Saturday, June 11, 2022

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

AllTrail map (Mapbox/OpenStreetMap)

Getting There

This was my first strenuous hike since April. The RA has been rough. The week I started my new job, the symptoms were getting to be too much so I started back on the meds several weeks ago. The relief is not happening very quickly. I started a course of a second med a couple of days ago and finally felt well enough to visit this old favorite hike spot. 

Take WA-14 from Vancouver, WA east toward N Bonneville. 

The rain was drizzling during my whole drive out. I knew it was going to be muddy in spots but I had rain gear and didn't care; the route is deep in the canopy.

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.

There was a Parking Lot Full sign up but several open spots. A car in front of me paused at the sign, then drove on to the 2nd parking lot. I knew the lot wasn't full and found a spot right away.

The Hike

Length: 7.39 mi
Elevation gain: 2,234 ft
Moving time: 2:56:03
Total time: 3:13:45
Avg. pace: 23:50
Calories: 1,551

The trail was in pretty good shape. Not a lot of mud except in the usual spots. No new downed trees to contend with nor excessive overgrowth since April. I cut one small branch that was right in the path.

The made good time on the ascent and didn't really pause anywhere until I reached the top where I had a swig of water and had a snack.

Looking at the Moving & Total Time, my pace is comparable to previous hikes. That's good news given my joint issues lately and lack of calorie burning-level exercise. I hadn't fallen too far behind. Another MSH hike might be possible if I can get conditioned for a sometime in Sept again.  

Sidenote: I'm not sure how AllTrails calculates the Moving & Total Time because 17m42s of non-Moving time seems like too much.

The only issue I had on the descent (1/2 a lemon) was some IT-band tightness in the right knee, as per usual. I need to stretch better before the descent and in general.

There were some spots on the trail where I could feel moisture in my socks. My boots are no longer waterproof. I may attempt some more repair if I can find the likely holes. Seems like the glue continues to fail slowly.

Young ferns at the top 1

Young ferns at the top 2

The Saddle panorama

The Saddle (IG post)

SW view of the River (Dog Mtn, Cascade Locks, Bonneville Dam)

Same view with low clouds