Big Huckleberry Mountain in the Early Autumn


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Big Huckleberry Mountain

On a cold and cloudy morning, I drove to Triangle Pass and then north to the Grassy Knoll Trailhead, about seven miles north of the Columbia River Gorge.

After 1 1/2 miles the trail reached the rim of a cliff with views across the Big Lava Bed (20 square miles of relatively level basalt rock covered with trees.)

Mt. Adams, crowned with fresh snow, and the jagged old volcanic peaks of the Indian Heaven Wilderness dominated the horizon. From there it was a short climb to the top of Grassy Knoll, an open, tundra-like ridge crest with views extending across the Columbia River Gorge to Mt. Hood.

After a short rest I continued hiking up and down the ridge for another three miles to the Pacific Crest Trail, mostly through forest. Within a few feet of reaching the PCT, the steep one-quarter mile trail to the top of 4,200-foot Big Huckleberry Mountain was found.

A few minutes later I was at the summit, smack dab in the middle of a whiteout due to the low-lying clouds.

The outing was a great example of a fine hike during the autumn; it was cool, colorful autumn leaves, lots of interesting sights to see and a good workout (11 1/2 miles and 3,000′ of cumulative elevation gain).

Fresh snow on Mt. Adams

Columbia River Gorge from Grassy Knoll

Blue Elderberries

Autumn leaves on the trail

Lots of clouds around Mt. Hood (Bald Eagle in the distance)

Summit of Big Huckleberry Mountain (an old fire lookout site)

The old lookout site on Grassy Knoll overlooking the Columbia River Gorge

Upper trail overgrown with Beargrass

 

 

 

 

Categories: Columbia River Gorge Hikes, Washington Cascades HikesTags: , , ,

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