Monday, June 29, 2009

Indian Point Loop

Another amazing hike! This never gets old. :)

Yesterday we headed to the gorge to hike the Indian Point Loop trail, about an 8 mile hike with 2,800 feet in elevation gain. The trail meandered through the forest out to Indian Point, and then back along another trail through Herman Creek. This was another butt-kicker!

Full map and details here

The majority of the trail is through forest, but when it did open up the views were stunning.

Across Herman Creek

The trail started out nice and wide and flat, but not for long

We seemed to kind of be at the tail end of the wildflower season on this particular trail (no meadows?? *sigh*... I think I may have gotten spoiled), but there were still some really pretty ones in bloom.

The Columbia Lily, or "Tiger Lily"

Indian Paintbrush

Pretty sure this is Showy Penstemon, but I'm not positive. Anyone know?

We came across a gnarly spider web

One thing you have too look out for on the trails is SLUGS. They are gigantic and completely disgusting. Stepping on one is like stepping on a banana peel - very slippery. Paul stepped on one once and almost bit it. :) They also leave a sick trail of slime. This is the only one we saw on this hike but it was a monster. Blech.

Next to my foot for size comparison

It was another sunny day which, once again, made everything radiate green.

Wading chest-deep through a sea of green


Off of his leash again, Buckley decided to blaze his own trail straight through a patch of wildflowers and spider webs... and the evidence is all over his face.


I'm bummed this picture didn't really turn out. You can see Mt. St. Helens right through the center of this opening, but I guess it was too bright or something. Just try to imagine it, k?

Nature makes the best picture frames... how perfect is this view?

Indian Point is at the end of a narrow, steep unmarked path that spurs off the main trail. It was kind of tough to traverse going down since it was so steep, but the payoff was worth it. Indian Point is a narrow rocky ridge that juts out into the gorge, with dramatic dropoffs on either side. The Portland Hikers Field Guide website says "Beware that this trail gets dangerous as it goes along with a narrow trail, steep drop-offs on both sides, no railings, and no warning signs. If you fell it would almost certainly be fatal." Kind of yikes.

The point is too exposed and rocky to climb, so that's about as far as one should go


Whoop!

I know this is freaking my mom out right now

My adventure boys

The views of the gorge from the point were amazing. Have I ever mentioned how the Columbia Gorge was created before? At the end of the last ice age, a sudden ice dam break on the Clark Fork River in Montana sent a wall of water down the river (the Missoula Floods) which cut the steep walls of the gorge along the way.

The gorge looking east. The second peak back on the left is Dog Mountain, which we hiked last month.

Looking across the gorge at Mt. Adams

The rocky trail back


A loooong way down


The trail back was a little more open, along a ridge above Herman Creek.


Herman Creek meandering into the distance

After we got back from the hike, I actually had to go straight to work for an 8 hour shift on my feet. I am hurting today! But, how awesome is it that I can do all this stuff before work??

We would love to take some of you on some hikes. Who wants to come visit?? We have a pullout couch that can be mighty comfy... luxury accommodations right here... come on!

Love,
Jenny

2 comments:

joseph said...

Your adventures are getting better and better every "step" of the way. We really enjoy reading and seeing the photo's. Great job, keep it up...really cool stuff. I want to move there. Take care xoxoxxo U.Joe & A. Cheryl

dad said...

you're so right, jenny - mom was freaking! be careful!