I took my two girls 15/11 up this time and we made it to the top after 3 hours. There were a TON of people here too, although didn't see so many on the way down. The parking lot was full with parking on the shoulders!! Glad I was the 6th car in the lot, early in the morning. The wildflowers are definitely worth the climb.
What a great day and a very wonderful feeling when the weather is nice and my 6 yr old son hikes all the way up and down on Dog Mtn. As usual he needed lots of motivation, but perseverance paid off when he arrived at the summit. He was amazed at the many flowers and how small the train and cars and trucks looked way down below. Since it was the weekend, there were many hikers. A little overcast, windy, and a great view. My brother and I took along our 50lb. packs to slow us down but we still had a hard time keeping up with my son. The poison oak is ready to flower and there is lots near the trail along with small lizards running in the dirt.
I decided to give Dog Mountain a try from the western trail the Auspurger Loop only instead of going up the "regular" way and down Auspurger I went up the Auspurger trail first. It provided some scenery I had not enjoyed on past trips and was a bit less steep, although in places it was fairly difficult too.
At the top the clouds had rolled in and covered the summit in a white blanket, but down near the summit loop end it was clear although cloudy. The wind was blowing so hard I had a difficult time getting any decent photos and I was really glad I'd brought my hiking stick to help balance myself on the way down.
Was lucky enough to be included with Brian and Karl up Dog Tooth's Ridge. Definitely a lot funner than the regular trail!
Summing up the weather in one word: Nasty. I'm pretty sure I made it up top, but with winds about 20 to 30 mph, being pelted with ice and almost zero visibility, I couldn't tell as is being my first time up there. I got the workout I wanted going up the "Old Trail".
I've climbed dog mountain numerous times taking virtually every combination of trail routes possible. My most recent was in June of 2006. One of my favorite day hikes in the gorge.
Quality hike... up in 1:45, down in an hour. Took the scenic route, then the left fork through the summit meadow after Puppy Dog. Just a bit of snow at the top, although the trees were full of rime ice, pretty cool, except when the wind blew it down all over me. Around 30 degrees near the summit, with winds around 35-45 mph from Puppy Dog on. Did again with Mazamas BCEP class, up scenic, down Ausperger...also a nice trail. Light rain and no views.
Climbed while a really incredible fog bank covered the area. Every now and then we would hit an overlook obscured by clouds, only to tantalizingly(sp?) see the valley below occasionally peak out. Went up again a few times again later and it wasn't nearly as fun as the first time up.
This is a great trail for kids, they really get a sense of accomplishment out of it as long as you don't push them too hard! I was 11 when I first climbed this trail and was hooked. I've climbed it several times every year since, often leading kids.
The Old Trail is a muddy luge track after anything more than a light rain, so I stick to the more gradual Scenic Trail or Augsperger Trail in the Spring. The Augsperger Trail is becoming quite overgrown in several parts, so dress accordingly if your plans take you there.
My personal favorite hike on these trails is up the Scenic Trial and down the Old Trail.
If hiking with kids budget at least 3 hours up, but it will rarely take that long.
Absolutely beautiful all year! I just can't get enough of Dog!
Flowers were spectacular. Crowds out in full force. Great hike on a somewhat cool and breezy day.
Finally made it up to good 'ol Dog Mountain. Good hike and good views.
Nice hike up the old route the first time. Came back the scenic route. Did it again in March before the flowers bloomed. I'll be back before the yellow show is over.
It's quality; not quantity that matters.
Saw lots of Calypso bulbosa (aka Fairyslipper orchids) along the longer route up. First time for me, so I took lots of pictures.
Also saw Duchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) for the first time. I really hit the jackpot. :)
The mountain was infested with blooming trilliums.
The 2-hour climb took it's toll on me, but not enough to deter us from moving on to Wind Mountain, where the flowers repeated themselves. I'll be doing both of these again in the immediate future.
We took advantage of nearly perfect weather and hiked Dog Mountain today, April 19. It was a little windy at the trailhead and at the first viewpoint (at 1600'), but the summit meadow was dead calm (probably because the true summit was blocking the eastern breeze) under clear blue skies. The famous wildflower displays up top hadn't really started yet; there was no balsamroot at all, and the lupines were just starting to get leaves. But all along the trail, there were plenty of less-showy early spring wildflowers: buttercups, blue-eyed mary, filaree, prairie stars, spring beauty, etc.; and trillium and calypso in the woods.
Update: finally got my photos "processed": http://adamschneider.net/photos/2006-04-dm/
Did this hike as a conditioner for the Mazamas BCEP. We were going to practice navigation, but clouds and fog obscured all our landmarks. :) Quite windy and c o l d at the top, so we ate lunch a little ways down, away from the wind.
Not the best time of the year to do this one but a good Mazama BCEP conditioner anyway... Sunshine at the bottom and fog, rain, & snow at the top.
My sister and I first tried this in about 1989, we came to the sign that said Difficult and Most Difficult and silly girls that we are chose the Most Difficult way. We later learned that this was the "old" route and it was VERY steep. I joked that if you fell while going uphill you wouldn't hurt yourself as the trail in front of you was only a foot from your nose! We came down the "Difficult" more scenic route. I got a bit nervous on the climb towards the summit while turning around and looking down, not a good idea when you're afraid of heights. We had a nice picnic lunch at the top. It was a bit too early in the spring for the Balsam flowers to be in bloom yet, but some of the early wildflowers were out.
The next time we climbed it, was just a few days too late for the "yellow show" and it was HOT, rocky and dry.
I took my 13 year old daughter in 2005 again and we only made it half way up before returning.
For all it's popularity it's not my favorite gorge hike. Too many rocks, too exposed to sun and weather, too many people, not the trail if you enjoy solitude, and the views are nice but I find Hamilton Mountain just as lovely. Then there's the rattlesnakes.......every year someone seems to need rescueing after getting bitten by one.
All in all a fun trail, I'm glad I did it....but I think I'll do Indian Point on the Oregon side again, or Hamilton Mountain, or Starvation Ridge.....
There were a lot of people (+22) and a half dozen dogs. Everyone was nice, including the dogs. There wasn't much snow until the top 100 feet or so, but there was crusted ice beneath the vegetation the whole way. The view is great.
Stared at 7:30AM expecting snow (but there was none). Reached the summit at 9:30AM. We took our time on the trip down, back to the TH at 12:40PM. Great hike. The weather was good except for all the clouds
Great hike. Windy, and caught in a nice little storm at the sumit, but this was a good one. Not the best hike to break in new boots, but...