I went on three hikes in September, in Portland, Mt Adams and Indian Heaven.
9/14 – Macleay Park to Pittock Mansion: Finishing the Wildwood Trail, Portland, OR
During the early pandemic in the spring of 2020, travel was restricted. Many parks and trails were closed. We tried long neighborhood walks, but concrete is hard on the feet! I missed the dirt trails and nature. When local trails reopened, we turned to the Wildwood Trail in nearby Forest Park to keep our hiking habit going. We had hiked parts of Forest Park over the years, but usually prefer further destinations with views, waterfalls or mountain tops. The Forest Park trails are fine for nearby forest hikes, but are often crowded with trail runners and neighborhood hikers, and there aren’t many views. Nevertheless, we set a goal to try to hike the full 30 mile length of the Wildwood Trail in sections – especially after the realization set in that the pandemic restrictions were going to last longer than we first imagined. As of this month, there was one section left (not counting the section between miles 14 and 15 that is closed for repair). Early September had been too hot and/or smoky in our usual destinations to hike much, but after a day of rain we found time to hike this last section.
The views were limited on this overcast day, but the seasonal flowerbeds provided some bright colors.
We returned to our starting place, then added to our mileage by hiking a few of the trails on the nearby Audubon reserve – again a bit nondescript on this between seasons day – too late for summer flowers, too early for fall colors. Our total for the day was about 4 miles, and 700 feet.
9/20 – Bird Creek Meadows, Mt Adams, WA
This area has been mostly closed since the 2015 Cougar Creek Fire. The Yakama people have opened the hiking trails for the month of September the last two years, and we finally made it out there this year. Our pre-fire hikes in the area were during peak wildflower season in a place where the bloom is as fine as any in the Cascades. We saw the beginnings of fall color on our hike today, while appreciating the repairs that have been made to the fire damaged trails. It was beautiful!
We reached the Hellroaring Viewpoint, then continued upward on the Climber Trail for a short way:
Our return hike circled through the western meadows, past Crooked Creek Falls, and then down through the burn zone again, to Bird Lake.
Lookback photos from 2013 compared to 2022, looking south from the below Hellroaring Viewpoint –
And one of the wildflower meadows of summer 2013:
9/27 – Indian Heaven Wilderness – Cultus Campground to Wapiki Lake Overlook
We had also hiked this trail before. Again, we caught the beginnings of the fall colors in the higher elevations, and in the more open meadows and huckleberry fields.
We passed Cultus Lake on our way to the Wapiki Lake overlook:
On our return hike, the smoke had blown in from a nearby fire, obscuring the mountain views we had enjoyed earlier…..
We were too early for full fall color. We passed this same pond near Cultus Lake last year, in early October, after there had been rain. I remember spending a lot of time here marveling at the colors. This year, late September, only a little color and no pond yet.
It is lovely to see these places in different seasons!
I am catching up on blog posts – on to October…