A Picturesque Hike through Columbia River Gorge History


Early morning on a beautiful sunny Saturday near Husum I found the beginning of the Weldon Wagon Road Trailhead. The  2 1/2-mile wagon road was created in the early 1900’s to haul apples from the upper tablelands to the White Salmon River for transportation to markets.

After climbing out of the valley floor, the old wagon road quickly ascended to an open white oak savannah environment. The grasslands were literally covered in the beautiful wildflowers of golden balsamroot.

At the end of the wagon road there was some old rusted farm equipment left there to capture a feel for the past.

Instead of turning back I followed logging roads for several miles to the north before bushwhacking to the summit of the highest point in the area. Surrounded by small oak trees, I took a break and enjoyed a snack.

Beautiful scenery, history to be experienced, ten miles and 2,300 feet of elevation gain – – –  it made one feel great to be alive.

Early morning shadows

Early morning sunlight highlighting the balsamroot

Anise Swallowtail

Anise Swallowtail

Monkeyflowers

Monkeyflowers

Hillside covered with balsamroot

Hillside alive with balsamroot

Your Humble Scribe (those pants are becoming a little baggy)

Your Humble Scribe

Western BLuebird

Western Bluebird

Hikers on the lower trail

Hikers on the lower trail

Naked Broomrape

Naked Broomrape

Phlox

Phlox

Sweat Bee enjoying a Great Hound's Tongue

Longhorn Bee enjoying a Great Hound’s Tongue

Dogwood

Dogwood

Anise Swallowtail

Anise Swallowtail

Mt. Hood in the morning light

Mt. Hood in the morning light

 

 

 

Categories: Columbia River Gorge HikesTags: , , ,

4 comments

  1. I was up there with some friends a couple of months ago and we didn’t even get started. Big signs at the trailhead. Active lumbering in process do not enter, SDS lumber. So we went to Wind Mountain.

    I called SDS and they took the signs down, said it was fine to hike there. But maybe the signs might go up again. I will get up there soon!

    Thanks John.

    Like

    • I had the same thing happen to me a while back Geoff. There were signs up and heavy equipment parked at the trailhead.
      This time the area was clear of equipment and there were no signs up. It was clear sailing.
      By the way, if you are going to do the hike, I suggest doing it in the next few days. The balsamroot are at their peak in the upper part of the Weldon Wagon Road.

      Like

  2. Beautiful photos, John. Nice to know we don’t need to join the crowds at Dog Mountain to enjoy the balsamroot and exercise! Love the beard, by the way.

    Like

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