Hike Distance: 7.9 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 1682.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 1061 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 218663 feet
A nice change to visit Rooster Rock State Park and hike the trail system here. The trail system is primarily in the woods on the south western part of the park, but you can walk along the beach on the eastern side of the park, which is primarily in the clothing-optional area. Yes, you heard that right, there is a nude beach in this park, but nobody out there on this cool and cloudy day.
The main reason to hike the clothing-optional beach is that the best views of the Columbia River Gorge, and thus photos, are located here. I personally have no objection to being here and it’s a very nice place to explore, for Columbia River Gorge and Windsurfing views. I imagine that it’s mainly used, for that purpose, during the warmer summer months?
I first explored this beach area and then took one of the access trails into the southern treed area, which follows a ridgeline that parallels I84. There are actually two trails on this ridge, and I hiked them both. The ridge is primarily filled with deciduous trees and the trail was full of leaves.
I then started hiking parallel to the Columbia River (which is next to the very long parking lot) and veered off onto the beach, somewhere just past the ranger station. The Columbia River was very low and I felt like I was hiking in the middle of the river. A very weird feeling, but the views looking east and west were astounding. There was only one person, with their dog, in this area.
I then headed back east on the beach and completed a loop on the beach, which I verified on my GPS. My hike was primarily over at that point, and I headed back to my car. Just when I got back to my car it started to rain. I expected rain most of the day, but it didn’t come until the end of the hike. 🙂
This is an unusual hike in that the trail system is small, but there’s an enormous amount to investigate, especially if the river water level is low. I would have liked to get closer to Rooster Rock but didn’t have time. There’s also a couple of Disc Golf Courses here for those that enjoy that. You do need an Oregon State Parks pass, but I purchase one every year since there are many parks to visit in this state.