A long, tough hike to Greenleaf Falls

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Gillette Lake 

Almost eight hours hiking, mostly in light rain.

The twilight-like atmosphere under the trees and the smell of the wet, loamy soil made me feel I was trapped in a primeval forest.

Greenleaf Falls

After hitting the Pacific Crest Trail from a short connector beginning near the Bonneville Dam, I hiked north past pretty Gillette Lake. In another couple of miles I turned northeast on an old logging road, maybe a wagon road at one time.

For the next several miles the rain picked up, especially as I hiked below the sheer cliffs of Table Mountain. Although, they were obscured from sight this day due to the low clouds. Finally, I reached the double waterfalls of Greenleaf Falls, dropping 200 feet in four plunges.

What a sight! They are one of the few spectacular waterfalls on the north side of the Gorge.

After taking a few photos in the downpour, I broke out a snack. Soon I was on the way back to the trailhead, the first few miles on rocky trails then turning to muddy trails near the end.

This is one of the hikes I keep in my memory because it forms such a sharp contrast with beautiful summer hikes in the high alpine meadows.

Gillette Lake

Pacific Crest Trail signs

Footbridge above Gillette Lake

Rocky trail

Muddy trail

The sheer face of Table Mountain

The south face of Table Mountain on a much nicer day



Categories: Columbia River Gorge HikesTags:

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