Steigerwald Lake Wildlife Refuge Hike

Hike Distance: 4.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 459 feet

What a great way to end the month of March, with beautiful weather and spectacular views!  Mt. Hood was clearly visible for most of our hike.  My son an I once again set out for a short hike in the Steigerwald Lake and Columbia River Dike area.  There were plenty of people there, as expected on a nice day.  It also helped to have well fitting shoes, that I just purchased at REI, that didn’t jam my toes.

Frenchmens Bar Hike

Hike Distance: 1.7 miles

Elevation Gain: 283 feet

I had to have a procedure repeated on my toe that has significantly slowed my ability to walk.  That said, I needed to get out for some fresh air.  My son joined me and it was a very nice time.  The water level of the Columbia was amazingly high and much of the low lying trail areas, and beach, was under water.

Catherine Creek Area Hike

Hike Distance: 6.0 miles

Elevation Gain: 1783 feet

Perpetual rain with plenty of low clouds characterize this day.  The rain suppressed the crowds, which made this hike all the more enjoyable.  Catherine Creek was running high and rapid.  We decided to head up towards the power lines instead of crossing the creek and visiting the arch.  We had quite a bit more elevation gain compared to recent hikes, which was on purpose due to my ankle issues.  Today was a stark lesson in making sure your hiking shoes have plenty of room for a steep descent, and my new shoes proved to be a poor fit.  I had intense pain in my big toe due to jamming it against the shoe on every descending step.  We terminated the hike prematurely due to my foot pain. 😦  Thankfully, I have since purchased a new pair of hiking shoes with plenty of room. 🙂

Upper Coyote Wall & Beyond Hike

Hike Distance: 7.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 1228 feet

Although the Coyote Wall parking area was a zoo, we parked near the top of Courtney Rd.  There used to be more parking areas at the top of this road but Private Property signs are now everywhere, and is obviously not acceptable.  I imagine the land owners adjacent to this public road have been seeing increased issues and worked with the forest service to reduce traffic, but this is only speculation.  I don’t think I’d recommend coming here again due to obvious objection to parking space and Private Property signs. 😦

It was a cool  and occasionally windy day but the views were spectacular.  We only saw one hiker with her two dogs, and many off road bikers at the end of the day.  There was still some snow at the highest elevations, and mud was everywhere.  Only a few patches of Grass Widows in this area.  Still a nice hike in a beautiful area!