Gorge Hikes: Memaloose State Park (with video!)

When the winter winds are blowing, and the rains are falling, I live for two words: spring wildflowers.

Spring in the Gorge:
What we dream about all winter!

(photo of Memaloose State Park in the springtime courtesy Nelson Nature Photography)

But in the meantime, we have two more words to get us Portland hikers through the doldrums of January and February: Gorge hikes!

Yes, the Columbia River Gorge can get nasty and icy in the winter, but it’s also low enough in elevation that it can offer us a distraction from Forest Park and a chance to “get out there and hike.” And yes, I know that there are things called skiing and snowshoeing, and I dabble in the latter, but I am, at my core, a hiker.

So, as I look forward to writing the 5th (!) edition of my book 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Portland, I am “getting out there” just a bit more than usual. And right now, that often means Gorge hikes.

Last week I accepted an invitation from a friend who leads hikes for the Friends of the Columbia Gorge. He knows a route through Memaloose State Park, between Hood River and The Dalles, where you can stay on public land for about a seven-mile loop, although there are no developed trails out there. We had a cold, cloudy day — but with no wind! — and a hardy group of us went out and did what we could.

I took a bunch of photos and put them on my Google+ profile, but (big news in my small world) I made a video of the hike! Check it out:

This is my first effort at a hike video, and it’s way amateurish, but hey, I’m getting started! I will make many more as I hike off my breakfast pounds this year.

So, have you been to Memaloose State Park? Got any details you want to share?

[schema type=”review” url=”http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_163.php” name=”Memaloose State Park” description=”A pleasant, largely undeveloped park between Hood River and the Dallas in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge.” rev_name=”Hike” rev_body=”While winter is not the best time for hiking in Memaloose — that would be April and May, when the wildflowers bloom — we did have a nice little six-mile loop on a cool January day. And here’s a video with highlights!” author=”Paul Gerald” pubdate=”2013-01-30″ user_review=”7″ min_review=”1″ max_review=”10″ ]