Dog Mountain in January
I needed to do something challenging to get my exercising back on track. I decided to hike Dog Mountain. I generally have a tough time with this one, but I felt that since I’ve gotten my weight down a bit, maybe I could do it ok.
I drove to the trail head on Hwy 14, just east of Carson, WA. There are trail heads here for two different trails, Dog Mountain and Augspurger Mountain. The Dog Mountain trail is labelled as 3.8 miles long, although as I examine the other signs on the train, I think it is more like 3.2 miles long. The hike is uphill all the way to the top with no level places for easy hiking. Much of it is quite steep.
The trail switches back and forth through scrub oak and finally comes to “Y” that is labeled “More Difficult” and “Less Difficult”. I took the “Less Difficult” choice and continued uphill. Soon the trail breaks out into the open with good views of the Columbia River Gorge and Wind Mountain. In April, the hillside will be covered with brillant wild flowers and will be much more worth while. For now, there is nothing but short green growth that is not very impressive.
Another fork in the trail gives you a choice of two paths to the summit. I went left and made my way to the top. At the top is excellent views of the Columbia River Gorge to the west, Mt Hood, Mt St Helens, and Wind Mountain. You can see Table Mountain, the Bridge of the Gods and a plume of steam from the paper mill in Camas way off in the distance.
I took the other trail down which connects to the Augspurger Mountain trail. This is the one that I think is 3.8 miles and is much easier going downhill!
Overall, it was a 2800 ft elevation and 7 miles round trip. I was pretty worn out and decided that I would try again after losing some more weight. It was a good workout.