A good destination for a sweat-inducing hike close to the Portland area is Phlox Point.
It’s near the western end of the Columbia River Gorge, the trailhead is easily accessible, the rough-in-some-spots trail doesn’t see a lot of use, it provides a good workout (over eight miles with 2,400 feet of elevation gain), and the views along the top of Hardy Ridge are open and far-ranging.
Leaving home at 7 am, I was on the summit at 10:30 am. Due to smoke from Canadian wildfires, the views were limited but well worth the exertion.
In the springtime the summit is covered with large patches of purple/lavender spreading phlox (where the summit got its name). By early July the spring wildflowers are long gone. A few daisies were all that remained. It still made for a pleasant place to take a break, watch the ravens in flight and eat a snack.
Add this outing to your list of hiking favorites.