A Rainy Day Hike on Hardy Ridge

On the first weekend of summer I drove to the north side of the Columbia River Gorge. It was a rainy day in the 50°’s but hope sprang eternal the sun would break through eventually.

Fat chance!

After parking at the Hardy Ridge Equestrian Trailhead in Beacon Rock State Park, I began an ascent mostly on old logging roads on the east side of the mountain. After about three miles the trail began sharply climbing to the spine and lower summit of Hardy Ridge. Nice views if I hadn’t been sitting smack dab in the middle of a rain cloud.

After reaching the 2,575-foot lower summit, it would have been a one-mile bushwhacking adventure until the 3,000-foot upper summit to the north was achieved. But, I was drenched – – – time to replace my First Ascent rain coat.

After taking a few photos of wildflowers on the windy, open rock garden, I began hiking the rough trail down the west side of the Ridge. After dropping about 700 feet in elevation, the route followed a series of old logging roads for several miles before rejoining the main Trail.

All in all the hike was a little over seven miles in length with about 2,000 feet of elevation gain.

I don’t recall an eight-month stretch when I’ve done so much hiking in the rain.

Devil's Club

Devil’s Club

Tiger Lily

Tiger Lily

Sword Ferns lining the trail (an old logging road)

Sword Ferns lining the trail (an old logging road)







Categories: Columbia River Gorge HikesTags:


  1. Your photos here, as always, are exquisite John. I really like the pervasive rainy look of all that you photographed that day, but I’m really glad I wasn’t trudging around in it. Your hiking stamina is impressive.

    Liked by 1 person

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