Before access was stopped, you could park at the Bonneville Hotsprings Resort and began hiking north. (Now, one must park near the Bonneville Dam, adding a few miles each way to the hike).
From the Resort’s parking lot the first mile of hiking followed a rough trail to Carpenters Meadow where an old logging road was met.
Heartbreak Ridge Trail
Bythis time 1,700 feet of elevation had been gained since leaving the car. There was another 1,700 feet of elevation gain required to reach the top of Table Mountain. To put the Heartbreak Ridge Trail in perspective, the rough trail gains the summit in a little over one mile – – – a very steep one mile! And, to make matters worse, over 500 feet of the gain was straight up a steep rock slide (imagine climbing 50 flights of stairs with the majority of stairs either wobbly or loose.)
After reaching the top it was a quarter of mile southerly hike to the apex of the sheer face of Table Mountain. This is not only a grand spot for lunch but it is the best viewpoint in the Gorge.
From there it is a short hike to the north end of the “table” where the loop Trail begins its descent. Many wildflowers are in bloom in spring and early summer in the exposed areas. Sometimes both wild orchids and lilies can be spotted.
The loop trail drops back into the second-growth Douglas Fir and Alder forest. From there it is an easy hike back to the car.
All in all the hike is 10 miles in length with 3,500 feet of elevation gain. It is a great conditioning hike.