Hiking Angels Rest and Devils Rest, August, 2010

Click on the small pictures to see larger ones.

These are both neat hikes, with great vistas, a cool burnt forest brimming with new life, a secluded lunch spot, and lots and lots of soft pine-needle trails. The two-mile hike up to Angel's Rest is very popular with families & folks with dogs, so it can get crowded. But most people turn back at the top, opting not to continue to Devils Rest. I just had to see it, though, so I went on through.

Originally, my intent was to turn back at Devils Rest, but my GPS lured me onwards, down a trail that led into the woods south of the summit. It was a great trail, winding its way across a high ridge and then rapidly dropping elevation via some abrupt switchbacks. At the nadir, trails led off to Wahkeena Falls and Larch Mountain, but I looped my way back to Angels Rest via a quiet trail that was seriously overgrown in many places.

The looping trail - 9.7 miles
Elevation Profile, up and down all day

My new hiking boots were great, but I had mistakenly picked up my winter hiking socks and they were TOO HOT all day. It was kind of miserable in those thick socks because the day was gorgeous: warm & sunny. I started out with pretty low cloud cover and high humidity (the Gorge is slow to wake up & clear its fog) but eventually the sunshine permeated the tree tops and I had a nice breeze.

trail head: official photo

burned out area

the fog is slowly lifting

rock slide area, be careful!

who could resist?

soft, lush trail

silent hiking, so nice

peek-a-boo of Mt. Adams

I left Angels Rest to its crowds, and pushed on through the shoulder-high bushes and spider webs to Devils Rest. Immediately, I could tell I was the first person to go that way today, because I saw six snakes beside the trail. They all slithered off, of course, and I felt bad for disturbing them. Arriving at Devils Rest was a bit of a let-down and I have to wonder if it's some Portland 'in-joke'. There's a summit there, alright, but it's so overgrown that you can't appreciate the view. Ah, well, the trail heading away from it was soft and downhill, which was a nice change!

The trail to Devils Rest was named The Foxglove Trail and I could see why: there were hundreds of shoulder- and waist-high foxglove plants all along the way. They were done blooming, so I was too late to truly appreciate them, but I bet it was spectacular two or three weeks ago.

steep ridge trail

near a spring

view across the Gorge from Angels Rest

and the view back east

I rolled on through the woods, enjoying the trail that hugged the ridge-line and crossed little creeks. The 'down-down-down' of Angels Rest was a bit taxing on the old knees and I wish I'd remembered my hiking stick, but all in all, the day was a success and I had a wonderful time by myself in the woods. It was so quiet!

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