hike: Wahkeena-Angels-Devils-Rest loop (post-wildfire report)
This is a great conditioning hike that starts at the Wahkeena trailhead, goes up to Wahkeena Springs, over to Angels Rest, then up to Devils Rest before heading back down to the Vista Point Trail and finally, returning to the Wahkeena Trail and the trailhead.
Distance: about 9 miles with 2,568 ft gain
The forecast called for wind up to 22 mph, but at times, it was much more like 40 mph. Since this hike is through a forest that was burned in the September 2017 Eagle Creek Fire, it’s a good idea to be cautious when hiking here during high winds since trees that were damaged in the fire are much more likely to fall.
We started at the Wahkeena trailhead and hiked up to the Angels Rest trail junction. Although there is some visible fire damage along Wahkeena Creek, it still looks as lovely as ever.
We turned onto the Angels Rest trail and took a short snack break at Wahkeena Springs.
Continuing on the Angels Rest trail, a bit more evidence of fire damage is visible.
Views that didn’t exist before the fire are also visible… notice that the trees in this photo are evergreens that used to block views.
The wind was super gusty through this section on the Angels Rest trail.
View of Angels Rest through the burned trees. Although we could see a few people venturing out onto Angels Rest, it was far too windy for us to give it a try.
We took the Devils Rest trail at the junction with the Angels Rest trail. Along this section, it was nice to see that some areas were still full of green moss that the fire did not reach.
As we got closer to Devils Rest, we were in a fog bank. The fog was freezing when it hit the trees, and the wind immediately blew the ice off into shards that landed on us as we were hiking. The photo below is Devils Rest, which is really not much more than a bunch of large rocks covered with moss.
The fog remained high, and the river below glowed blue.
On the Devils Rest trail, an area that was relatively untouched by the fire.
In some places, the fire stayed low and burned trees from the roots.
Coming down from Devils Rest on switchbacks, there were a lot of burned trees.
This section of trail was rebuilt with sturdy steps. Thanks to all of the volunteers that worked to clear these trails!
We took the Vista Point trail back to the Wahkeena trail… this is the view near the end of Vista Point. The wind was blowing so hard it made the river look like the coast line.
Back at Fairy Falls on the Wahkeena trail.