Sunday, December 31, 2023

Hike: Hamilton Mountain, N Bonneville, WA

Getting There

I'd planned to hike up Wahkeena/Multnomah Falls or possibly over to Devil's Rest but when I got to the parking lot, the gate was closed, FULL. Oh well, probably for the best. 

I continued onto Cascade Locks and crossed the river, then double-backed to BRSP.

Just after the Beacon Rock parking lot, it's a right 180 deg turn for the trailhead. The road winds up the hill for a bit. It was pretty busy for a Sunday. I guess other folks were squeezing one more hike into the year.

The Hike

Length: 6.43 mi
Elev. gain: 2,156 ft
Moving time: 2:58:02
Avg pace: 27:40
Calories: 389
Total time: 3:24:32

This was the last hike of 2023! No pressure to make it count! LOL. I didn't need the mileage or elevation gain for my 2023 goals; this was icing on the cake. The weather has been spotty in the PNW and it looked like a nice lull in the rain.

Wow.. Hamilton and the CRG de-livered. 

I didn't get the earliest start, so I didn't have time to do the whole loop but I knew I could make it up and down the main trail.

My foot had been hurting less and I make good time up to the top. There were a couple of hikers up there that was leaving when I arrived. I lingered for a little while to enjoy the views. The last time I'd been up there, it was crazy windy and there was snow on the ground. Today, there was almost no wind and all the snow had melted.

I made sure the pair of hikers had a lot of lead time so I didn't catch up too soon. I started downhill and took my time.

When I got near Little Hamilton, the sunset was looking pretty awesome and figured I had just enough time to hike up there and capture some great views.

Just gorgeous! Magical.

I didn't wait around for the sun to disappear completely. Reluctantly, I continued my descent.

When I got down lower level and into the canopy, the light was disappearing quickly. I stopped and got out my headlamp, it's first use on-the-trail. It was good until I reached the fog and suddenly, it was like being in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon after it goes into hyperspeed. 

Fortunately, the trail is in good condition and not too many tripping hazards. I continued partly by Braille

It was pretty dark when I went through Rodney Falls and by the time I reached the powerlines, it was night time. The fog came and went. I considered taking the headlamp off but I managed alright.

My Jeep was the last car in the parking lot. I was happy to reach it. What a way to end the year!

P. S. I am going to pack a second flashlight from now on.


The photos were uploaded in reverse order, starting with the last photo I took, the amazing sunset.