Trail Hiking to Angels Rest has some great views
It was April 2, 2010 and I woke up hearing the rain on the roof and the wind howling around the house. I realize this was not the best day for trail hiking, but perhaps we will at least drive up the Columbia River Gorge and check it out.
Lots of Parking available on a rainy day!
I picked up my son and headed up the gorge. To get to Angel’s Rest trailhead, we headed east on I-84 from Portland, Oregon and took the Bridal Veil exit. The parking lot is on the right side of the road. We were the only car parked in the parking lot at 8:00am. Sitting there for a few minutes, we debated about whether or not to actually go through with this hike. It was a certainty that it would be uncomfortable. Finally, we decided to go ahead with our plans.
I put on the disposable, emergency poncho that I always carry with me. It doesn’t really keep me dry since I sweat pretty easily and the plastic holds in the moisture. But it postpones the wetness and helps keep me warm, at least. My son has a waterproof jacket which, later on, he said he needed to re-treat with more waterproofing.
The sign at the trail head warns us that it will be a 2.3 mile hike uphill to the top of Angel’s Rest. There are other options for longer treks, but I figure that 4.6 miles will be plenty.
Angels Rest Trail
In spite of the uphill slant and the wetness of the environment, the trails are in pretty good shape. There are some rocks and tree roots to overcome, but nothing serious. I stop and rest frequently, because I am not in the same shape I was last spring. Eventually, we arrive at some waterfalls and a bridge that crosses the stream. I consider this the halfway mark, but I’m dreaming. It’s probably about a third of the way to the top.
After crossing the stream, we continue through the woods, then through a stretch of trail that underwent a forest fire some years back. The blackened trees stand silently as we walk through. Soon, we encounter some rock that we cross and continue on the other side. Soon we arrive at the top of Angels Rest.
Angels Rest has some unique
rock formations at the top
The rock formations here are fascinating. We enjoy climbing up, around, and over for awhile. The trees are all bent and growing away from the prevailing winds. The views of the Coumbia River Gorge are amazing. I’m guessing it looks even better on a clear day! Eventually, we ease our way back through the rocks and down the hill. There was another diehard hiker coming up.
Uncomfortable as it was, the experience was a good one. We’ll do it again sometime in the sunshine.
Here is a video of some of the views: