Location: Columbia River Gorge, Washington
Distance: about 6 miles
Elevation Gain: about 1,500 ft.
We were supposed to hike McNeil Point with our friends, but the weather was too cloudy and rainy, so we went to Hamilton Mountain instead. We didn’t go to the summit of the mountain but went to a rocky outcrop area instead. The views were really amazing. When we first reached the top, it was very cloudy. We ate lunch and as we sat there, the clouds cleared, revealing the scene around us. The hike starts at about 400 ft. elevation and we went to about 1,700 ft. elevation. It starts at a picnic area with an old stone CCC building from the late 1930s. Most of the hike is through a pretty forest of evergreens, maples and alders with ferns, oregon grape, salmonberries and wildflowers throughout. There are two waterfalls along the way: Rodney Falls and Hardy Falls. There are side trails to view the waterfalls and the main trail has a bridge that goes over Hardy Falls. During this hike, my feet were hurting due to the steep climb and descent. At times, I said it was brutal and unrelenting, but I really did enjoy the hike.