Hike Distance: 9.1 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 1455.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 2040 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 193507 feet
My wife turned 60 today and she chose the hike we would go on! This is such a favorite hike and the warm sunny weather made it a spectacular day for views. My wife was tired at the beginning of the hike (had surgery on her hand a few days ago) but got some much needed energy, and a second wind, later in the hike.
We started the hike at the horse camp and started hiking up the road. We made it to the Hardy Creek picnic area and stopped for some food. Hardy Creek has almost no flow which is strange to see for what is a typically nice size creek. We then headed up to the junction that leads to Hamilton Mt. and turned right to ascend up toward the saddle. Our intention was to stop at the saddle because all the best views, of the Columbia River Gorge, are from this location. We stopped and rested there for a while to take in the beauty of this location. Since it was a hot day we parked ourselves in the shade. I took the time to take plenty of pictures.
We then headed back down to the Hamilton Mt. intersection and turned right onto the Upper Hardy Creek trail. We continued until we found the junction for the bridge over Hardy Creek. Turning left, we followed the trail over this horse bridge and continued on our favorite trail in this park! The trail has some parts in deep shade and the mood was amazing! I expected to see hobbits and goblins emerging from the forest.
After about 3/4 of a mile we intersected another road and followed back down to the main road that leads back to the horse camp. The lack of people on the trail resulted in a heavy dose of solitude and relaxation. We expected more people but never saw them. We got back a bit late but felt very satisfied from such a perfect day. We highly recommend visiting this fantastic State Park! Just remember the Discovery Pass or you’ll be ticketed.