Saturday, November 20, 2021

Hike: Hardy Ridge Trail to Phlox Point, N Bonneville, WA

 

AllTrails map

Getting There

The trailhead is accessible from the Equestrian Camp Parking Lot, a bit west of Beacon Rock & Hamilton Mountain.

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. The road winds up the hill for a bit. Keep a lookout for the the Equestrian Camp turn off.

 

The Hike

Distance: 9.93 mi
Elevation Gain: 2,415 ft
Moving Time: 3:27:59
Total Time: 3:35:46
Avg Pace: 20:57
Calories: 1,833

It turned out to be a great day for a hike. I visited a week or so before and it was really windy. Sat (11/20) it was in the 60s and pretty much windless.

Once you reach the bottom of the ridge where the Phlox Point out-n-back section of the trail starts, you're pretty much exposed to the elements, there is very little tree coverage. By comparison, the hike up to Hamilton Mtn is almost all in the trees.

The parking lot for Hamilton was full but there were many open spots in the Equestrian Trail parking lot.

I saw a dozen or so other hikers (in pairs mostly). I took the counter-clockwise route this time. It's a pretty steady incline for 3.2 mi (about 1400' foot elevation gain), some long switchbacks to the Phlox Point trail.

I made it all the way to the cairn pile at the top. On the way back to the trailhead, I took the Hardy Ridge trail back. The sun was golden at this point. The trail surface is perfect, cushioned with leaves and needles from the local evergreens & conifers.

I had a little energy left when I got back to the Equestrian Trail so I took a spin on the Loop Trail. It was pretty dark when I drove home at around 5pm.