Hike Distance: 7.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 1272 feet
I wasn’t sure where to go today and had originally planned for the east side of the Gorge, where flowers aren’t quite at peak yet. We decided on an old favorite; Beacon Rock State Park. We started at the horse camp and headed out towards the Hardy Creek picnic area. We had stopped to talk with a very nice older woman, and she indicated the winds at the saddle and on Hardy Ridge were brutal. We also saw a huge crowd of hikers coming down from Hamilton Mt. and so changed our plans to hike on the Upper Hardy Creek Trail. Upper Hardy Creek is typically devoid of hikers and today was no exception. At about the cutoff to the horse bridge, we encountered soft snow. My ankle was being a challenge today so we turned around and headed over Hardy Creek on the horse bridge. The horse trail had quite a bit of debris and blowdown but was easily negotiated. There were also no people on this trail! We completed this loop by intersecting the main trail that headed back down to the horse camp. Although it was suppose to be a partially sunny day in Portland, it was cloudy and windy at Beacon Rock State Park. A very nice day and highly recommended area for hiking.