Honey wants to hike. And for this day, the hike is to be up Dog Mountain, since the wild flowers are in bloom. Dog Mountain lies about 14 miles east of The Bridge of the Gods, on the Washington side of the gorge.Â There is a pretty good parking area, directly off highway 14.Â Its Sunday, and there’s a forest service guy directing people to park.Â We got there pretty early in the morning and it seemed a little odd to have a someone telling all 12 of us where to park. But ok, he was pretty cool and had a lot of good information for us.Â From the lot the trail head, with bathrooms are only about 300 feet away.Â So up we go. And it doesn’t take long for the trail to start to get steep.Â From there on, in alternated between steep and substantially uphill.
It wasn’t long before we came to a fork in the trail and had to make a decision about which way to go. Hmmm, didn’t seem like a tough choice to us.
So, after hiking for a bit and getting to a point where, it seemed to me, that we were probably getting close, the trail opens up from the cover of the trees and you can see up the mountain.Â Uh, is that where we are going? Kinda. Honey says.Â Ok, great.
We had a great view from the top. We brought a lunch and sat quietly on the slopes at the top, along with 30 or so other hikers, ate our lunch,Â and enjoyed the view.
From the top, you can look down at Windy Mountain and Skamania.
Off to the North you can catch a view of Mt. St. Helens.
And, just the tip of the peak of Mt. Hood.
The trail up to the top, on the exposed side, on this day was very windy.Â On the way down, we hike down this trail to the point it dissappears the then switchback to the right.Â The views on this portion are great, but the wind and loose rock made for a bit of a challenge.Â On the way up, at the point the trail disappears, we headed off around the lee side of the mountain.Â No view, but no wind either.
Various sources clock the round tripÂ from 6.5 to 7.1 miles, with about 1850 feet in elevation gain, taking about 4-5 hours. The trail is nice, though much of it isnt wide, requiring someone to pull to the side with others are coming from the other way. But, making the hike rewards you with a collection of wildflowers, views of Mt. Hood, Mt. St Helens, and the knowledge you just made it atop the 2,984 ft. Dog Mountain. Watch for poison oak along the trail. Oh, and when we returned I saw the need for the parking instructions, the lot was packed and there was a string of cars 1/2 down the road.