Sunday, November 14, 2021

Hike: Hamilton Mountain & Hardy Creek Loop, N. Bonneville, WA


Getting There

Take WA-14 from Vancouver, WA east toward N Bonneville. Just after Doetsch Ranch you'll see the Ranger Station on the north side of the road just before the Beacon Rock parking lot, then another road across from the bathrooms. The road winds up the hill for a bit. 

The Hike

Distance: 8.46 mi
Elevation Gain: 2,339 ft
Moving Time: 3:13:49
Total Time: 3:21:00
Avg Pace: 22:55
Calories: 1,708

The weather in the Gorge was looking pretty stormy as I headed east. The woman in the car next to me said it was really windy up top, and she was right.

I made good time in the way up (3.0mi, 1h25m, 2,050ft). I kept expecting rain and thought I’d make it an up-and-back hike but at the top I said fuckit and started towards The Saddle. 

When I got out in the open the wind was really blowing. I took a selfie. 

I’ve only taken Don’s Cutoff once and today was not the day to try again. I was glad to be able to keep a brisk pace on the Equestrian Trail. 

When I reached the trail junction I thought ‘why don’t they have a trail between the Equestrian parking lot and Hamilton, Hadley Campground. Otherwise it’s a loooong walk on the road.

I was surprised to cross paths with a hiker going up. The sky was pretty dark and it was almost 4p. 

On a whim I took a spin out to Little Beacon. Such a rad view from there. 

It was a bit eerie walking through the empty campground back to the parking lot. There were still 2-3 cars besides mine. Glad to not be last to leave.