Do you know of any good out of the way hikes close by? I wish your PMs were turned on. We need to talk
"Out of the way" and "close by" are not mutually inclusive in Oregon. If you want serenity, I'm afraid you'll have to drive for it. My PM is turned back on. I had it off for a few months; was getting too much attention from some groupies in here.
I know Forest Park, Sauvie Island, the Gorge on the Washington side, Mt. Hood, and the entire coast from southern Washington down to Newport, Oregon, really well. I've done hot spots south of here like Silver Falls, Smith Rock, etc. but I'd like to do a lot more in that area. I focus on remote, wild areas with wide, open spaces and elevation. Otherwise, your view is just one tree after another the whole, damned way--yawn
! That's why I've only done a dozen or so hikes on the Oregon side of the Gorge. If you are willing to break the one-hour-driving barrier, you'll see your options explode into much higher numbers and the crowds fade away.
A trail that's got it all is Saddle Mountain, which I did again last Friday. It'll be up on my hiking blog soon. The first time I was there, it was so socked in with moisture and clouds, I couldn't see twenty feet in front of me the entire way. My hiking companion kept whining, "There really IS a view, honest!" but all I saw that day was grey and ravens. Well, last Friday, it was mostly sunny and, Oh, Mama, what a freakin' view! From the summit, you can see the ocean, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Baker, and something snow covered very far away to the east--the Blue Mountains, maybe. You are literally surrounded by snow capped volcanoes. Caveat: very crowded on peak days, not for the acrophobic, poison oak and other nasties abound, a relatively easy trail that attracts a high Idiot Factor. Still, it's close enough to the coast that you can polish off the hike and then cruise down to the beach to dangle your tootsies in the chilly waves.
If you want seclusion, pick any hike and do it on a Tuesday. When it's raining. In November.
So, do you want elevation or distance? Silence or people? Ease or mud? Danger or safety? Mosquitoes or poison oak? Ha, ha, that last one was a trick question.