Trip Report    

Day Hike - Hamilton Mountain/Beacon Rock

Lovely spring day in the Columbia River Gorge.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Trail up Beacon Rock is fine. It's an interesting platform/trail about 2 miles rt. Nice views of the Columbia River, Oregon mountains across the way, and Bonneville Dam. A good warm-up for Hamilton Mtn.

    The Hamilton Mountain trail is in pretty good shape. A failed section just past the waterfall was repaired by WTA, but that part is very muddy and slick from recent rain; our boots got some heavy duty mud coats. Other sections of the trail are a bit washed out, but easy passed. Very crowded summit. Took pictures then followed the loop trail to a plateau for lunch, this was lower but much more pleasant with nice views east. Weather was partly sunny with a chilly wind on and off. A few wildflowers out, lots of green growth, no snow.

The Hamilton Mountain trailhead parking area was almost completely full (several dozen vehicles) at 9:30. We were lucky to get the last three spots - WA State Parks personnel closed the parking area right after we pulled in. Additional parking is available in the camping area, but that means a long walk down the road to the trailhead.  Go very early if you do.

6 1/2 hours rt, including Beacon Rock, photo ops, and half hour lunch on the plateau. The drive is about 300 miles rt from Olympia, but worth it particularly if you've never been there.