Hamilton Mountain

Location: near Stevenson, Washington. Couldn’t find original land name(s). Ancestral home to the Chinook and Multnomah Tribes

Photo blog! This was an exceptionally gorgeous fall day. Trail stats, info and more photos can be found here.

hamiltonmountain1 Continue reading “Hamilton Mountain”

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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”

Hamilton Mountain

Location: near Stevenson, Washington. Couldn’t find original land name(s). Ancestral home to the Chinook and Multnomah Tribes

Option 1

Level: Easy to Rodney Falls (Beginner Level: Challenging)
Round Trip/Gain: 2.2 miles (2.6 if gate is closed) / 600 ft. (740 if gate is closed)
Type: out-and-back

Option 2

Level: Difficult
Round Trip/Gain: 7.6 miles (8 if gate is closed) / 2,000 ft. (2,140 if gate is closed)
Type: Loop

Permit: Discover Pass or $10. Bring money for bridge crossing.

More recent photos here.

It had been a couple of months since I’d done a “difficult” trail, so I turned to the one I always turn to to get my stamina and muscles back in gear, Hamilton Mountain. When I haven’t had my butt kicked by a trail in awhile, pre-hike anxiety and negative self-talk cloud my head, fueled by nothing real or intuitive. This active body and lifestyle still feels new to me. I wonder when I’ll get to fully possess them.

I rolled up to the turn-off to the trailhead, right beside mammoth Beacon Rock, and the gate was closed. A twinge of relief and fantasies of coffee and a hot meal flashed before me. Hey, at least I tried! I could spend the day writing instead of trying to climb a stupid mountain and eating dried fruit and nuts! I knew better. I had cell-reception and within a few minutes of sleuthing, discovered the gate is closed during the week in winter due to budget cuts (this is common). The trailhead was still accessible by foot.

That first view of the face of Hamilton Mountain (above), with it’s huge, smooth-seeming basalt columns astounds me every time. It is so unbelievably beautiful. From the summit, on a clearer day, you can see Mt. Adams and the tip of Mt. Hood.

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At the top of Rodney Falls is the Pool of the Winds (nine months ago). The spray of the falls creates rainbows if your timing is right with the sunlight.
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Table Mountain from the summit of Hamilton

 

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More recent photos here.