Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A sunny weekend? Hit the trail!

Something strange happened here in Portland last weekend. Something that hasn't happened seemingly for months. This bright light suddenly appeared, I think they call it the sun? Wanting to take advantage of this strange natural phenomena, w and I immediately made plans for an early season hike. w, who is filled with more local outdoors knowledge in her 10 years here than I have been able to gather in my life being a native Oregonian, suggested a hike to Elowah Falls (that's your correspondent at the bottom of the falls in the pic upper left). I'd been on what I thought was pretty much every waterfall hike in the gorge, but somehow had missed this one. If you have somehow not put this in your hiking repertoire, you need to do it...soon! Two breathtaking falls in a short, easy 3-mile roundtrip. From the trailhead (a mere 35-40 minutes from downtown PDX) you hike .3 miles to a junction, take the left to Elowah Falls, a stunning 289' high drop down a sheer cliff where you can get right next to it at its base; or go right and head up the trail to an absolutely beautiful split falls called McCord Creek Falls (right). The best part is you can make the whole roundtrip hike in a little over an hour. The next 3 months or so will be prime time to enjoy them with the heavy snow melt that is coming.

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