Friday, April 14, 2023

Hike: Wind Mountain, Home Valley, WA

Selfie from Wind Mountain (bg: Dog Mtn, Columbia River Gorge)

Getting There

From WA Hwy 14 at Home Valley (just east of Carson), take Wind Mountain Road. Follow for 1.0 mile and take the right to stay on Wind Mountain Road. Go another 0.4 mile to Girl Scout Road (on right) and continue 0.3 mile to the trailhead. 

There's a clearing before the actual trail where the dirt road drops down. Technically, there's room for 1 or 2 cars across from the trail but best to park at the clearing.

The Hike

AllTrails map

Length: 2.55 mi
Elev. gain: 1,135 ft
Moving time: 1:11:22
Total time: 1:19:55
Avg pace: 28:02
Calories: 718

After hiking in the Wind River Valley (Bunker Hill, Whistle Punk Loop), I still had some daylight and energy. I wasn't ready to head back to Portland. Since I was close to Wind Mountain, it was an easy choice. I'd been wanting to hike it since scouting the trailhead a year ago after hiking at Dog Mountain.

I'd seen some trail pictures but really didn't know much else. I knew it wasn't as long as Dog Mountain but I only learned its history and spiritual significance until I reached and read the sign near the top.

It's not a long hike but it's got some decent elevation gain. It was good trek to pair with my earlier hike.

View of surrounding area (Augspurger Mountain)

Trail winds through downfall and rocks

The trail

Sign near the summit
"The Wind Mountain Spirit Quest Site was likely constructed between 200 and 1,000 years ago. Youth questing for their guardian spirits fasted and spent the night here away from their village or camp. Maintaining a constant vigil during the quest, they also completed strenuous physical tasks such as building rock piles. A vision or dream eventually came revealing the seeker's guardian spirit, a spirit that remained with a person for a lifetime.

This site is an exceptional example of the Columbia Plateau cultural pattern represented by construction of rock walls, pits and mounds in talus fields. Artifacts are seldom found in sites of this type.

Tribal people continue to visit this sacred area."  

It was an honor to visit the site and enjoy the views.

Columbia River, looking west

Home Valley

Dog Mountain, Columbia River

Rock walls, pits and mounds

Rock walls, pits and mounds

Glimpse of Oregon through the trees

The Summit

Pano of summit (Dog Mtn, Columbia River)