Indian Point in the Columbia River Gorge
I am not always a view seeking hiker, but when I am, I go to the Columbia River Gorge for quick views. Indian Point is best accessed from the Gorton Creek Trail a few miles east of Cascade Locks. It involves almost 3000 feet of elevation gain, so it’s a good workout, but the mileage is only 8 miles round trip, meaning it’s only a half day affair.
The hike through a Douglas Fir forest is pleasant but unexceptional. There are no significant views or landmarks as the path steadily climbs. Just less than four miles uphill, I was ready for a view. An unofficial spur trail leads downhill to Indian Point. This is where things start getting good, although it is definitely not for inexperienced hikers. The trail drops steeply, but not for long, and then it winds out to a narrow talus ridge with a rocky point capping the end. The point is comprised of shattered loose basalt. Jackie Chan and I opted to hang out in rocks below and enjoy the views. It was gorgeous and serene.
Looking upstream a bit toward Wind Mountain and Dog Mountain was spectacular. In the distance to the north, Mt. Adams looked huge. I could have stayed there forever. When I heard a couple people descending from the main trail, I knew it was time to go.
On the descent, I looped back via the Nick Eaton Ridge trail. It offered some nice steep meadows with views towards Mount Hood. Other than that, it was not graded as well, and I slipped on some steep gravelly terrain. By then, I just wanted to get back to the car. And so I did. Mission accomplished. I was pleased to find yet another hidden gem in the Columbia River Gorge. Indian Point is a keeper. As I headed back towards the Portland metro area, I felt rejuvenated by my hike.
Posted on October 8, 2014, in General Hiking, Hiking with dogs, Mountains, Outdoors and tagged Columbia River Gorge, Hikes near Portland, Moderate Columbia GOrge hikes. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.