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Not long after Memorial Day I headed east in the Columbia River Gorge to the Rowena Crest Viewpoint. Basalt cliffs, oak grasslands and interesting trails make it a pleasurable hiking area in the spring.
I headed south through an open, relatively flat area for one-half mile. Then the Trail became serious, gaining 1,000 feet in a little over one mile before reaching the top of McCall Point at 1,700 feet. The views extended for miles up and down the Gorge.
For a challenge I followed game trails and over-grown roads on a three-mile loop back to the Trailhead. After one mile I dropped off the cliffs into a steep canyon, following an old logging road through an oak forest with a few mature Ponderosa pines intermixed.
Eventually, the old roads led to a large talus slope with a rough trail leading back to the plateau. It was so overgrown I decided instead to drop to the Historic Columbia River Highway and ascend the twisty road back to the parking area. It made for an enjoyable six-mile hike with 1,500 feet of elevation gain.
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