Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Overview: This trail takes you through lush evergreen groves passing several waterfalls and cascades offering the occasional view of the Columbia River Gorge as you get to the top. The route I took was roughly 8 miles round trip with an elevation gain of about 1500 feet.
• Aside from the large collection of waterfalls along this trail, I really enjoy just how green the area is. Moss seems to carpet just about everything that’s not already thriving greenery.
• The Wahkeena Spring gushes out of the side of the hill near the top of the trail.
• The view from the Angel’s Rest looks west towards Troutdale and Washougal and to the North the hills on the opposite side of the Columbia River can be seen including Silverstar Mountain which remained snowcapped into late April. The view to the East is somewhat obstructed by a bend in the river and adjacent hills blocking the view.
• The last time I was on this trail I ran into what turned out to be a Mountain Beaver, which does not look like a normal beaver. Mountain Beavers look something like a bowling ball with fur, probably weigh 5 pounds and appear to have in inherent bad disposition. I turned a corner on the trail only to find this little guy a few paces away in the middle of the trail starring up at me as though he thought I was in his way. Before I could react or really figure out what he was, he decided to slowly but deliberately charge my left shin. At the last moment I lifted my leg up and he walked right under my foot straight to a plant that was behind me and he proceeded to gnaw on the plant. I’m convinced that had I not lifted my leg up he would have run right into my leg.
Comments: When I started this hike I didn’t intend on going the entire 8 miles, thus I failed to bring food or water with me, a big mistake when going on most any hike. Luckily it wasn’t an overly hot day and there was an abundance of fresh mountain spring water nearby had I been desperate for water, but I still suggest bringing ample water for the trip.
Trail Rating: (score from 0-10) 8
Verdict: This is one of my favorite hikes in the Columbia River Gorge. I would highly recommend it, although, I would probably recommend taking the Multnomah Falls to Wahkeena Falls loop trail first (the same hike, minus the extra couple miles up to Angel’s Rest).
Location: Multnomah Falls (which is Oregon's tallest waterfall) is located in the scenic Columbia River Gorge East of Portland, Oregon at Exit 31 on I-84.