Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Labyrinth Coyote Wall Trail Loop

 Headed out to the East side of the Columbia River Gorge to enjoy the warm weather and wildflowers. I decided to park at the Coyote Wall Trailhead and do a combination of the Labyrinth, Coyote Wall and Maui Trails for about 8.5 miles with 1,400 ft of elevation gain. There are many interconnected trails and loops here.
 From the parking area, the trail goes along an abandoned road for a short way. There is a small lake that lies between the abandoned road and the highway.
 A small creek flowing over the rocks.
 I started up the Maui Trail for a short ways. With the wet spring we've had, this area was very green  with lots of wildflowers.
 The trail crosses a creek,
 and a short distance later was the lower side trail that leads to the Labyrinth Trail. Looking east along the Columbia River.
 I then headed up the Labyrinth Trail. There are lots of oak trees here.
 A small cave along the trail.
 The Labyrinth Trail continues along a stream with a waterfall.
 A boot track leads to a closer look of the waterfall.
 There are some interesting rock formations here.
Partway up the Labyrinth Trail, view looking east along the Columbia River

Higher along the trail, balsamroot is in bloom.
There are some nice overlooks of the Columbia River along the way.

 Continuing up to the Upper Labyrinth Trail.

 Lots of water in the creek.

From the Upper Labyrinth Trail, I followed the Attwood Road west to the  Old West Road then followed the Traverse to Coyote Wall.

Along the trails at Coyote Wall were many balsamroot in bloom and turkey vultures soaring overhead.
I hiked a short distance up the Coyote Wall Trail.
Looking north along the Coyote Wall.

View to the south further down the Coyote Wall Trail.
Pano from the Coyote Wall looking south.

The Coyote Wall trail (and the Little Moab trail) are very steep and hard on the knees going downhill.  So instead of heading down the more direct Little Moab Trail, I took the more winding and a bit less steep Little Maui Trail down to the road.
There were lots of little flowers in bloom and large oak trees here.

 I love this winding trail that goes under a low oak branch.
 Along the way, a short boot track leads to this pond.
Little waterfalls cascading down the hillside.

Some of the wildflowers I saw along the trails today:


Monday, April 16, 2018

Cowiche Mountain

Drove to the East side of the Cascades looking for Wildflowers and signs of Spring. We choose to do the Cowiche Mountain loop hike at Snow Mountain Ranch. We did about 6.5 miles with 1,100 ft of gain. The wildflowers were few, I think they are blooming later this year compared with last year.
 Most of the trail junctions are well signed.
We started along the Riparian Trail East up to the Cowiche Mountain Trail East
 On this cloudy day, we did not get views of the Cascades to the west, but did have nice local views of the surrounding area.

View along the top of Cowiche Mountain looking westward.
 View through a gate in the fence looking south.

 Heading down the Cowiche Mountain Trail West
 There was lots of parsley in bloom.
We continued down the Wildflower Trail.
 We followed th Balanced Rock Trail eastward. The balanced rock is fairly small.
 Another view of the rock formations with the Balanced Rock to the left.
We returned view the Ditch Bank Trail, this goes below the Balanced Rock Trail.
The rock formations as seen from below.
Some of the wildflowers we saw on the trail today: