Dog Mountain 5-12-16

Photos by Gary and John

Another gorgeous day in the Gorge, full sun and in the mid/upper 60s at the trailhead. Gary's friend Jim Gozdowski was conscripted as the hike leader, since he lives in White Salmon and has hiked the Dog numerous times. As leader he made an executive decision that he should be released from the AHG waiver. The vote was unanimous mostly owing to the fact that no one had a waiver with them.

We made a clockwise loop starting up the Augspurger Mountain trailhead, steadily climbing through open woods with views down the Gorge to Wind Mountain and Beacon Rock. As with yesterday's Coyote Wall/Labyrinth hike we got ever increasing views of the Gorge, and about the 3 mile mark we broke out of the Doug fir forest to amazing, expansive views of the densely flowered Dog Mountain summit meadows, with a back drop of the Oregon Columbia River headlands and mountains, from Hood to St. Helens. The yellow balsam root was pure eye candy, and sprinkled in between were Indian paintbrush, penstemon, phlox, vanilla leaf, lupine and larkspur to name a few.

We joined the many other hikers on the hillside just below the peak for a leisurely Annie lunch, and finally headed down the Dog Mt. trail, which first disappeared into a jungle forest trail before finally emerging back into the balsam root meadows. Our fearless and confident leader Goz somehow got us onto the steeper and less pretty "old trail" back to the parking lot, but we forgave him once we found out it was also more difficult. It was 88 degrees back at the car.

Refreshments were again taken in White Salmon at Everybody's Brewing, a fitting end to a fabulous day.

Ashland Hiking Home

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