I’m the author of two books on Portland hikes: 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Portland and Day and Section Hikes on the Oregon PCT. I try to get out there as much as I can, and I try to keep up with all the latest news and developments out on the trail. Check here for news, stories, and photographs from the great outdoors. And you can also follow me as the 60 Hikes guy on Facebook or Twitter.
Every year about this time, one of the most popular hikes around is to the top of Dog Mountain. That’s because the whole top of the mountain is a big meadow covered in wildflowers, the most conspicuous being balsamroot:
Now, imagine about a million of those blooming all at one, 3,000 feet above the Columbia River. That’s Dog Mountain at peak wildflower bloom.
In fact, you don’t have to imagine it at all. Here’s a shot from a few years back:
And that wasn’t even at peak bloom!
Well, it’s getting time for Dog Mountain in 2012. According to this report on PortlandHikers.org (thanks, TrailMom!), the summit meadows are about two weeks away, but the action is going strong on the way up.
So get your legs ready; it’s getting to be time for the wildflower show on Dog Mountain.
Many thanks to Darryl Lloyd of Long Shadow Photography for these amazing photos from Memaloose State Park. It is getting towards the end of wildflower season in the Columbia River Gorge, so let’s get on out there and see what there is to see!
The unmarked trail is unofficial and few people know the route beyond the western part. There seems to be no map of it online, so I’ve undertaken the task with this draft. Since I didn’t use a GPS device, the route sketched in red is approximate. The total distance is about 6.5 miles, and you’ll be on public land all the way.
Below the map are some photos that I’ve taken over the years. There’s still a large number of flower species in bloom, but balsamroot is waning over most of the area.
There are few finer places than the Salmon River this time of year — unless it’s the Salmon River in fall when the salmon are in. Until then, here are some photos from last weekend’s chill hike up there.
Note that it’s on my 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of PortlandFacebook page, which I encourage you to join, or like, or whatever.
I had another wonderful Pearl day yesterday: worked all day at home in my sweats, then walked up to OfficeMax and Safeway, and a friend came over for dinner. He took off, and another friend came for dessert — I’m such a social hub — but first we went for a walk.
To this point, I have basically always walked west — that is, into the Pearl. This time we decided to head for the river, crossing a vacant lot at 11th and Overton. This is a doggie leash-free park, and there’s a big sign on the corner, but in a month of living here I never bothered to read the sign. Probably just says “leash-free doggie park,” right?