Classic Columbia River Gorge hike. Climbed it last Jan., and then twice in July. Tends to be quite crowded in the summer, so I would recommend leaving early. But, as my father likes to say "I've never had a bad day on this mountain".
Great conditioner and a chance to get out of the house and hike with great friends (the Boltons). Its a 160 mile drive from Kennewick but well worth it considering the company I had on this hike. We did the complete loop and met a fellow SP'er on the summit (David Jordan).
Some snow on the trail and a great view of the gorge on this rather non sunny day. At least it didn't rain.
It was a long hot day, but we made it.
This isn't just for plant lovers. It's a great training hike, and there are some interesting basalt formations passed on the way.
This hike is a standard springtime conditioner for me. I like it best in May while the flowers are at their peak. Because the trail is on a south-facing slope I usually avoid it in summer - too hot! I usually do the Scenic Route up and the Augspurger trail down, which makes a nice loop hike.
This mountain can be very crowded on weekends. Great views of Hood River, Mt. Defiance, and Mt. Adams. My best time is 1 hr 9 min up, 30 min down. This is the best trail in the Gorge to do laps on for training as it is one of the steepest on average.
4/7/02- Did Old Trail up and Augspurger Trail down. Windy and cold up top, sunny and warm on the descent.
11/20/03- Scenic Trail up with longer finish up the back side. Mt. St. Helens visible to the west. Up in 1 hr 55 min, down in 55 min.
1/18/04- Scenic up and back. Snowshoes needed and was a bit off route on a ridge up from the lower viewpoint (although I never saw that as I shortcut straight up in the snow before it). Stopped about 300 feet from the summit as it was still really icy and steep from the recent nasty ice storm and I did not have proper crampons.
2/1/04- Old Trail up, Scenic Route down. Did this as a final tune-up for upcoming Mexico trip. Saw coyote from summit in the meadow below me. Put on crampons for the descent to treeline. Nice and beautifully sunny day. After I finished this one, I went and did Wind Mountain to get in 4000 feet today. Up in 1 hr 45 minutes, down in about 50 minutes.
4/11/04- Scenic up, Old Trail down. Hiked up with my friend Natasha on Easter Sunday after doing Rooster Rock in the morning, thus completing our Animal Climb Theme Day. Very warm day. Up in 1 hour 30 minutes, down in 1 hour 5 minutes. TONS of people there today, the parking lot was full. A little bit early for the wildflowers, they are just starting to come up. Climb this one in about a month and it should be spectacular. Fun day and best views from the summit today I've ever had. Oh, and there were probably 30 dogs on this mountain today.
5/22/04- Scenic up with longer backside finish, Old Trail down. Hiked up with friend, Mark. Gentle rain gave way to steady rain which gave way to driving nasty rain up top. Soaked. Amazing wildflowers though. Visibility was about 100 yards and golden flowers stretched as far as I could see. Same time up and down as 6 weeks earlier.
12/4/04- Augspurger up in 1 hour 36 minutes. Longer backside starting down then Scenic route down in 1 hour 10 minutes. Started up at 1:40 pm so made it down just before dark. Was kind of a race I was having with myself. I was the last one off the mountain today.
2/13/05- Old Trail up and down. Was headed to do something else near Hood but heavy snow at that trailhead made me do my old fallback peak. Up in 1 hour 25 minutes, down in 1 hour 3 minutes.
5/1/05- Old Trail up and down. Started up about dawn. Hit sunlight on Puppy Dog Mountain. Summitted in 1 hr 13 mins. Hood was brilliant white below the half moon and next to Defiance. Two deer (or elk) were feeding in the meadow below over towards the Augspurger Trail. Down in 52 mins. Almost got up and down before anyone else was on the mountain but rain into two parties low on the trail back. Great clear Gorge morning. The flowers are just starting to come out. Lots of small alpine ones that were white, bluish and purple. The big yellow ones are just starting to bud. A couple more weeks and the display should be in full force.
1/15/06- Scenic Trail up, Old Trail down. Snowy and windy in the meadow. Rimed up plants and stinging sleet blowing in my face. I was the first one on the mountain today.
