A Grand Vista of the Lower Columbia River Gorge

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Columbia River Gorge

It was cloudy with some drizzle as I arrived at the Hardy Ridge Equestrian Trailhead in Beacon Rock State Park on the north side of the Columbia River Gorge. After putting on raingear I began over 2 1/2 miles of relatively easy hiking, mostly on old logging roads. Then it turned into a steeper trail climbing to the 2,575-foot lower summit of Hardy Ridge. There were many colorful wildflowers along the way to keep me entertained.

A stormy view of the Columbia River Gorge from Hardy Ridge

To my pleasant surprize the sun broke through the clouds for a few moments providing picturesque views of the lower Columbia River Gorge. Soon the sun disappeared and I began hiking down the trail.

After dropping about 700 feet in elevation, the route followed an old logging road for awhile before reaching the intersection with the Bridge Trail.

I headed north on the trail for about one mile until crossing a recently-built footbridge over Hardy Creek. After a short climb I was back on a familiar old logging road that forms part of my return route when climbing Hamilton Mountain.

Except for the off-and-on rain, it was an easy three-mile return hike to the Trailhead following a series of old roads. All in all the hike was 10 miles in length with 2,600 feet of elevation gain.

Devil’s Club (the bane of bushwhackers)

Trail coming down Hardy Ridge


Lower Summit of Hardy Ridge

Fairy Bells (wild Lily), Bleeding Heart, and Serviceberry

Small waterfall along the trail

Oregon Anemone and Paintbrush

Glacier Lily, Salmonberry and Vanilla Leaf

Hardy Ridge Trail

Categories: Columbia River Gorge HikesTags: , , ,

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