Hike Distance: 8.1 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 1569.1 miles
Elevation Gain: 689 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 205273 feet
A gorgeous clear day and where should we go? This is a bad time to head out into the forest due to high power rifle hunting season, so we stay in safe places. There’s a new section of the Historic Columbia River Highway Trail that was just completed, and opened, in August. This section is between the Wyeth Campground and Lindsey Creek.
We headed out to the Wyeth Campground area and found the new parking area that was built for this section. Only about eight cars parked at this large parking area, and we were surprised since it was a wonderful day. There’s even a bathroom and bike pump here!
So we start walking east on the asphalted trail, and immediately see some fantastic Fall colors. The views of the Columbia River Gorge are very nice on this section. The best views on this section of the trail are across the river in Washington State. Notably, Wind and Dog Mountains along with the Columbia River, are the main breathtaking views.
Also of note is that the I-84 road noise, along this section, is deafening! 😦 Way too much noise makes it difficult to talk with people right next to you. That said, the trail does climb up and recede into a forested area for a short distance.
Also of note is that the new asphalt surface is hard on the body. Me, my wife and son all had pain in various joints after we completed our hike. The trail surface is definitely better for biking, and most of the people we saw were bikers.
There are some nice viewpoints that were built into the concrete ramps. There are also plenty of places to sit and rest. All in all, the quality of the work done to create this trail is top notch, and it shows!
We turned around at Hole-in-the-Wall Falls as we needed to get back early. This falls is beautiful and I could stay here for a long time. The falls area is also where the Mt. Defiance trail begins, but just remember this is one of the toughest hikes, only surpassed by mountain climbing. In fact, mountain climbers use this trail to prepare for summitting Mt. Hood, as it climbs almost 5000 feet in about 5 miles!