Solstice Solitude


Drizzle and fog, light rain and low-lying clouds, and more drizzle – – – a fairly common outlook in late December.

Several days after the winter solstice I drove to the Cape Horn Trailhead in the western Columbia River Gorge.

Like the Angel’s Rest hike on the south side of the Columbia River Gorge, Cape Horn is the first trail on the north side of the Gorge with some reasonable elevation gain.

The first few times I hiked the 7 1/2-mile loop trail it was very rough and not well marked. Thanks to the Friends of the Columbia Gorge, these days the Cape Horn trail is a gem.

The trail provides much variety and even features a walk in front of a misty waterfall.

But, did I mention that I didn’t see one other hiker? It’s amazing the amount of solitude one can enjoy near Portland.

May all of you have the happiest of holidays.

I enjoy a welcoming trail sign

I enjoy a welcoming trail sign

Tall waterfall beyond a mossy talus slope

Tall waterfall beyond a mossy talus slope

A large old-growth Douglas Fir

A large old-growth Douglas Fir decorated with delicate Licorice Ferns

A foggy view up the Columbia River from the cliffs of Cape Horn

A foggy view up the Columbia River from the cliffs of Cape Horn

Cape Horn Bridge well up on the cliffs

Cape Horn Bridge high on the cliffs

Interesting bark of a Red Alder

Interesting bark of a Red Alder

Wispy waterfall

Wispy waterfall

Walking tunnel underneath Highway 14

Walking tunnel underneath Highway 14

Russel Overlook on a rainy day

Russel Overlook on a rainy day

Muddy, but well-tended trail

Muddy, but well-tended trail

 

 

Categories: Columbia River Gorge HikesTags: , , ,

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