Hiking near Mt. Hood to Ramona Falls, August, 2010

Click on the small pictures to see larger ones.

For my first hike in the Mt. Hood National Forest, I chose a 7-mile loop to Ramona Falls. This was a neat hike because the trail crosses over the Sandy River, which floods violently every spring due to runoff from Mt. Hood, and winds its way up to the falls in a gentle slope. It was a sunny Wednesday morning, with clear blue skies and sunshine, a perfect day for a hike.

The looping trail - 7.1 miles
Elevation Profile

The trail started out as packed dirt, but quickly changed to sand, which caused my knee some grief by the end of the day. I had my hiking stick along, though, so that helped. But I've hiked in Big Bend often enough to know a creekbed when I see one...and this trail was a creekbed for much of its mileage.

the Sandy River in a
mild mood

bridge is sturdier than
it looks

Mt. Hood watches over
me in silence

on a clear day...

I saw lots of giant rhododendron bushes and made a mental note to get back there next summer when they're blooming. They must have been spectacular. I didn't see many wildflowers on this hike, probably because I never gained much elevation. But the pinecones were sure neat!

neat little pinecones

more cuties

it's much cooler
hiking in the woods!

Ramona Creek on
its way downhill!

The trail is a popular one, but since it was a weekday, I saw very few people. It was hot hiking in the creekbed trail where the trees didn't cover me, but once I got into the woods, the canopy kept me cool. Ramona Creek, which creates the falls, is a real charmer. It just babbles and laughs its way downhill, through the woods, under logs and over rocks, with not a care in the world. I had a great time walking alongside it and just enjoying the sound of it.

great place for a snack

amazing falls!

so tall!

The busy Sandy River hurrying off

Ramona Falls is really neat because the whole falls comes from one little creek that tumbles over a rocky ledge, spreading out over the boulders, and then coming back together as a little brook, like nothing ever happened. The best description that I can think of for this falls is like a champagne fountain that you would see at a wedding, where the champagne flows out and into more and more glasses that are stacked up. It's amazing to sit and watch and feel the spray. The hike back was hot but the trail follows the 'shore' of the Sandy River when it's flooded, so there were lots of neat logpiles to look at. All in all, I'd love to go back! The trail is easy, with great footing, and it never gets very steep.

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