November 2019 – Cape Horn Loop Trail

Give us a warm(ish) autumn day in the Pacific Northwest and we’ll find a place to hike. It was a perfect morning to get out and explore the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge and tackle the Cape Horn Loop Trail.

You can watch the video of it HERE!

If you couldn’t tell from the first couple of photos, ^^ the best part of this hike has to be the sweeping views of the Columbia River Gorge. And considering that most days, this place is a funnel for cold breezes, I’d say we got pretty lucky with barely any wind and lots of sunshine.

And if you’re thinking to yourself, uhhhh, you’re pretty close to the edge there….you’d be correct, however, there are a number of protected viewpoints with walls of stone. A couple ARE unprotected, so please be careful when traveling with animals and small children.

If there’s anything you take away from this post, I want it to be this: take the counter-clockwise loop. You’re uphill climb is pretty gradual at the beginning, and the downhill isn’t too bad either, the difference comes in a couple of forms:

  1. If you take the clockwise loop, you’re going uphill FOR-EV-ER.
  2. If you take the clockwise loop, you’re going downhill through two uneven rock fields. No. Thank. You.

Some folks seem to not enjoy the last part of the hike (when taken counter-clockwise) because it’s along a road. Honestly, we didn’t mind it! After navigating some interesting terrain, it was quite ideal having solid, gradually inclining pavement.

Did I mention the views??

Ah! And here’s what is on the slopes of the rock fields. Spoiler alert: you don’t get to prance around on the moss though. Just rock.

One additional note about this hike, the lower part of the trail is shut off to hikers for six months (February 1st – July 15th) so that falcons can mate! And that’s pretty darn cool!

Happy Hiking, friends!

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