An Enjoyable, but Windy Ascent to Hardy Ridge


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.

Oregon Anemone

Oregon Anemone

Looking down Hardy Ridge

Looking down Hardy Ridge

Glacier Lily

Glacier Lily

Mt. Hood behind Tanner Butte

Mt. Hood behind Tanner Butte

Harsh Paintbrush

Harsh Paintbrush

Fairy Bells (wild Lily)

Fairy Bells (wild Lily)

Fairy Lantern (wild Lily)

Fairy Lantern (wild Lily)

A view across the Columbia River to Larch Mountain

A hazy view across the Columbia River to Larch Mountain

Vanilla Leaf

Vanilla Leaf

Columbia Wind Flower

Columbia Wind Flower

Last remains of a Trillium flower (wild Lily)

Last remains of a Trillium flower (wild Lily)

 

 

 

Categories: Columbia River Gorge HikesTags: , , , ,

5 comments

  1. Our gang was up there exactly one month ago and saw very few flowers. Great, helpful shots John.

    Like

  2. Beautiful!

    Like

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