Phlox Point is one of the best destinations for a hike close to the Portland area.
It’s near the western end of the Columbia River Gorge, the trailhead is easily accessible, the trail doesn’t see a lot of use, it provides a good workout, and the views along the top of Hardy Ridge are open and far-ranging.
However, for the second time this year I was turned around before reaching the upper summit.
As I reached the lower summit the exposed areas were being buffeted with heavy gusts of wind. I should have guessed that was going to happen because of the white caps on the Columbia River.
I ascended to the top of the ridge but the wind was strong enough to push me around. Oh well I thought to myself as I returned to the lower summit, this will give me an excuse to return soon and finish the hike.
May is always a nice time to visit the upper summit. By then it will be covered with large patches of purple/lavender spreading phlox (where the summit got its name).
On the return to the trailhead I added two additional loops, making the hike about 9 1/2 miles in length.
A nice outing with many wildflowers in bloom.