A Mid-Summer Hike to Phlox Point

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Hardy Ridge

Phlox Point is the summit of Hardy Ridge, one of the best destinations for a hike close to the Portland area. Well, maybe not on a hot summer day.

On this day there were few wildflowers, not even phlox on the summit. Four to six weeks ago there would have been tiger lilies, orange columbine, nodding onion, penstemon, larkspur and daises.

A hazy Columbia River from Hardy Ridge’s Lower Summit

The eight-mile, 2,400-foot elevation gain hike was a trudge in a way. It was 85 degrees in the shade when I returned to the Jeep. The huge parking area, equestrians use it too, was empty. It usually has 20 to 30 vehicles by afternoon.

Unlike your humble scribe, it appeared that all the other hikers had moved to rivers, lakes or the high country to stay cool.

Bee enjoying a Fireweed

Final ascent to the summit

False Solomon Seal Berries, Indian Pipe, and Herald-of-Summer

Pleasant stretch of the lower trail

Nightshade and Fritillary Butterfly

Lower summit

Mt. Hood from lower summit






Categories: Columbia River Gorge HikesTags:


  1. Love your photos – thanks for sharing!

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