My fellow hiker friend Lauren had asked me if I felt like a Lost Boy (from Peter Pan) when I was hiking up this massive monolith, because that was her experience, and the answer is: yes. I absolutely did. The day that I went was misty and foggy and as I climbed up and up and up to the top, I felt like I had been transported to another world where just around the next turn I’d have to pull out my rapier and fight pirates. In short, Beacon Rock was a really, really fun treat of a trek:
First, a few fun facts about Beacon Rock: At 848 feet high, this rock was once the core of a volcano that erupted over 5,000 years ago. During the ice age, the waters surrounding the rock (which has since receded down to the Columbia River) came up to nearly the tip of the rock. The rock was given its name by the Lewis and Clark expedition in 1805. The trail was built by two men, Henry Biddle and Charles Johnson between 1915 and 1918, which makes it one of the oldest trails in the Columbia River Gorge. The entire trail from the base to the summit is a series of over 50 switchbacks. At nearly 100 years old and still holding up, this trail really is a marvel of modern trail engineering.
I had worried when I arrived at the trail that my views would be very limited due to the thick fog surrounding the gorge and Beacon Rock. As I made my climb, I was excited to find that the fog thinned out at the tops of the buttes, ridges, and mountains across the way on the Oregon side of the river. Behold, winter beauty in the gorge:
Hikes Down: 41, Hikes to Go: 11