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Category: Hikes near Portland

Hike: Dry Creek Falls

Hiked Dry Creek Falls this past weekend. This is a 4.2 mile out and back hike that starts at the Oregon side of the Bridge of the Gods. The hike starts on Pacific Crest Trail headed taking you under a freeway overpass, past power lines all set to the tune of the highway traffic. As you get deeper into the hike the scene gets quieter and more scenic as you approach Dry Creek. Hang a right around 2 miles at the bridge junction and head a quarter mile up the creek to Dry Creek Falls. This is a pretty little hike with minimal elevation gain. We did not see many people along the trail on a very sunny Sunday afternoon.  Below are the wildflowers spotted along the trail in order of appearance (1) Not sure but I think it might be a sharp-lobed hepatica? (2) Trilium (3) Calypso Bulbosa – Fairy Slipper (4) Trilium (5)  NOID



Hike > Angels’ Rest

Saturday was a beautiful day to head up to  Angels’  Rest in the Columbia Gorge.  The 5mile RT trail was busy in the morning but so beautiful with lots of wild flowers in bloom.

Hike>Fall Creek Falls

We went on a hike to Fall Creek Falls on a beautiful day. Some pics:

Old leaf in the sun

walking down the fall creek fall trail




The falls!

Oregon Road Trip: Opal Creek

Matthew and I headed to Opal Creek a few weeks ago. Sweet little aquatic gem. Easy hike, swimming paradise (got one on hearst), and a loop trail through some old mining detritus. We wrapped it up with dinner at Elmer’s in Salem – they have quite the kincaid collection. Some pics:

On the way to the swim hole...

On the way to the swim hole...

Some dying trees

Some dying trees

Sweet little swim spot with waterfall in the background - opal creek

Sweet little swim spot with waterfall in the background - opal creek

Walk like ya ride a horse - this here is jawbone flats -- ol mining hole

Walk like ya ride a horse - this here is jawbone flats -- ol mining hole

There are a lot of neat old metal things at jawbone flats that have a cool patina

There are a lot of neat old metal things at jawbone flats that have a cool patina

Knob on an old fire truck

Knob on an old fire truck

Elmer's - home of obscenely large omlets and lots o tom kincaid prints

Elmer's - home of obscenely large omelets and lots o tom kincaid prints

Falls Creek Falls – At last

Finally made it on this hike and it was LOVELY. I’d tried going on this hike before.  Once it was snowed in and once I missed the turn and ended up heading on down the Wind River Hwy and on to another adventure.  This is a mellow and pretty hike along a rushing creek/river. (Rushing in May after a heat wave) The hike ends at what was a large raging waterfall with a perfect spot to sit and picnic just above its churning base. The hike is a very gradual up-hill and is perfect for people who like to get outdoors but are not in the mood for something grueling or do not have time for a long hike. We happened to catch it on an absolutely spectacular day and only saw two other couples on the entire trail.  I think this trail must get heavy use on the weekends.  I would advise to go early or go during the week to avoid any crowds — one of the most relaxing and rewarding hikes I’ve been on since I moved to Oregon but maybe it was just my mood.  One way to make a fun day trip out of this hike is to book a massage and hottub soak at the nearby Carson Hot Springs for after your hike.

Hike: Falls Creek Falls near Carson, WA

Distance: 3.4 Miles out and back on an often flat to gradually sloping incline. The trail follows a river and ends at an impressive waterfall.  Lots of opportunities to stop and picnic, including great rock seating near the falls.

Directions – I almost don’t want to say.  Its easy to find online. easy to find by car. Wind River Hwy just past carson fish hatchery to road 3062 (I think) then right on road 57.  There are signs.

The Falls:

There were many wildflowers along the path including Trillium, little purple flowers (?) and lots of pretty pink orchids.

Lyle Cherry Orchard Hike – Washington Gorge

Lyle Cherry Orchard
Distance: Approx. 6.5 miles RT
Elevation 1000 ft (guessing)

Description: Last weekend I went with a group of hikers to Lyle Cherry Orchard on the Washington side of the Columbia river gorge. The was an easy hike with a couple a steep climbs. The wildflowers were out and so was the poison oak! Poison oak everywhere below 1000 ft. and a couple hikers picked ticks off -Yuck. The hike climbs up a gentle hillside and offers great views of the Columbia River, The Dalles, Hood River and the mountain scape beyond. At one time, there was a Cherry Orchard i’m told. All that remains now is a few dying cherry trees that offer up some feeble blooms. Look for the native wildflowers if your looking for blooms. Lots of lupine, wallflowers, shooting stars and a few chocolate lily.
Directions: From Portland, take I-84 east to Hood River. Cross the Hood River Toll Bridge and turn right on Highway 14. Or take the lovely Bridge of the Gods and head up SR14 in Washington. Drive east through the towns of Bingen and Lyle. Just east of Lyle, you’ll drive through two tunnels. The trailhead is the first major turnout east of the tunnels.
Disclaimer: If you plan to go, double check distances and directions — I’m a lazy fact-checker.
Here is the group starting the hike:
Just past the tail head - Lyle Cherry Orchard
Small Valley with wildflowers, poison oak and cliffs that look out over the Columbia River Gorge:


Views, etc.

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Pup Creek Falls – Clackamas River Trail

Pup Creek Falls – Part of Clackamas River Trail
7.8 Miles
1200 or so elevation gain
Pup Creek Fall
Description: Easy hike with gradual elevation gain- the hike will get your heart pumping in a couple areas but mostly a mellow hike along the Clackamas River with some opportunities to splash around in the river during the right time of year. April 20, 2008 the river was too fast and too cold for me to play in it. Just on the other side of the river is the highway – a slight drawback to this hike as you will hear the Harleys revving by. But for the most part a lovely little hike. Hike to a 3 tiered waterfall and back. The lichen on the wall of the waterfall and the limey moss-covered trees are truly gorgeous. There is the opportunity to continue on the trail if you want a longer hike. I got to the site at 9:00am; by the time I returned from hiking the parking lot was full. Appears to be a popular spot.
Directions: OR 224 southeast 16 miles past Estacada. Cross 2 large, steel bridges. Right onto Fish Creek Rd. Drive past Fish Creek Campground. Cross another bridge. Park in lot on R.
Disclaimer: You might want to do a google search to double check directions, distance and elevation. I report to the best of my ability but I’m not a fact checker – do your research.