Columbia Gorge – Tom McCall Preserve (#22)

January 8, 2011
Info: (from my Oregon Hike Book) More than 300 varieties of plants grow on the dramatic oak grasslands above the Columbia River and Rowena Dell. Thanks to the Nature Conservancy, this fabulous preserve – named for former Oregon Governor McCall, a conservationist-is open to everyone. Spring and early summer mark some of the showiest wildflower shows anywhere, though poison oak has a grip here, too. Lava flows and ash deposits coupled with massive floods have produced this strange mound-and-swale topography that baffles even the experts on that sort of thing. Here you’ll find meadowlarks, the Oregon state bird, as well as canyon wrens, Pacific chorus frogs and mule deer. Flowers include grass widows, prairie stars, lupine, Indian paintbrush, balsamroot, milk vetch, shooting stars, and waterleaf, several of which are found only in the Gorge.Β 
Directions: Drive east of Hood River five miles on I-84 to the Mosier exit (Exit 69) and follow “Scenic Loop” signs 6.6 miles to the Rowena Crest Viewpoint.
Β Jenn’s View: Great hike. All relatively flat and total miles roundtrip, I would say, was about 2.5 miles. I could be wrong. Too many conflicting signs and had a not so great headache happening. Saw some wildlife and glad that I didn’t see any snakes. Sorry, snakes are NOT my friend. πŸ™‚ We did this hike with the McCall Point trail and looked at the Rowena Crest Viewpoint. I was a little disappointed to find out that no dogs are allowed on the trail. I understand that they want to keep the “preservation” but it was obvious people didn’t mind the sign cuz there were evidence that there were dogs.

So, Makaila decided to stay back while Scott and I did this quick hike.Β 

She did say that she had her iPod to keep her company πŸ™‚

So we hit the first plateau. I was amazed to see that there were quite a few people hiking out today. Probably because it was a clear day and sunny! Still cold but SUNNY! I even saw a lady with a nice long skirt, nylons, flat shoes, nice jacket – looks like her Sunday best doing this hike.Β 

This lady was taking pictures at the edge of the plateau. I think her boyfriend/husband/significant other/friend was afraid of the edge cuz he was no where near her. Hmmm, sounds familiar, right Scott?

There was a small trail off to the right before the plateau where I got these great shots!

I’m obsessed with that double bridge
OH NO! The sun is going down quick! Like I mentioned above, he won’t go near the edge πŸ™‚

Went around on to the plateau to take more shots of that bridge. I knew if I took enough pictures, I would get one good one. πŸ™‚

The double bridge…Thought it was pretty cool but just couldn’t get the right “shot” Click on it to get the “bigger” picture
Beautiful Columbia River!

On our hike to the plateau, we tried to take a self picture. Hmmm, didn’t work. I think it still turned out cute, even with 1/2 the face.Β 

You definitely don’t want to click on this one to make it big. I might scare you!

Started heading further down the trail. You end up hitting 2 small ponds but we really didn’t stop to take a look. No biggy. Was getting a little tired any ways but you get great pictures of the gorge!

I tried to yell to the boatsmen where they can find this picture! Yelled “!” I don’t think they heard me though. Bummer. One of my favorite shots! Click on it..

So, we thought the trail looped all around but we came pretty much to the end of the road. We turned around and headed back to the car.

On my way out of the gorge, we took a few more shots of the Gorge and said our goodbyes!

Jenn’s Recommendation: Wait until spring but great hike for family and kids of all ages. Remember, no dogs!


2 thoughts on “Columbia Gorge – Tom McCall Preserve (#22)

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