On the Road with Tom and Gloria travel blog

Horsetail Falls

Hilly and rocky trail

Good to be hiking again

Ponytail Falls

Behind Ponytail Falls

Bridge to Oneonta Falls

More vertical and rocks

I'm breathing heavy and he's carrying 18 extra pounds!

Triple Falls

Must look this up

How do they do it?

Came down the wrong trail

Road to Larch Mt.

Trail to scenic view

Step one of 122!

Mt. St. Helens

Mt. Ranier

Mt. Adams

Mt. Hood

Mt. Jefferson

One last look at The Gorge

We spent our last day in The Gorge doing the two things we haven't been able to do either because my foot was not healed enough or the weather wasn't clear enough. It was now or never! The weather was cool, the trails were shady, and my foot didn't hurt at all over the entire 5 miles we traversed.

The first .04 miles getting from Horsetail Falls to Ponytail Falls was very vertical and rocky. What a view from behind the falls. The next 1.6 miles to Oneonta Falls was not bad at all and very scenic. From there it was a bit of a challenge - 1.2 miles of constant climbing with small rocks on the path. I was amazed as one young man after another, carrying babies on their backs or fronts, passed us by . Finally we arrived at Triple Falls and then pressed on a bit farther to view the streams. If I was younger I would have sat in the water too!

On our way back, after a mile or so, we somehow chose the wrong path. Next thing we knew we were on the street. So we had to walk through a tunnel and then some to get back to where the car was parked. We had been on the mountain for three hours so it was definitely time for lunch. One doesn't have much choice in The Gorge - you either pack or stop at Multnomah Lodge- that's it. Since I foolishly didn't pack we were stuck grabbing a snack at the Lodge but I must say it was wonderful to get a glimpse of Multnomah Falls again!

Since it was only 3:30 we decided we had time to do the 14 mile drive up to the top of Larch Mountain . The viewing area here , on a clear day, affords you the opportunity to see five mountains. Today was as clear as you're gonna get!

The 1/4 mile trail started out innocently enough and then we hit the 122 steps up to the top. Well worth the climb! First is Mt. St. Helens - 46 miles away and 8363 ft high. Mt. Rainier is next, 97 miles away and 14,410 ft high and Mt. Adams, 54 miles away and 12,307 feet high. Then comes the closest and the favorite in this area- Mt. Hood. Unfortunately the plaque was missing so I have no specs . Last was Mt. Jefferson, 82 miles away and 10,497 miles high.

We drove down the mountain, passed a beautiful wedding ceremony in progress at a lovely Inn , and stopped for one last look at the Columbia River.

We really have enjoyed our time here. It is truly one of the best spots in America. The scenic drives are right up there with the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway in Wyoming connecting to the Beartooth Scenic Highway in Montana.

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