Angel's Rest Hike     24Feb15, edited 3March15.         

One of the most popular hikes on the Oregon side of the Columbia River Gorge is Angel's Rest.   It's not a long hike (two and a half miles each way) but it is moderately steep with a climb of about 1600 ft.    The trail itself is often rocky.   Looking at my hiking journal, I see that this is the seventh time I've done the trek to Angel's Rest.   Alas, it may well be the last.

The hike starts at a large parking area just off of Interstate highway I-84.   It then proceeds through routine, often brushy forest until you arrive at the destination, which is a large rock outcrop that offers a nice place for lunch with good views of the west end of the Gorge.    There are views of a sizable waterfall shortly after the hike begins.

  A good view of the river is available at a clearing part way up.   The snag in this photo is a remnant from a 1991 forest fire.   Other burned (now mostly bare) trees are further down the hill.

This view shows more of the burned trees.

Once at the top, hikers stop for lunch and photos.     This fellow is taking a photo with his telephone.

Most hikers reach Angel's Rest, eat lunch, and then turn around to descend.    But the route continues beyond Angel's Rest, offering numerous branching trails to other interesting places.   One favorite extension continues to Devil's Rest, a high point that is now buried in the trees.   On this trip, I elected to hike on a branch leading toward Wahkeena springs.     This trail parallels the edge of the gorge, offering occasional sweeping views.   The hike is mostly in lush and generally uncrowded forest.    Douglas fir is the primary tree type, but cedar is also found.

The early afternoon shadows on the Wahkeena springs trail
struck me.   They illustrate the low angle sun of winter,  although the weather was generally spring-like.   

The short time I spent on the Wahkeena segment of the trail justified the rest of the hike.  However, the main trail to Angel's Rest was a major disappointment, and that is a rare comment from me.    The hike was just too crowded.