Sunday, November 11, 2012

Continuation of Hamilton Mountain

At this point there is a fork in the trail and there is never a doubt in which one I will choose. More difficult! As in life, the more difficult it is the better the reward will be. 

Looking up  on the trail to large boulders covered in moss and ferns.
Large displays of moss covered rocks. 
The following views are from the "Little Hamilton."

Much steeper drop-offs here on Little Hamilton and much better views of the Gorge than at the summit. 
Oregon on the other side and Beacon Rock on the middle right of the next destination after  the summit of Hamilton
Myself and the back drop looking west towards Portland down the Columbia River Gorge. 
Looking east. 
About to head up to the summit after this pic. 
From Little Hamilton and now going to the summit of Hamilton Mountain.

A great close up view of Hamilton. 
The three dams of Bonneville. 

Nearby Table Mountain with Mt. Adams in the background.
Panoramic from the summit at 2488'.

Oregon's Mt. Hood.

Taking in Washington's Mt. Adams. 
About to finish the trail loop with a 4 mile trail run down to the trailhead. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hamilton Mountain BDay Hike..1st stop Hardy Falls and Pool of the Gods.

  It is birthday time, so as it has been a tradition since I moved out to the Pacific NW in 2005 to experience a beautiful part of the PacNW. Roughly a three and a half hour drive south from Seattle down I-5 then east on State Highway 84 along the Columbia River Gorge for about 35 miles to Beacon Rock and Hamilton Mountain. I decided to head up for the ~8 mile round trip hike up Hamilton Mountain then over to Beacon Rock (named by Lewis and Clark as they headed west down the Columbia River) for a short 1 mile hike up to the top. The first set of pics are from the trailhead up to Hardy Creek/Falls and Pool of the Gods.
Beacon Rock State Park Headquarters. 
Headquarters and Beacon Rock.  Had to pick up my annual State Park Pass before I headed up to the trailhead.
A great old building.
Where I am headed to...Hamilton Mountain. Looking like a great day with some great  views  of the Columbia River Gorge.
A better view about 1/4 mile on the trail. 
I planned on camping at the campground last night but stayed in Vancouver, WA instead. Now, time to head up. 
I found out there wasn't much of a view especially with the absence of water throughout the summer. 

Luckily, there is a much better view up ahead. 

I nice little foot bridge, too bad the green didn't show up in the pic. 

I wonder how long the old growth log has been in there and how it ever  got to be perfectly placed in this spot. 
A look up past the Pool of the Gods. 

With Pool of the Gods on my left, a look down offers another nice little  pool as well. 

Vertical panoramic with several of the falls in view but without the Pool of the  Gods in  view. But, it is just up and to the right of the railing. 
The trail and bridge going up to Hamilton Mountain. Instead of getting back on the trail and crossing the bridge I decided to do a little scramble down the falls. 
One of the many smaller falls as I am scrambling down back to the trail. 

A calm shallow pool and a small water fall. 

All of the waterfalls seem to be unique in their own particular way. 
Worn beautifully and perfectly throughout the falls. 
All the rock is so smooth. Beautiful.
This place would be beautiful with a little snow or even more water in the springtime. 
Some bright looking moss with accompanies the water and rock.  
Awesome layered rock and waterfall. 
Looking back up to the last main waterfall. 
Me on the bridge with Hardy Falls (kind of) in the background. 
Next blog...part II of Little Hamilton and Hamilton Mountain views!!!
Until next time...
Adventure On, my friends! 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Barclay Lake in the shadow of Mt. Baring

  One of the best short hikes (< 5 miles) in the area at ~4.4 miles with the subtle sounds of Barclay Creek accompanying you along the trail with several opportunities to dip your feet in the creek. But, if you want a little peace and quiet you may want to go during the week! Since, the trail only climbs 225 ft in 2 miles with a beautiful payoff and lakefront campsites as well, this is a fairly easy hike for anybody, including children...lots of children!
  About a mile into the hike then passing over the creek on a log bridge, a turn around and looking up, way up will bring a WOW!!! to your mouth! Mt. Baring is now looming over you, somehow sneaking up on you. Awesome. It is not much further until you can see the lake through the tree's and you will be in wonder as you get to the shore of the lake. Green, moss and some old growth will surround you as you are gazing way up to the impressive peak of Baring.
  Even though this is a short hike, give yourself plenty of time to explore both ends of the lake. With an ice cold creek and several fallen old growth trees across the creek with several still standing on the south end and the start of Barclay Creek on the north end with boulders and fallen trees shaping the stream and lake at the same time. 
  This place really deserves at least one night (during the week!) to take it all in and to catch the sunrise lighting up the east face of Mt. Baring and coming up over Merchant Peak on the west side! 
  -Barclay Lake is part of Washington's newest wilderness area, the 106,577 arce Wild Sky.
  -Additional pics on PacificNWCompanion facebook page! 
Adventure On
 my Friends!!!
The 4.5 mile drive up to the trailhead.
Merchant Peaks to the west.
Zoom to Merchant Peaks.
Surprisingly little snow left! 
A small stream going down to Barclay Creek.
A family down by the creek on an old log.

Crossing the creek on the log bridge...then turning around! 

Barclay Lake and Mt. Baring!
Along the lake... 
On the South end of the lake...
My dogs are a barking!
A few fallen and standing old growth. 
Thick green.
At the North end of the lake! 

Back to the trailhead.
Done with running for the day!
12+ miles of running. 2.5 hiking.