A Day up the Columbia River Gorge – Washington State

Looking for an adventure where you can really stretch your legs? Look no further than The Columbia River Gorge. Thirty five miles east of Vancouver off Hwy 14 is the renowned Beacon Rock. More than a regional landmark, this rock is a moderate one mile hike up traversing switch backs with ample places to stop for a breath and incredible views. If you’re in the mood for something a bit more challenging, 18 miles east just after milepost 53 is the trailhead for Dog Mountain. With a 2,948’ elevation gain over three miles and a meadow blanketed with wildflowers in the spring, you will be rewarded by stunning scenery on the mountain as well as up and down the Gorge. Bring a snack and enjoy the splendor of the vistas before making your way back down.

Wild flowers and happy hikers on Dog Mountain

Wild flowers and happy hikers on Dog Mountain

 After all that exertion, you may be interested to know you passed Carson Hot Springs Spa. Their bathhouse has been around since 1923 so they can easily boast being the first hot springs spa in the area. Enjoy a massage (reservations recommended) and well deserved soak in your own antique claw foot tub. There is an on-site restaurant serving breakfast and lunch seven days a week or you can opt for another adventure.

The town of Stevenson is less than five miles west of Carson and offers some worthwhile store fronts as well as being home to Walking Man Brew Pub and the Big River Grill.

Galaxy at Skamania Port Waterfront

Galaxy at Skamania Port Waterfront

If you choose lunch at the Big River Grill, you can have a Walking Man beer and enjoy the food that’s been keeping locals and day trippers coming back since 1993. Being a true Northwest girl, I have a fondness for salmon that is satiated here. From appetizer to salad to entrée, I‘m covered. Taste the organic wines of Klickitat Canyon Winery in their Tasting Room at the entrance of town which is adjacent to Vibe Café & Espresso. Be sure to walk down toward the river and check out Galaxy, an art installation gracing the Skamania Port Waterfront. Its whimsical nature makes it extremely popular to photograph.

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