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The Dalles Mountain Ranch
Finally, some well appreciated sunshine, at least at the beginning of the hike.
The Columbia Hills were covered in golden balsamroot, red paintbrush and purple lupine. The lyrical and distinctive song of meadowlarks punctuated the silence.
I parked at a gate and began the hike to Stacker Butte in the wide open spaces of the east end of the Columbia River Gorge.
After ascending the maintenance road for 2 1/2 miles, I reached the 3,300-foot summit of Stacker Butte where an FAA tracking site is located.
The 360° views were spectacular, with the Columbia River stretching far to the east and rimrock canyons to the north.
I hiked westerly on the ridge to a microwave site and enjoyed a leisurely lunch overlooking the Columbia River Gorge. Soon it was time to return to the car just as a squall with heavy rain began.
The sun was back out by the time I reached the trailhead. A nice hike indeed.