Adventure NZ, basalt, basalt columns, Beacon Rock, Bonneville, cliff, climb, clouds, Columbia River Gorge, Flowers, Hamilton Mountain, hike, log, moss, Mt Adams, Mt Hood, Mt St Helens, nature, outdoors, peak, Skamania, summit, Table Mountain, trees, trip report, wildflowers
Just up the road from tumtum gardens is Table Mountain, It looms up behind Hamilton Mountain which rises up from Beacon Rock State Park in the Columbia River GorgeMary went up Hamilton some time in the last year and had eyes only for Table Mountain. Apparently from Hamilton you see down the gorge, but also look behind and seem the much taller Table Mountain (3,417ft). So when I said I wanted to start doing more climbs on a regular basis we had our next destination.
We decided to use an alternate trail head and head up near Aldrich Butte, following and old road to join the PCT. The forest was nice up here, well grown in, though young and cut some point last century. Mary was picking a few wild berries from the side of the trail. We spied some unique flowers too.
There is a campsite right before the junction with the PCT, good to know, and the trail is much gentler along the PCT. But that is quickly over once you reach the Table Mountain … the PCT ambles onward and the summit trail shoots up the slope. It was a serious affair heading up those slopes. The saddle was an awesome reward and greatly inspiring to look out on the sheer cliff face of the mountain. The trail felt easier after that, though a 300ish foot section of Talus had to be carefully ascended.
The summit of Table Mountain is amazing. very flat and a joy to walk around, I didn’t find any 360 view points, but several very nice look outs with views of the gorge, Mt Hood, and Mt Adams, with Hellens just visible and Rainier also peeking out of the clouds.
There is no true summit, but rather a flat expanse and even a small flat low forest with little underbrush. There is a southern point you can walk out to overlook the gorge and see the basalt columns of the cliff face (as seen from below) from up close. This last area had some nice wildflowers, but so did much of the open areas up top. We were treated to fair weather, though some cirrus came across the sky late in the afternoon. The way down was steep, but nice, ended up being around a 15 mile day.
click through for some more details, enjoy.
slide show with more to follow…
(Mary said adam’s would be next, but we shall see)
PS: the fixed camera seems to be working just fine, though maybe a little slower.