What Wildflowers Will I See?
During the spring and summer, the blooms you’ll see during your hikes will brighten your spirits. The Columbia River Gorge is known for many flowers, but here are a few of our favorites you’ll see during your adventures:
- Columbia Gorge Broadleaf Lupine – These vibrant purple flowers bloom from April to May. Their brilliant color is easy to spot during your travels. You’ll most likely see this flower in the grasslands, particularly around Rowland Lake.
- Barrett’s Penstemon – This pink bloom loves rocky areas. They begin to pop up during mid-May, and you will find them along the cliffs of the old Historic Columbia River Highway.
- Long-Beard Hawkweed – This flower is one of the many yellow blossoms you will see covering the countryside. These usually bloom during July and August, so you’ll see them during your summer stay at Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins.
7 of the Best Columbia River Gorge Wildflower Hikes
1. Cape Horn Trail
A hike through the Cape Horn Trail is breathtaking at any time of year. During the spring and summer, your walk will be filled with lush greenery and colorful blooms. Choose your trail difficulty based on the markers, or travel through its entirety to reach the Nancy Russell Overlook for stunning views of the Columbia River below. We recommend taking a break on the stone walls at the top to truly appreciate the beauty.
2. Catherine Creek Hike
The Catherine Creek Hike is perfect for adventurers looking for an easy walk with awe-inspiring views. During your hike, the paved pathway will take you past basalt formations, canyons, and views of Mount Hood. In the spring, it is known as one of the premier wildflower viewing spots. We recommend visiting any time between March and May to see the fields engulfed in a variety of colors.
3. Dog Mountain Trailhead
If you’re up for a challenge with incredible views, head to the Dog Mountain Trail. This is one of the most difficult hikes in the Columbia River Gorge, but it is also one of the most beautiful. The peak of the mountain offers unmatched views of Mount Hood in the distance with the Columbia River rushing below. We recommend heading here in May when the yellow balsamroot wildflowers dot the route.
4. Rowena Crest Viewpoint
This awe-inspiring area of the Gorge is full of geological reminders of the ice age floods that once swept through the area. While you hike through the Rowena Plateau Loop, you’ll see incredible views up and down the Columbia River Gorge. You’ll love the tall hills and low valleys seen throughout. Plus, in the spring, balsamroot and other wildflowers sprinkle the area with color.
5. Mosier Plateau
The Mosier Plateau was originally created by the Gorge Towns to Trails project as a way to connect towns and communities through recreation. Since 2013, it has become a popular trail system to see wildlife, bald eagles, and of course, wildflowers. This is one of the best Columbia River Gorge wildflower hikes in mid to late April, but you will most likely see the gorgeous flowers in the spring and summer as well.
6. Lyle Cherry Orchard
Owned by the Friends of the Columbia Gorge Land Trust, the Lyle Cherry Orchard is known for its great views and rich history. The cherry orchard itself showcases the landscape carved out by the Ice Age Floods, and finding the old orchard at the summit is a magical experience. Not many of the cherry trees are actually left, but you can still see them along the edges of the property.
7. Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail
If you’re looking for easy Columbia River Gorge wildflower hikes, it doesn’t get much easier than the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail. While this is more of a walking path than a hike, it’s a great way to see the wildflowers. This paved trail stretches along the Columbia River and has preserved the classic architecture left by the first major paved highway in all of the Pacific Northwest. Beautiful wildflowers are known to grow along the sides during the spring and summer.
What to Pack
If you’re looking to enjoy some Columbia River Gorge wildflower hikes, it’s important to be prepared. Our terrain can vary depending on the trail you choose, so make sure you have all the proper gear. Bring plenty of water and snacks to reenergize yourself during your trek. Certain trails, such as the Dog Mountain Trail, require a permit at certain times of the year. Plus, you’ll probably want to bring a camera to capture the colorful flowers you’ll find along the way!
Book Your Getaway Today
During the spring and summer, the Pacific Northwest blooms with color. Make Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins your home base for your Columbia River Gorge wildflower hikes. Our own property transforms during these seasons; our flowers begin to pop up and leaves flourish on the trees once more. Wandering through our nine acres of beautifully landscaped gardens with private seating areas and dry creek beds is a treat in itself.
Start planning your stay by browsing our luxury cabins. You’ll love coming back after your hike to rest in the custom-made beds or soak in the whirlpool tub. Wake up each morning to a complimentary breakfast after you enjoy your coffee on your private porch. We look forward to seeing you!