Hike To The Summit of Beacon Rock
Washington › Beacon Rock
Added by Brian Heifferon
A unique 1.8 mile out-and-back with great viewsSummit one of the tallest monoliths in North AmericaClimb nearly 700 feet up scaffolding-like switch backs
Beacon Rock is one of the most recognizable landmarks along the Columbia River Gorge. It’s a 848-foot basalt monolith (singular piece of rock) that was once the core of an ancient volcano. To access the rock, park in a developed parking area at the rock’s base that has room for about 30 cars. You’ll take a short stroll through a forested trail before you hit the rock.
Once you reach the rock, the trail abruptly heads more or less straight up along a series of 52 or so zig-zagging switch backs. Considering you have 848 feet to climb in less than a mile, the grade is surprisingly mellow. While the sight of this crazy trail winding up the side of the rock is itself a sight to behold, the panoramic views of the Columbia River Gorge are the real reward.
The views from the summit can are a bit obscured by trees, but well worth the effort. This is a mostly exposed hike and can get hot during the summer months, but for every other occasion, it’s best to pack a jacket (it’s typically pretty windy).
Photos: Photo: Jeff Gunn
- Light jacket
- Water bottle
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Spring, Summer, Autumn
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Quick, Worthwhile Jaunt
I enjoyed the views of the gorge basically every step of the way up. The 'trail' (if you can call it that) is mind boggling in its elaborate construction. A solid rail gives you peace of mind but maybe not so good for little ones or those afraid of heights. It's a neat little hike, steep of course, but it's a cool piece of history. The trail was repaired after the 2015 windstorm and as of summer of 2016 it was open again.
Warning: The trail up Beacon Rock is currently closed
Beacon may not be a huge hike but it's a fun little hike that winds right on up the mountain side with great views out along the entire way. However, the trail "broke" this year and remains closed as for Spring, 2016.
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