Cottonwood Beach & Columbia River Dike & Steigerwald NWR Hike

Hike Distance: 7.4 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1576.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 638 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 205911 feet

A cooler day that turned down right cold due to heavy winds!  I was prepared for this weather but some of the strong gusts still are unexpected.  Knowing there would be heavy winds today I came here to avoid having the possibility of trees and/or branches falling on me!

The heavy winds sure kept away all the people, save for a few odd people like me. haha  I met a previous year PCT Thru-Hiker named “Breakpoint” and we struck up some wonderful conversation. 🙂   I thoroughly enjoyed meeting up with another serious hiker and sharing stories of our adventures.

Cottonwood Beach was empty, and the wind was tame due to the Cottonwood trees providing a break.  The sun was strong, overhead, and I enjoy taking photos of the sparkling reflection in the Columbia River.  There were also plenty of birds on the east side of Cottonwood Beach.

I next headed out east along the entirety of the Columbia River Dike, into Steigerwald NWR land.  The wind was brutal on the dike, and hiking east was like fighting against a turbo-prop.  I took quite a few breaks and enjoyed the solitude and putting my back to the wind.

The seasonal Gibbon Art trail was closed but I still went to the bridge that gives a superb view of Mt. Hood over Steigerwald Lake.  Such beauty!  There were also plenty of wintering birds in the lake, along with a few undesireable Nutria.

A great day, if you’re dressed properly!


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