Hiking the Lyle Cherry Orchard Trail: One of the Great Spring Outings in the PNW

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Rimrock Cliffs

Huge swaths of golden wildflowers in bloom. Death camas lining the lower trail.

Ospreys, ravens and red-tailed hawks riding the thermals near the towering rimrock cliffs, looking for the next meal to catch.

A few colorful butterflies among the flowers. Buttercups blooming among the white oak trees above the cliffs.

Photographers taking advantage of the beautiful day

The remnants of a stretch of old road chiseled out of the cliffs, a short-lived experiment to use convicts for construction work a century ago.

The trail ending at a large grassy meadow more than 1,000 feet above the Columbia River. In the early 1900’s it was the site of a cherry orchard.

Throw in a beautiful, sunny day and you have the recipe for a truly grand hiking experience.

Osprey and Tortoiseshell Butterfly

Lupine and Death-camas lining the lower trail


Remnants of old convict road

Remains of last Cherry tree (looking over The Dalles area)

Buttercups and Oak trees along the upper trail

Wild Lilies (Cluster Lily and Panicled Death-camas)

A hiker far below

Heading up the cliffs

Lupine and Big Root

Hike starts near sea level and climbs above the rimrock cliffs

Looking down into the Columbia River Gorge from above the cliffs



Categories: Columbia River Gorge HikesTags: , ,


  1. I so enjoyed your photos from this breath-taking hike, John. It is always a pleasure to see the beautiful Columbia River Gorge and trails, in any season, but these spring sightings are truly gorgeous. Fun opening photo, exquisite wildflowers and river scenes. Spectacular buttercup-and-oak scene.

  2. Gorgeous photos! Hoping to do this hike for Fall weather permitting.

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