Sweat and Toil to Nesmith Point


A rite of passage every spring before the summer hiking season is to climb one or more of the thigh-busting trails to a high point in the Columbia River Gorge. It’s the only way to get into shape for large elevation-gain hikes in the alpine areas, and elk hunting in the fall.

On one of the first days of the new year I did the five-mile trail to 3,900-foot Nesmith Point, beginning the hike near the Columbia River. Taking my time I enjoyed a little sunshine and views across the river to Hardy Ridge and Table Mountain.

By the time the summit was reached the weather had changed dramatically. A heavy, cold wind was chilling my face and hands. Soon, snow began to fall.

On the way down to the trailhead I reflected on the fact that each one of us has only so many Nesmith Point climbs in them. It’s truly a gift to be able to accomplish the climb, and enjoy it too.

Life is good!

Moss and lichens providing color

Moss and lichens providing color

Remains of the outhouse near the long-removed wildfire lookout facility at Nesmith Point

Remains of the outhouse near the long-removed wildfire lookout facility at Nesmith Point

Rhododendrons still looking spry at high elevations

Rhododendrons still looking spry at high elevations

An old trail sign

An old trail sign

Looking down and over the Columbia River to Beacon Rock

Looking down and over the Columbia River to Beacon Rock

Each layer in the walls of the cliffs represent millions of years

Each layer in the walls of the cliffs represent millions of years

A skiff of snow along the upper trail

A skiff of snow along the upper trail lined with Beargrass

Categories: Columbia River Gorge HikesTags:

2 comments

  1. Well done John! Looking forward to your adventures and trying some of them out myself.

    Like

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