hike: Columbia Gorge – Herman Creek Pinnacles
Good for a cloudy or rainy day, this moderate hike leads to a grouping of large basalt pinnacles.
4.6 miles with 1,200 ft gain
We began at the Herman Creek trailhead, then took the Herman Bridge Cutoff trail (to the right at the first trail junction).
This area was impacted heavily by the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire, and it’s apparent as soon as you pass the powerline/road and reach a section with large boulders on both sides of the trail. This section used to be entirely covered with moss, and while a lot of it was burned off, it is starting to make a comeback.
Many of the trees in forest have blackened trunks, and areas that used to be filled with a lush understory and mossy groundcover are now a bit more bare and rocky. But there’s still plenty of scenic beauty here. One of my favorite spots is the bridge over Herman Creek, which survived the fire unharmed. Since this is the only place the trail is near the river, I like to spend a few minutes here and soak in the views of the creek, with the water rushing past moss-covered boulders as it makes it way to the Columbia River.
The trail travels across three talus slopes. In the forest openings, look to the north for views of the Columbia River.
At the pinnacles, we stopped for a while to eat lunch and explore the rocky structures.
Heading back on the trail.
And one last look at Herman Creek…