#40 in the Northwest Book; July 5, 2010; Moderate – 6.4 mile loop, 1300 feet of elevation gain.
Myself (Becky) and Margaret took advantage of what was predicted to be a gorgeous July day and set off for Larch Mountain on the Oregon side of the Gorge. And drove straight up into a cloud. The book recommended starting at a secret trailhead near the crater base, rather than the crowded viewpoint at the top. The trail winds through the woods, skirting the edge of the crater (although you don’t actually see the crater at any point). Creek crossings, green marshlands and tall red cedars fill the view.
At the top, we had a very wet and cold picnic and tested out our new backpacking stove. (It worked marvelously.)
The climb up to viewpoint got more and more foggy.
Behind us is a spectacular view of the gorge and all its’ amazing mountains. Or at least, that’s what the plaque said.
Back down the other side of the crater to the car.
Notes: Open May-November. Used by hikers, bikers and horses. Dogs and experienced kid hikers would fare well.