Travels with the Original Easyrider®
2010 Edition
Portland, Oregon

Ride to Dog Mountain, Skamania County, Home Valley, Washington
And hike to the 2,948' summit - Approximately 8 miles round trip
A steep and challenging but not hugely difficult 4 1/2 hour hike
Hiking Dog Mountain is about equal in difficulty compared to Hamilton Mountain
I hiked Wind Mountain earier today.
150 mile round trip ride - 9/9/10


This trailhead is right on Washington State highway 14 so pretty easy to find.

I took the traditional trail, not this one. The Augspurger Mountain hike is
something for another day

This is the trail you wnat to take

The thing that makes this hike difficult is that it a constant, steep, uphill
stroll. The trail itself is wide and well trodden with very few hazards. Fairly
well marked.

It's mostly deep forest for the first 3 miles. Here's a view of Oregon
just starting out on the trail. It was wall-to-wall college students and their
stupid dogs for the first 1/4 mile. After that I didn't see a soul. Of course
I started this hike at 15:00 because I enjoy being stuck in the woods after
it gets dark. I also enjoy not seeing other people so it all works out.

The trail guide said that the less difficult trail was more scenic
so that's the one I took.

About a mile in I ran into this hazard. It's around 15:30 but so dark
that I needed to use the flash. Very overcast and very humid. I was soaking
wet... actually, I never really got dried out after hiking Wind Mountain
earlier today

You briefly come out of the forest to this nice resting area and viewpoint.

This first of many great views of Wind Mountain and the Columbia River looking West.

The view of Oregon across the Columbia River.

View of the Columbia River looking East towards Hood River, Oregon

This junction is unmarked but it seems to be where the "difficult trail"
and the "less difficult" trail rejoin. It's pretty obvious that you want to
take the *VERY* steep upward trail choice. Note how dark it is in the deep
forest at 16:30! I'm probably about 1/2 way to the summit now.

I actually had no plans to go to the top today... I mostly just wanted to
check out the lower portion of the trail. Had very little water and food and
no map or trail guide. But it just didn't take that long to get to this point
and there certainly wasn't much sense in turning around now...

You come across a nice viewpoint and resting area which I believe
is Little Puppy Mountain.

Even though it was a dreary, windy day, I got some pretty interesting pictures.
This is the view West

And the view East.

And the view of the summit a grueling, 1/2 mile or so uphill hike....

Continuing on.....
I'm guessing this is where you'd end up if you took the Augspurger Trail
choice back at the trailhead.

This is the view of Wind Mountain from the summit of Dog Mountain.

The summit is kind of boring... no sign, no flag, no nuthin'....
There were no views to the East that I could see.... just some half-assed
paths heading East that you couldn't really call trails. I might have done some
exploring to see if there were any other good views but it was 18:00
and I was a little concerned about getting back to the trailhead before
dark. It took 90 minutes to get back to the bottom. It was now 19:30 and it was
fairly dark out by this time, due in great part to the heavy overcast.

Took this picture about two miles West of the Dog Mountain trailhead.
Pretty dark at 19:30... got rained on some during the ride back to Portland.
It was a long day of hiking Dog and Wind Mountains... about 11 miles of VERY
steep hiking in total. Feel pretty good though (albeit somewhat tired and sore).
Was happy that I knocked both of these hikes off in the same day. Two less
"to do" things on my list...

A few months ago I walked (you really couldn't call it a hike) to the top of
Beacon Rock and thought that was my supreme physical accomplishment for the decade.
After spending the Summer looking for longer and more difficult hikes I look back
at my Beacon Rock accomplishment and just chuckle. But... you have to start
somewhere I guess.

I'm really enjoying the sport of hiking ...much more than I ever thought I would.
It's just you against nature out there, almost like being on a motorcycle...
I very much enjoy the solitude of being out in the "wilderness" although I prefer
hikes where you aren't running into people every ten seconds like you sometimes can on Dog
Mountain. I'm going to come back to some of these trails this Winter to see what
they are like when wet and covered in snow. Then I will most likely take a shot
at backpacking and see what I think of that. I don't know if I will get there
this year but the next "big" hike I'd like to do is Goat Rocks up in Packwood,
Washington. Also Mount Defiance.

Ride to Wind Mountain and hike to the top