Portland Hiking News and Schedule for October 11: Great Weather, Fall Colors

Okay, you didn’t really think all that rain last week meant hiking season was over, did you?

The Cape Horn Loop is one of the best gorge hikes and fall colors hikes near Portland.
Big-leaf maples on the Cape Horn Loop Trail.

I mean, look at this forecast! Couldn’t be better weather for a hike. So let’s do this.

It’s really about fall colors these days, and here are two suggestions for you. One is to check out the 2013 Fall Colors thread I started over at PortlandHikers.org. I’ve seen beautiful images in there from the Gorge all the way up to Mount Hood and Saint Helens. It’s everywhere!

The Cape Horn Loop is one of the best gorge hikes and fall colors hikes.
Cape Horn Loop has many views of the Columbia like this one — and fall colors.

I have three suggestions from my hiking reports here at PaulGerald.com:

  • Cape Horn Loop is 6.3 miles and less than an hour from Portland.
  • Roaring River Wilderness is a longer drive (about two hours) and hike (about 13 miles) but a nice, forested loop that would make a fine backpack, as well.
  • South Fork Toutle River, up on Mount Saint Helens, is a fantastic mountain hike featured in the PortlandHikers.org thread. That one is 11 miles and an 90 minutes from town.

One thing to consider: Starting next Wednesday, there will be delays on the Bridge of the Gods. The Oregonian has the details.

On the brighter side, next weekend several businesses in Stevenson, Washington, are offering a 10-percent discount if you’ve been hiking in the Gorge. How would you prove that? Show them a photograph on your phone or camera. Pretty cool.

Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre

And if the onset of fall weather has you down, head over to the New York Times and read this article about Cinque Terre on the Italian Coast. It has nothing to do with hiking around here, of course, but it will warm you up and make you hungry. And Cinque Terre is part of my Summer 2014 outing to Italy for the Mazamas.

Upcoming Group Hikes

I forgot to include this in recent posts! Sorry. Here’s a list of upcoming group hikes in the Portland area.

  • The Mazamas have trips on Saturday to Forest Park, Hamilton Mountain, and Burnt Lake/ZigZag Mountain, and on Sunday to Lewis River, Cape Lookout, and the Wahkeena-Multnomah Loop. Also on Monday they are going to Angels Rest. More info here. Next Wednesday I am leading a hike for them to Ape Canyon and the Plains of Abraham, up on Mount Saint Helens, plus next weekend to Table Mountain and the Clackamas River. Get in touch if you’re interested.
  • Trails Club has an overnighter to Nesika Lodge that will make you a member. Dig it.
  • Sierra Club has three trips on Sunday: to Trapper Creek Wilderness, Falls Creek Falls, and Dog Mountain. They run it all through their page on Meetup.com.
  • Oregon Nordic Club is going next Sunday, the 20th, to Copper Mountain Natural Area. More on their site.
  • Friends of the Columbia Gorge have public trips on Saturday to Hawk Watch and Sunday to Angels Rest, plus a members-only Waterfall Photography workshop. Then on Tuesday they go to Lyle Cherry Orchard and on Friday have a moonlight hike to Beacon Rock. Here’s their website.
  • Trailkeepers of Oregon has a work party at Smith Rock on Sunday, in partnership with Mazamas.
  • Oregon Wild is going to the Oregon Dunes (meeting in Eugene) next Sunday, the 20th.

That’s all I know for now! If you do go out and hike this weekend, come back here and post a comment, or connect with me on Facebook or Google+ via the links below.

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I don’t just hike, though: I’m also the Portland Breakfast Guy. Check out BreakfastinBridgetown.com.