Saturday I awoke to a dreary day. I had told myself the night before that I would get out for some hiking. But looking out the window at low clouds and heavy rain over the Columbia was not helping my motivation. Rather than head outside, I stayed in bed reading for an hour. Finally I got up and made my way outside, wondering what to do with the day. Just then I received a sign from the heavens: a patch of blue sky and a ray of sunshine. Within minutes Jaehee and I were in the Forester on our way to the gorge.
Of course, we had only driven a few miles before the clouds regained their lost territory over the sun and the it began to rain again. But it didn’t matter; we were already on the way.
We arrived in the gorge as the rain tapered off to a light drizzle. Our payoff came immediately as visibility increased enough to see across the river to the clouds wrapped around Beacon Rock.
We parked at Wahkeena Falls and hiked up the trail past the waterfalls, along the creek as it threads between high and narrow basalt walls, past the switchbacks at Fairy Falls and into the snow covered trail above Wahkeena Spring until it looped back onto itself just before the junction with Devil’s Rest. It is a short and simple hike by Oregon standards. Yet one that is filled with enough beauty and adventure that even the most experienced hikers will walk away with souls inspired and replenished.