Date: Friday February 1, 2019
Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
We’ll start up the trail as soon as we all arrive.
Crew Leader: Joan Kauth will be our crew leader for this event.
The Wygant Peak Trail is in the Columbia Gorge but east of the area that burned last year. It offers an ambitious and scenic hike through rocky terrain, climbing 2000 feet in 4 miles. The route provides a reminder of how forests in the Gorge change over time. Some of the Douglas-fir trees have survived multiple fires and are over 300 years old. The trail dates back to 1939 and was built by Civilian Conservation Corps crews.
Chip Andrus walked the trail two weeks ago and found three new trees down on the trail. These will be our primary focus. We’ll remove these as well as old logs that are obstructing the trail.
The Wygant Peak Trail shares a trailhead with the popular and shorter Mitchell Point Trail. It starts with a short stroll west along the old Columbia River highway, passes a small stream with an attractive waterfall, and then crosses Perham Creek. The route then begins a series of switchbacks with expansive views perched on the edge of shear cliffs. The 30 switchbacks are relentless and continue to the peak, which is 4.1 miles from the trailhead.
What to expect:
You should expect to work on a developed trail with only minor safety concerns. It will be a long, steep walk. We don’t know how far where the downed trees are: we’ll continue until we find them, reach the top, or run out of time. Expect intermittent, rainy weather. There is poison oak along the trail.
What to bring:
Bring a lunch and plenty of water. Also, bring rain gear if the weather forecast looks ominous.
What to wear:
Going east on Interstate 84, take Exit #58 (Mitchell Point), turn right and drive 0.3 miles to the Mitchell Point Rest Area.
Going west on Interstate 84, take Exit #56, get back on I-84 but heading east, and then take Exit #58 (Mitchell Point).