WA – Columbia River Gorge, Cape Horn Trail

As I traveled north from Oregon, I was excited to reconnect with my friend Petra who was spending a few weeks in the Gorge. She’d been wanting to hike the Cape Horn Trail and I was happy to accompany her.

The trail was a variety of ecosystems. The wooded sections were my favorites.

There are several viewpoints to enjoy overlooks of the Columbia River including this one decided to long-time promoter Nancy Russell. According to the Washington Trail Association, “The top of Cape Horn was originally planned as a subdivision in the 1980s. As the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area was not in place, there was no legal way to stop the development. So in 1983, Friends’ Founder Nancy Russell and her husband Bruce Russell took out a loan from a bank and made a no-interest loan to the Trust for Public Land (TPL), enabling TPL to buy 12 of the 16 lots, effectively stopping the subdivision.”

Each year from February 1st to July 15th, the lower section of the Cape Horn trail has a seasonal closure for nesting peregrine falcons. It was July 16th, so we were some of the first to hike the lower trail this year. 

It was past peak for some wildflowers, but we found some beauties like this foxglove. With recent rains the area was quite humid.

Farewell to Spring (cool name)


There were lots of berries ripening including salmon and blackberries. There were also Oregon grapes.

There were a couple of very nice underpasses that have been built to avoid crossing over the busy road.

There were a couple waterfalls. Neither make the WOW list.

There I am tromping around looking for the right angle to photograph the falls while meanwhile finding some small blooming beauties. PC: Petra

There was obvious evidence of basalt both along the water and in the hills.

Adventure Date(s):

  • July 16, 2019

Hike Details:




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