead”
  • Features: Eastern Gorge, spring wildflowers, waterfall

Every day that has passed in the week-and-a-half since I did this trail, I’ve felt like I was hoarding it. It was so unbelievably beautiful. You must go before the flowers go to seed and it gets too damn hot. There’s very little shade and it’s been so gross in Portland that I wasn’t even thinking about sunscreen yet and got pretty badly burnt. WEAR SUNSCREEN. Continue reading “Dalles Mountain Ranch”

Latourell Falls

  • Level: easy (Beginner level: challenging)
  • Length: 2.3 miles
  • Elevation: 600 ft. gain
  • Type: loop
  • Open: all year
  • Permit: n/a
  • Drive time from Portland: 35m
  • Google map: “latourell falls”
  • Features: Columbia River Gorge, waterfalls, views

The only good thing about my stupid meniscus tear is getting reacquainted with the shorter, less difficult trails I haven’t done in years. Although, this one was plenty difficult for where I’m at right now. I didn’t quite have to take any breaks, but I was moving up those inclines at a snail’s pace. I mean absolutely nothing disparaging by this, it was perfect. Continue reading “Latourell Falls”

Beacon Rock

  • Level: easy (Beginner level: challenging)
  • Length: 1.8 miles
  • Elevation: 600 ft. gain
  • Type: out and back
  • Open: all year
  • Permit: Discover Pass or $10
  • Drive time from Portland: 45min
  • Google map: “Beacon Rock State Park” but the actual trailhead is around milepost 35
  • Features: Columbia River Gorge
  • Pair with: meander through Beacon Rock State Park or do the Hamilton Mountain trail in addition.

I adore Beacon Rock! It’s one of my go-tos for bringing friends, or when I just want to play nature gym, meaning I’ll hike it a few times in one go to get my elevation gains without spending hours on a long trail. I do this one a lot. Continue reading “Beacon Rock”

Travel Journal: May 13 – 15, 2016

Locations: Eastern Washington Scablands, Palouse Falls, Wallula Gap, Two Sisters, Hat Rock, Pasco, Tricities, Maryhill Stonehenge

Real talk, this camping trip happened about a month and a half ago, but I was just so off my game, I’m only getting to it now. The details are fuzzy. In mid-May, Brie and I spent a weekend in eastern Washington’s Channeled Scablands. The Scablands were created by the Missoula Flood during the Ice Age, which began in western Montana, stretching down as far as Eugene, Oregon. The flood created massive coulees, waterfalls, canyons, basalt buttes and giant boulders that appear to be strewn about the land with no rhyme or reason. It’s an enchanting landscape, reminiscent of Ireland. Despite some misadventures, I loved this trip and I can’t wait to go back and see all of the things we didn’t have time for. Sometimes, shit goes wrong and it can suck in the moment, but it’s all adventure to me. Nature isn’t following any rules. It’s unpredictability is part of the magic. I will choose adventure again and again and again. Continue reading “Travel Journal: May 13 – 15, 2016”

Tamanawas Falls

  • Level: Easy (Beginner Level: Doable)
  • Length: 3.8 miles
  • Elevation: 500 ft. gain
  • Type: Out and back
  • Open: late April – November
  • Permit: Northwest Forest Pass, or $5-$10 (I always forget to check how much because I use a pass)
  • Drive time from Portland: 1h30m
  • Google map: “Tamanawas Falls Trailhead”
  • Features: Mt. Hood National Forest, crazy huge waterfall, day use picnic area

Continue reading “Tamanawas Falls”

Cherry Orchard

  • Level: Moderate
  • Length: 5 miles
  • Elevation: 1,100 ft. gain
  • Type: Out and back
  • Open: all year
  • Permit: n/a, $2 for bridge crossings
  • Drive time from Portland: 1h30m
  • Google map: n/a, at milepost 77 on WA-14, large gravel pullout on left (if you’re coming from the west)
  • Features: Eastern Gorge, spring wildflowers

Continue reading “Cherry Orchard”

Day Trip: Panther Creek Falls

  • Location: Carson, Washington
  • Google map: Don’t even try it, see directions below.
  • Drive time from Portland: 1h25m +/-
  • Permit: n/a
  • Intensity: To viewpoint – Easy (Beginner Level: Doable). A few well-graded, switchbacks to overlook platform. To foot of falls – Challenging. About 200 feet of steep, sketchy scrambling.
  • Open: April – November
  • Pair with: Falls Creek Falls, anything in the Gorge as it’s only a half hour or so in from WA-14

Continue reading “Day Trip: Panther Creek Falls”