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Columbia River Gorge
Wygant Peak is a prominent landmark in the Columbia River Gorge near Hood River. I used to hike to it’s 2,144-foot summit often.
A few years ago the footbridge over Perham Creek finally washed out for good, closing the trail for hikers. This year I decided to give it another go since the streams were fairly low in early July.
The first 1 1/2 miles of the Trail dropped in and out of three small canyons with streams, finally reaching an overgrown viewpoint of the Gorge. Soon I reached Perham Creek and was happy to see that it was easy to ford by stepping on some rocks.
The next 1 1/2 miles of the Trail switchbacked up the northern face of Wygant Peak before reaching a grand viewpoint of the eastern Gorge at 1,350 feet. After enjoying the views I began the last 1 1/4 mile hike (with 15 switchbacks) to the summit.
Volunteers had cleaned up the trail some, but it was still rough in places. By the time I reached the summit, an overgrown location of a long-since-removed fire lookout, I had grown wearisome of the little-used trail. But, from prior trips, I knew there was an open meadow several hundred yards past the summit. I reached the meadow, took off the pack and relaxed for awhile. The views extended down the Columbia River to Indian Point and south to the top of Mt. Defiance.
After a well-earned break, I returned to the Trailhead while enjoying the wildflowers along the Trail. All in all the hike was nine miles in length with 2,350 feet of elevation gain. It’s always enjoyable revisiting an old friend.
Yarrow and Buckwheat
Very old sign – – viewpoint is overgrown and bridge is washed out