Hamilton, again

Hamilton Mountain, looming over Beacon Rock State Park, is a Columbia Gorge classic. It’s got it all: in the beginning, a short and sweet payoff to two waterfalls; then steeps and more steeps; craggy vistas and classic rock walls; and classic mossy gorge forest. 

Pool of the Winds
getting steeper, but still in lovely gorge forest

sweeping gorge vistas from "Little Hamilton", Beacon Rock below

zig-zagging trail

When I first arrived in the PNW and started getting into hiking, Hamilton was one of my go-to spots in the gorge; I’ve visited this trail countless times, but since the enactment of the Discover Pass, I have been back only rarely, mostly due to the fact that I haven’t needed a reason to purchase yet another hiking permit.

Kayaking changed that, so on this partly cloudy, windy day, I decided to take the dog and me on a quick exercise jaunt up an old friend.

And Hamilton is always, always good exercise.

It also has tons of personality, and regardless of the fact that I have hiked it many, many times, I love the ever-changing face of this hike: the transition from low, lush forest to craggy steeps and how different the mountain can look depending on the weather. Today, the lower section was clear and sunny, and then I almost got blown off the traverse on the Saddle by high winds- not to mention I had burrowed into all my layers thanks to the temperature dropping appreciably. Let’s just say it was a quick lunch stop. 

mossy, bright green gorge: Hamilton Trail winter of 2010...
and today....heading up into the clouds from Little Hamilton

Hamilton is *right* there, I swear (2010)...

and today- getting windy...

a brief sun break across the Saddle...wind is raging here...

winter sunlight on alders- heading home

 And I was home in time for dinner. So much better than a jog around the neighborhood. {GRIN}

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