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On the last weekend of summer I drove to Triangle Pass and then to the Grassy Knoll Trailhead, about seven miles north of the Columbia River Gorge. It was cool and sunny – – – about as nice a day that could be found above 3,000 feet in late summer.
The first 1 1/2 miles of the trail climbed rather steeply through a forest with a few examples of large, old-growth Douglas firs. It then 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 descent through wet brush before a short climb to the top of 3,648-foot Grassy Knoll, an open, tundra-like ridge crest with views extending across a hazy Columbia River Gorge to Mt. Hood and beyond.
As I returned to the trailhead, I couldn’t help but notice how overgrown the trail had gotten. There was little sign of use, and I saw no other hikers. To add insult to injury, the dirt access road was filled with large, deep potholes. This hike may be removed from my recommended list in the future.