Ascent of Hamilton Mountain on 2017-05-23
|Date:||Tuesday, May 23, 2017|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Elevation:||2438 ft / 743 m|
Ascent Trip ReportWOW, what a great hike!!
I had been working in the area and wanted to take advantage of the great weather and long daylight hours by getting an evening hike in, and Hamilton Mountain turned out to be an excellent choice.
I arrived at the trailhead at about 16:00, and found several other cars there. Once on the trail I encountered perhaps 10 other people, and all of them were heading downhill during my first hour of hiking. I did not see another person for the the next three and a half hours or so that I was on the trail on this fantastic warm and sunny evening-- it was absolutely surreal!
The trail is in great shape; no obstacles to speak of. Rodney Falls and the Pool of the Winds were really impressive, and the cool spray from the waterfall was a welcome relief from the sweaty work of hiking up to them. High above the waterfalls, the brilliant wildflowers and amazing views were breathtaking (Or was that the steep uphill climb taking my breath away? Both, probably!). It was quite something to see shining white peak of Mount Hood poke up from above the cliffs of the Columbia River Gorge as I ascended the trail, and then continue to grow larger until I reached the summit. Then, at the summit, BAM: Mount Adams all of a sudden!
The bugs were really pretty bad at the summit, and since I was already planning on completing the loop route as described in the "Day Hiking Columbia River Gorge" guidebook, I decided to cut my stay at the top short and continue on to the saddle for a longer break. No views of volcanoes there, but still incredible views of the Columbia River Gorge, the surrounding mountains, and the Bonneville Dam far below. This turned out to be a much better place for a break, too: far fewer bugs.
The hike out wasn't as awe-inspiring as the ascent had been, but it was still a really nice walk along a ridge and then down the Hardy Creek Trail. I made it back to the parking lot just before sunset, and mine was the only vehicle left in the lot at that point. Still can't believe I had this incredible mountain (almost) all to myself on such a gorgeous day! I guess it pays to go hiking late in the day on a Tuesday; I'll have to keep that in mind for future trips :-)
|Summary Total Data|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail|
| Gear Used:||Ski Poles|
|GPS Data for Ascent/Trip|
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Peaks: climbed and unclimbed by Rusty Sherman
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