3/26/06- Scenic Up, Backway to Puppy Dog, Old Trail down. Great hike up with Anette. Windy as usual up top and blowing snow. Took the more sheletered way from the summit back through the trees down but ran into TONS of blowdown. Lots of big trees down made for some scrambling and bushwhacking to get around it. Cruised down and went on to Wind Mountain.
6/3/06 Climbed Dog's Tooth Ridge with Karl and Colleen, what a day!
12/17/06 Up Old Trail in 2 hours 4 minutes. Snow up top. Watched the C-130 circle Hood looking for the 3 missing climbers. Smoke rising out of Saint Helens too. Beautiful morning, calm and pink dawn skies. Down Old Trail in 1 hour and back in Portland before 10 am.
9/9/07 Scenic up in 1 hour 31 minutes, Old Trail down in 48 minutes. Think it might be my fastest time yet. Beautiful morning, squadron of WWII planes flew through the Gorge below. Back home by 11 am to watch the first Sunday of the football season.
1/26/08 With Jim, hiked up Scenic Route in increasing snow. Came down Augspurger in lots of snow that just kept increasing. Got stuck in Cascade Locks overnight as I-84 was shut down due to the storm.
6/8/08 Up Old Trail 1 hour 25 minutes, down Old Trail 50 minutes. Home by 11 am.
11/16/08 started just before dawn at about 6:20-6:30 am, went up Old Trail, at summit 7:53 am. Unusual warm breeze up there. So nice when you are the only one on this mountain. Back down the same way in 45 minutes. Almost made it back down before I saw anyone but there was a couple just below the 7th switchback from the TH on the way down. Back home by 9:45 am. Small squirrel came down a tree and chirped at me from a low branch on the way up.
3/1/09 With Luna. Think we went up new trail and down the old. Meadow was snowy and icy, not what I expected this late in the season.
5/31/09 With Luna again to see the flowers. I was there early and I think half of Portland was already. Was ridiculous. Fortunately, most take the easier route and we didn't see anyone from the lower junction to the summit. Flowers in full bloom. Up the old trail, through the woods from the summit to Puppy Dog Mountain and the down the old again in just over 2 hours.
3/14/10 With Luna again, up the Scenic Trail in about an hour and a half, snowy up top, down the Scenic as well in about 50 minutes.
7/25/10 With Luna, up Scenic Trail 1 hr 31 minutes, down Old Trail 49 minutes. Surprisingly few people this morning as we did not start until 8:37 am. Trail getting overgrown, especially the last bit to the summit meadow with weeds taller than me we had to fight through. Old Trail is better and less overgrown though.
12/31/10 With Luna. Cold day but sunny. Still working off the holiday weight I just gained so up in 1 hr 30, down in 1 hr. Lots of snow. Old Trail up and down.
4/3/11 With Luna and Karl. Scenic Trail up in front of a horde of Mazamas. Old Trail down. About 1 hr 30 mns up, 1 hr down.
1/1/13 With Luna and Jim. Have I really not done this is almost 2 years? Maybe I missed a hike or two in there. Today was cold and windy, really nasty above Puppy Dog Mountain and much more like a Hogsback climb in steep snowy steps up what is normally the meadow. Lots of rime and stinging wind. Huge group (probably the goofy Mazamas) of 17 tromping things to bits this day. Good hike nonetheless. Jim and Luna are great to hike with.
8/18/13 Up solo via Old Trail in 1 hr 20 mins (darn, was trying to break my record). Down same way in 49 minutes. Sunny warm day.
12/14/14 With Sue and Luna, up Augspurger in 1 hour 30-45 mins, down Old Trail.
Early 2016 with Jim via Old Trail up and Augspurger down.
Early 2016 with Luna up Scenic and down Old Trail.
2/11/17 solo Augs to new Old Loggers Trail cutoff to Old/Direct and back same way. Snow climb in 3-4 feet drifts.
2/4/18 With Luna. Augs to Old Loggers to Direct to back way through the woods to the summit due to high winds.
3/4/18 With Diane. Might be the most snow I've seen on Dog. Up Direct and down Augspurger.
11/18/18 Up Scenic 1h23m. Down Direct to Old Loggers to Augspurger 1h5m. Home before noon. Someone pulled my rear wiper down to break it at the parking lot. Douchebag.