PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – It’s going to be a rainy Memorial Day weekend, but for those brave enough to not let the weather get in the way of a hike, the trails await!
A winter weather advisory is in effect over the weekend in the Cascades, so hiking at lower elevations might be a better bet. Thankfully, in the Pacific Northwest, there are plenty of options – like the Columbia River Gorge.
Between the coast and The Dalles, there are plenty of places along the river to take a nice walk or reach an incredible view.
Here are some hiking recommendations not far from the Portland metro area:
Sandy River Delta Park: Whether you’re looking for a short walk to stretch your legs or a longer loop, you can find a wide variety of trail lengths at the Sandy River Delta Park. The park is located where the Sandy River joins the Columbia River. Some of the trails include the Sandy River Delta Boundary and the Confluence Trail. These park trails are considered “easy” and are relatively flat.
Gibbons Creek Wildlife Art Trail: This trail traverses the recently reopened Steigerwald Lake Wildlife Refuge near Washougal. It loops around Redtail Lake. The trail is flat and less than 3 miles long. The Steigerwald Lake Wildlife Refuge underwent habitat restoration and reopened on May 1. The trail features scenic views and opportunities for bird watching.
Latourell Falls Loop Trail: Take a 3-mile, moderate hike in the Gorge and check out a gorgeous waterfall on the Latourell Falls Loop Trail. This trail is in Guy W. Talbot State Park, near Corbett. On average, it takes just over an hour and a half for people to complete this trail. This part of the Gorge is popular for hiking and sightseeing. A Waterfall Corridor timed access pass is not required to reach this trailhead.
Angel’s Rest: The view at the top might be gray and stormy this weekend, but it’s always satisfying to reach the end of the Angel’s Rest trail. This in-and-out hike is 4.5 miles and has an elevation gain of nearly 1,500 feet. The top of the trail features a stunning view over the Columbia River. This path is considered moderately challenging. Hikers are allowed to bring their dogs, but dogs should be on leashes. A Waterfall Corridor timed access pass is not required for this trail either.
Archer Mountain Trail: For hikers looking for more of a challenge, check out Archer Mountain Trail in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. This 4.1-mile trail is considered hard. It’s steep, sometimes slippery, and has a lot of switchbacks. This time of year, hikers can enjoy plenty of wildflowers along the trail’s edge and should be able to catch some great views.
Beacon Rock Doetsch Walking Path: Travel farther east on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge and you’ll reach the Beacon Rock Doetsch Walking Path, near the Beacon Rock Moorage Camp. This 1.2-mile path is easy and very flat. It’s paved and features views of the Columbia River. Visitors have reported seeing birds, rabbits and even a black bear near the trail this spring.
Memaloose Overlook Trail: This easy trail near The Dalles leads people to the Memaloose Overlook, where they can take in views of rolling hills and the Columbia River. The trail is located in Memaloose State Park. In late spring, visitors can expect to see blooming wildflowers.
Tom McCall Point Trail: This trail runs through the Tom McCall Reserve. It’s nearly 5 miles long and is considered a moderately challenging trail. This path is fairly popular in the spring, as people visit to take wildflower photos. The trail also features stunning views of the Columbia River. Dog owners should leave their pets at home. Dogs are not allowed on this trail.