Our four hikes in May were all repeat hikes for us, east out of the Portland rain, to see spring wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge.
5/4 – Tom McCall Point
One of our favorite hikes (3.5 miles, 1000 feet) with wildflowers and mountain and river views.
Balsamroot and lupine on the lower plateau
Fern-leaf desert parsley and poison oak in Parsley Alley
Paintbrush and balsamroot all the way up the mountain
View to Lyle and Rowena Crest
View to the Cherry Orchard cliffs from the top of Tom McCall Point
And, a flock of American pelicans flying upriver…we’ve never seen that before!
5/10 – Bitterroot Trail at Catherine Creek
Another easy loop (3.5 miles, 800 feet), my favorite bitterroot flowers in bloom, and amazing views the whole way.
Bitterroot blooming on the rocky balds near the trail head.
Poppies and bachelor buttons along the road
Bitteroot, camas and monkey flowers near the fairy pools.
Bitterroot – Lewisia rediviva
Cluster lilies, orchards of Mosier
Rosy plectritis and bitterroot
Upriver view at the Balsamroot cairn
Downriver view, giant anvil cloud southeast of Mt Hood
Top of Rowland Wall. I found that one giant cluster of bitterroot that I always look for.
Giant bitterroot cluster, not in bloom;
Another beautiful bitterroot cluster, in bloom.
5/13 – Weldon Wagon Road
A hike with friends along gorgeous slopes of blooming balsam root flowers (5 miles, 1200 feet).
Lower oak woodland
Western tanager flying near the balsamroot
The open slopes in bloom
Parsley and balsamroot
Flowery meadows along the trail
Dogwood in the lower forest
5/26 – Hamilton Mountain
This can be a more difficult loop hike (8 miles, and 2200 feet), but we chose to go just to the upper set of rocky switchbacks, then return the way we came (5 miles, 1550 feet). I got to see the smaller cousin of the bitterroot – Lewisia columbiana, on the upper cliffs just as the weather was starting to turn.
Lots of white flowers blooming in the forest
Pool of the Winds
View across the gorge from the Little Hamilton summit meadows
Larkspur, parsley, and chickweed blooming down the slope
Bonneville Dam and the eastern gorge
Hamilton Mountain- we are only going to the upper rocky switchback section, circled.
Most of the Lewisia columbiana was not blooming yet,
but there were some patches on a sunny cliff.
Chocolate lilies, phlox and parsley on the lower cliffs
We felt a smattering of rain as we hiked down, but managed to sneak this hike out from under the nose of the weather gods. The real rain didn’t start until we were on our way home.