Thursday, June 3, 2010

Hikes Past: Mitchell Point, May 11th

Looking west down the Columbia from Mitchell Point

Mitchell Point is a little known promontory above I84 on the way to The Dalles. The trail climbs a bit steeply through forest, crosses a talus slope, and passes under power lines before heading up an open ridge to the windy crest. I’d never hiked this trail because it’s a short hike and a rather long drive from Portland, but I had the idea to combine it with a hike at McCall Point east of Mosier. I had the place to myself and spent a sunny hour at the top, watching storm clouds break over Dog Mountain and Mt. Defiance. On the way down I took a short spur trail to a grassy overlook covered in bi-colored cluster lily, then descended to my truck and an afternoon date with wildflowers at McCall Point.

Distance: 2.6 miles roundtrip

Elevation Gain: 1,270ft
Information: Curious Gorge, 3rd ed, by Scott Cook; Afoot & Afield: Portland/Vancouver, 2nd ed, by Douglas Lorain;
Notes: Facilities at the trailhead. No fees or permits required. The trail is fairly obvious, but the Wygant Trail also starts from this trailhead (just west down the road). Watch for poison oak and ticks.
Distance From Portland: 1 hour
Directions From Portland: Head east on I84 towards the gorge. Take Exit 58 (signs for Mitchell Point Overlook) and park at the end of the road. You can only go east on I84 from here.

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