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."
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.
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.
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.