hike: Catherine Creek – Rowland Basin loop
When spring wildflowers are blooming, the Catherine Creek and Coyote Wall areas are popular with hikers. To avoid crowds, consider this loop hike located between these two areas.
distance: 4.9 miles
elevation gain: 1,300 ft.
drive time from Portland: 1 hour 30 minutes
parking pass: none
hike description: OregonHikers.org – Catherine Creek-Rowland Basin Loop Hike
Starting at the Catherine Creek trailhead, we took a former road on the left and headed up a grassy slope.
The Catherine Creek arch came into view as we hiked up.
Desert parsley was in bloom throughout the hike. The plant below was just getting started… it’s interesting that the flowers are yellow but look purple just before they bloom.
View to the west, with Mount Hood barely visible under the clouds.
Hiking up through open grassy meadows as we head towards the power lines.
Shooting stars filled small areas along the way.
Big views of the Columbia River, looking east.
The hike goes through several wooded areas, and this section of forest with Douglas-firs looked more like parts of the Western Gorge than the typical Eastern Gorge scrub oak forest.
At the high point of our hike, we took advantage of an opening in the trees with big views to stop for a long lunch break.
View through Ponderosa pines
This loop hike travels across open grassy fields, into scrub oak forest, and back again several times.
Now in the upper section of Coyote Wall area trails, we took the Upper Labyrinth Trail to head back towards Catherine Creek.
Layers of chunky basalt in the Rowland Basin section of the hike
This was the only section of the hike with Balsamroot in bloom.
Crossing a talus slope on the way back to the trailhead
As we closed the loop, we crossed through a wet area with several springs.
We were a bit early for wildflowers on this day, but it was nice to not have as many ticks or poison oak to contend with.