A Rainy Cape Horn Passage

Rain pouring down in sheets mixed with snow at times. Cold and gusty winds out of the east. Yes indeed, it’s time for a hike.

On the late Winter morningĀ I drove to the Cape Horn Trailhead in the western Columbia River Gorge. The trail, four miles out and four miles back with about 2,000 feet of elevation gain, has gone through significant upgrades over the years.

I was hoping the sun would break through, allowing some scenic photos of the spectacular area. Or, at least to spot some wildflowers.

And lo and behold there were a few white trillium lilies and yellow skunk cabbages in bloom. But, the heavy cloud cover and endless rain accompanied me the entire four hours.

The Cape Horn Trail itself is a gem with many switchbacks and good drainage. On a clear day there would be great views of the Columbia River stretching for miles in each direction.

This day I settled for some good exercise and staying reasonably warm. Although, by the time I returned to the Trailhead I closely resembled the proverbial wet rat.

As I frequently opine, if you’re not willing to take the opportunity to hike in rainy weather, you probably won’t do much hiking in the Portland area.

An inviting trail sign

Trillium (Wild Lily)

Nancy Russel Overlook (without the clouds the views would be excellent of the Gorge)

Still Winter along the trail

Skunk Cabbage

View from Pioneer Point

New footbridge along the trail

Trillium (wild Lilly)

Hobbit hut?


Categories: Columbia River Gorge HikesTags: , , ,


  1. Love that place, should be in the sun soon.

  2. You’re a hardy one, John, that is for certain. I enjoyed this hike, especially since I am still dry. Great photos and oh, what a true treat to see the flower of the trillium. I have never seen skunk cabbage, and was glad for the introduction.

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