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Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems

04.04.16

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Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems

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  • Bald Butte Hike: View looking south at Mount Hood (11,250 ft).- Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems
  • Bald Butte Hike: View looking north toward Mount Adams (12,280 ft).- Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems
  • Looking up toward Tom McCall Point over the Historic Columbia River Highway.- Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems
  • Tom McCall Point Hike: Yellow glacier lily (Erythronium grandiflorum).- Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems
  • Little Hamilton Mountain Hike: Looking down on the second bridge from Pool of the Winds and Rodney Falls.- Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems
  • Little Hamilton Mountain Hike: After a series of steep switchbacks, the trail emerges at the top of a series of steep, sculpted cliffs.- Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems
  • Coyote Wall Hike: Puget balsamroot (Balsamorhiza deltoidea) and numerous lupines dominate the upper hillside.- Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems
  • Coyote Wall Hike: View over the Columbia River Gorge.- Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems
  • Catherine Creek Hike: Viewing looking east over Columbia River- Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems
  • Catherine Creek Hike: Harvest Brodiaea (Brodiaea coronaria)- Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems
  • Klickitat River via Lyle Trailhead: A view of the Klickitat River from the pedestrian bridge.- Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems
  • Klickitat River via Lyle Trailhead: Cusick's sunflower (Helianthus cusickii).- Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems
  • Klickitat Trail via Harms Road Trail: The rail trail is a corridor flanked by private land.- Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems
  • Klickitat Trail via Harms Road Trail: Flowering smooth desert parsley (Lomatium laevigatum).- Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems
  • Looking west at the Columbia River from the Lyle Cherry Orchard Trail.- Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems
  • Lyle Cherry Orchard: Arrowleaf balsamroot and silver lupine.- Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems
  • Columbia Hills Historical State Park.- Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems
  • View west to Mount Hood (11,249 ft) from Dalles Mountain Road in Columbia Hills Historical State Park.- Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems
  • Ferry Springs Hike: Lower Deschutes River looking northwest into Washington- Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems
  • Deschutes River, Ferry Springs Hike: Blanket Flower (Gaillardia aristata)- Wildflowers in the Columbia River Gorge - 10 Hidden Gems
Article
Team

Short stretches of fair weather and warmer temperatures have made it clear that spring has arrived. Although it is only early April, change is already taking shape on the sun-kissed south-facing slopes of the Columbia River Gorge, particularly those on the eastern end.

That's right, wildflowers are starting to pop out! So, hikers, sightseers, visitors and photographers get ready, because now is the time to start planning your next outing.

Everyone knows that Dog Mountain and the Mosier Plateau are guaranteed treasure troves for wildflowers, and if you've never ventured to either location, they should be on your TO-DO list. These locations tend to attract crowds, however, so for those of you who are looking for what's next, we've outlined nine lesser-known hikes/locations in the Portland area that will not disappoint!

Oregon (west to east):

  1. Bald Butte Hike
  2. Tom McCall Point Hike
  3. Deschutes River, Ferry Springs

Washington (west to east):

  1. Little Hamilton Mountain Hike
  2. Coyote Wall Hike
  3. Catherine Creek Hike
  4. Klickitat Trail via Lyle Trailhead
  5. Klickitat Trail via Harms Road Trailhead
  6. Lyle Cherry Orchard Hike
  7. Columbia Hills Historical State Park (Dalles Mountain Hike)

When to go? Glacier lily and some other species will be out as early as mid-April. The overall best time is the last week of May and the first week of June, when bold yellow fields of balsamroot and purple lupine blanket most south-facing fields. The balsamroot will last until mid-June, while the lupine flowers will start dropping very quickly even in the first week.

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