It was raining with gusts of wind as I arrived at the Hardy Ridge Equestrian Trailhead in Beacon Rock State Park on the north side of the Columbia River Gorge. After putting on raingear I began over two miles of relatively easy hiking, mostly on old logging roads on the west side of the mountain.
Then the Trail began sharply climbing to the 2,575-foot lower summit of Hardy Ridge.
It would have been a one-mile bushwhacking adventure to the north to reach the 3,000-foot upper summit, Phlox Point. But, I was already drenched and commonsense overcame valor.
Instead, I continued the loop hike on a rough trail down the southeast side of the ridge. After dropping about 700 feet in elevation, the route followed an old logging road for awhile before reaching the intersection with the Bridge Trail.
I headed north on the trail for about one mile until crossing a recently-built footbridge over Hardy Creek. After a short climb I was back on a familiar logging road that forms part of my return route when climbing Hamilton Mountain.
Except for the incessant rain, it was an easy three-mile return hike to the Trailhead following a series of old roads. All in all the hike was 8.5 miles in length with 2,400 feet of elevation gain.
Alas, because of the fog and rain, I took few photos.
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