Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Mosier Plateau

Rowena Crest and Tom McCall Point, east of Mosier, Oregon are my "go-to" places for spring wildflowers.  And I've explored the Columbia River Historic Highway just west of here.  But I've never spent any time in the town of Mosier itself.  A trip report on the Portland Hikers website changed all that.  It described a lovely little ramble starting in the middle of town, that led visitors past a pioneer cemetery and waterfall, before climbing to the top of a panoramic plateau with incredible Gorge views.

Bachelor button!

A new hiking path amongst this well-known spring wildflower paradise?  Of course I had to investigate!  So after spending all morning on the Washington side of the Gorge checking out the Dalles Mountain Ranch and Horsethief Lake State Park, I crossed the river and headed to Mosier.

This bench doubles as a sign

As with a lot of the information I find on the internet, directions to the trailhead were a little sketchy.  Supposedly, this hike started next to "the bridge" in the middle of town.  But after crossing over a small auto bridge, I spied this bench on an adjacent hillside.  No worries! 

The pioneer cemetery was in a lovely setting

Wildflowers lined this trail from the very start.  Brilliant blue bachelor buttons grew in abundance across the hillside.  A short climb from the roadway brought me to a tiny cemetery, overgrown with weeds and purple flowers.

One of the original Mosiers

A dozen headstones were scattered across the area.  Reading the inscriptions, I saw that many of them bore the Mosier name and were from the late 1800s.  It appeared some of the original town founders were buried here.

Live flowers decorate this grave

The lupine bloomed profusely.  Through a gap in the trees, one could see the Columbia River below.  It was a beautiful final resting place.

Another Mosier gravesite

Beyond the cemetery, my path leveled out, and began to follow the rim of a steep canyon.  This cute sign announced the beginning of the town's "pocket park."

Cute sign

Walking along the rim, I glimpsed a few houses on the opposite side, perched precariously on the very edge.  A beautiful place for a home, but I'd be afraid of it sliding down the steep canyon walls.

Mosier Creek Falls

I began to hear roaring water.  The sound grew louder, until I came upon a mighty waterfall, Mosier Creek Falls, churning through a gap in the rocks.  This cascade, measuring in at 100 feet in height, rivaled anything you'd see further west in the Gorge.

A lizard friend

A small railed overlook gave visitors a vantage point.  While setting up my camera here, I happened to glance down, and caught this little lizard looking up at me.  He was posing so nice, I had to include him in the photo shoot.

Mosier Creek

Downstream from Mosier Creek falls is equally scenic.  I'm told this area is a popular swimming hole during hot summer months.

The trail winds through a grassy slope

From the waterfall, my path again started to climb.  I wound through a steep, grassy slope, chock-full of many wildflower varieties.


The pink corydalis looked like little frilly tubes.  I also passed by large fields covered with more bachelor buttons.

The town of Mosier far below

My path began to steepen.  I was really gaining elevation.  Through a few gaps in the trees, I glimpsed the canyon's green outline, and the town proper.

View from Mosier Plateau

And then, I was on top of the plateau.  The Columbia River spread out before me, wide and blue.  There blooming before my eyes, were incredible numbers of bright yellow balsamaroot  flowers.  The purple lupine also joined in the party.

Tiptoe through the flowers

I wandered around the plateau's grassy top, just taking in all its beauty.

The balsamroot was thick

A small sign by a railed viewpoint explained that this windswept tableland was owned by the Friends of the Columbia Gorge.  A nonprofit group dedicated to preserving this wonderful unique part of Oregon, they had purchased the land and constructed a trail so all could enjoy its wonderful vistas.

Cheery lupine

Views up and down the Gorge were outstanding.  This alone was worth climbing that steep slope.  But the prolific floral display -  icing on the cake!

Flowers and views

After soaking in the scenery and taking tons of photos, my sore broken rib let me know it was done for the day.  So I retraced my steps down the trail, past the waterfall, stopping briefly at the cemetery for a few more shots.

More lovely bachelor buttons

As I approached trail's end and my car, I again passed through the bachelor button field.  These tiny blue flowers waved in the wind, as if to bid me goodbye.  A lovely final image from a wonderful day of exploration.

Sharing with: Weekly Top Shot.


  1. All the pictures looks great. Seems to be a wonderful day!

  2. There is really so much beauty in this post to take in. What a great new path for a hike. From the very eerie but interesting gravestones, then the lovely waterfalls, to the grand Columbia river, the trail offers up so much to see and discover. Thanks for taking us along, I really enjoyed your photography.

    Mersad Donko Photography

  3. Those blue bachelor button flowers look very similar to our cornflowers. Such a beautiful blue. Interesting that the inscriptions on the gravestones can be read so clearly as they are not affected by pollution or erosion.

  4. Beautiful pictures...I love the wildflowers in the Spring!

  5. Spectacular photos! Looks like quite an adventurous time. I love the close-up of the little lizard. So cute.

  6. Breathtaking scenery and gorgeous wildflowers. The cemetery was very interesting, lots of history in those old headstones.

  7. All those yellow and blue flowers look great.

  8. Absolutely beautiful - I love seeing all the wildflowers :-)

  9. It's been a while since I've been back to Oregon. Is Mosier between Hood River and The Dalles? What a gorgeous place. I used to go to The Dalles often but I usually buzzed right through. I had no idea such wonderful place was there. On my list for "Must Visit"

  10. Beautiful scenery. Thanks for sharing your hike. Love that lizard!

  11. Hi! Nice captures. Your photos are very beautiful. Many wildflowers in mountainsides and very beautiful scenery Thanks for sharing.

  12. So lovely, Linda, and I really like how the bench doubles as a sign!

  13. Wow--gorgeous! So this is what I missed several years ago.
    Blessings, Aimee

  14. Another fabulous photo tour. My mom graduated from High School in Mosier, OR. I've been through the area but have never stopped. It would be wonderful to take in the gorgeous view but I'm not sure I could manage the hike now.

  15. The scenery you get to revel in on your hikes is always spectacular ! This is just gorgeous, I would have loved being there. I sympathize about the ribs . I tumbled out of the pony cart when Tink spooked at a Great Blue Heron flying up out of the bogs. I am tending to sore ribs myself ~ BIG ouch ( but I won't go for an exray) !

  16. So pretty! Our spring is way behind yours. There is a lot of snow still in the mountains.

  17. What a great trail! The flowers are gorgeous and the cemetery is quite interesting.

  18. Makes me want to come to Oregon

  19. Beautiful places <3 I love wild flowers <3

  20. Again, gorgeous photo's Linda. I enjoyed following along on your hike. So pretty.

  21. Your wildflower pics are stunning. Just love the views!

  22. Beautiful photos. I would love to walk around that cemetery. Take care of that rib and don't over do it.

  23. What a lovely place! I like wildflowers... lizards not as much.

  24. Gorgeous photos as usual! I really love all those flowers and your lizard friend is cute :) I've seen lots of lizard friends out my way lately.

    Hope you've been well!

  25. Nice series- especially like all the flowers but I also can't resist old cemetaries

  26. Linda, the wildflowers are gorgeous. And what beautiful views of the river and the waterfalls.. Lovely shots! Have a happy week!

  27. Oh, Linda.
    I've been away. And now I'm back. And I'M IN LOVE WITH THIS PLACE!
    Everything right down to that adorable lizard. Wildflowers are some of my favorite things on earth.. These scenes are gorgeous.
    Thank you for going there & taking awesome pictures AND sharing them with us!

  28. Fantastic captures to commemorate a perfect day. Thanks for sharing!


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