Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Moseyin' Around Mosier

Springtime just wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Mosier area.

Columbia River from Rowena Crest

The tiny town of Mosier, Oregon is located near the eastern end of the Columbia River Gorge.  Landing on the Cascade Mountain's eastern slopes, it boasts drier and sunnier weather.  Perfect for sprouting early wildflowers!

Loop-de-loop road

One sunny day last April, I rose early and headed east to catch some of the flowery goodness.  First stop - Rowena Crest, a spectacular plateau just east of Mosier.  Not only does this place burst with color every spring, there's some pretty cool windy roads you have to drive to reach it.  (Perfect place to film a car ad, don't you think?)

The balsamroot was out in force!

The vast fields of cheery yellow basamroot didn't disappoint either.

Cloud reflections on the Columbia

After wandering Rowena Crest's high plateau for awhile, capturing dozens of flower images, I returned to my car, and headed back to Mosier.

Mosier Pioneer Cemetery

Last year, I discovered a great new trail that began right inside Mosier's city limits.  (Photos and story can be found here.)

Lovely lilacs

This trail climbs to a short hill to the local pioneer cemetery.  Overlooking the Columbia River, it's a quiet, scenic resting place.  Wildflowers and a lovely lilac bush were blooming. 

Tiny gravestone for a tiny person

Some of the town's founding families were buried here.  I think it's so interesting to read gravestones from days long ago.  I always wonder what stories they could tell.

Sweeping views from Mosier Plateau

Continuing past the cemetery, the trail follows Mosier Creek and Mosier Creek Falls.  As I climbed, the canyon walls deepened.  Houses perched precariously on the opposite rim.

Lupine dancing

Then my path began switchbacking up the side of Mosier Plateau.  Wooden stairs were placed at the steepest climbs. The forest opened up into grassland, and I began to feel the sun's rays beating down.

Fluffy yellow balsamroot

And then - I was on top!  The Columbia River opened up below me in a spectacular panorama.

Follow the path

Oh the flowers!  Huge fields of yellow balsamroot covered the plateau's wide-open surface.

Gorge panorama

I wandered across the plateau, taking in these amazing sweeping views.

Busy bee

I admired the bees, busy gathering pollen.


Took zillions of balsamroot shots, from every conceivable angle.

Heading back towards town

After soaking in the stupendous views and gorgeous flowers, I reluctantly pulled myself away and trekked back down.

Colorful bloom

But I made time for a couple more photo ops on the return trip.  This colorful flower was just begging to be photographed.

Interesting gravestone

I had to get one more shot of this interesting headstone.

More lilacs - just because!

And these gorgeous purple lilacs.

The best way to end a hike

There's no better way to end a day of exploring than to partake in a local brew and burger from one of Hood River's amazing brewpubs.  Another great spring excursion in the Gorge!

Sharing with:  Our World Tuesday and Wednesday Around the World.


  1. Linda, what gorgeous photos! I love to visit cemeteries and I, like yourself, am fascinated with the headstones from long ago. I find cemeteries are beautiful and peaceful. I love those lilacs!!!

  2. Such wonderful views; no wonder you go there regularly in Spring. And well done you for only having a few sips of beer before thinking to take a photo!

  3. I've driven Rowena Crest... it's the perfect twisty road for my MX-5 Miata. And I love this eastern end of the Gorge (and Hood River is one of my favorite places). But I've never explored Mosier or climbed up the hill to the plateau to enjoy the views. That's something I need to do on my next trip to the Gorge, maybe in August. I love all your photos, and your stories of exploring the scenery around you.

  4. I agree that that lunch is really the best way to end a hike. But what a hike that was. Gorgeous landscapes and nature all around. Really enjoyed coming along with you. Love the loop in the road, and the angle you took the shot from.

    Mersad Donko Photography

  5. Linda, this looks like a beautiful spot for a hike. The wildflowers and the views of the river are just stunning.. I like to read the old gravestones too. They each have a story. And your burger and brew look delicious. Lovely images, thanks for taking me along. Have a happy day!

  6. Fabulous color on this little drive...love that loopy road. Don't you wonder why it had to make that loop? The flowers are all lovely.

  7. Very nice - like the landscapes with flowers in foreground

  8. Wonderful shots of the scenery and nature!

  9. Your post is a feast for the eyes, Linda! Those Lupine and Balsamroot are right at home on that ridge! I also liked seeing the old gravestones. I plan a trip tomorrow to our own old cemetery in Breckenridge. I'm sure nothing will be blooming, but I do love the old headstones.

  10. What a beautiful area! I love the balsamroot. All those gorgeous yellow flowers....

  11. What a fabulous experience. Beautiful photographs!

  12. That looks a lovely place. Great river and mountain scenery.

  13. I like old cemeteries too!

  14. Wow, such a picture perfect day to take in the gorge and all those wildflowers! Beautiful!

  15. Beautiful wildflowers and views Linda! I adore pioneer/historic cemeteries--just visited 2 on Monday:) BTW, some of the yummiest apricots are grown up on the Mosier plateau.
    Blessings, Aimee
    PS: Speaking of yummy, the photo of your lunch has made me hungry again. Sadly, I don't have anything here that looks THAT good:)

  16. It is very lovely up there. When we were there last year, when we drove back through Mosier, the little restaurant was closed that I wanted to see inside of. Route 66 I think, with classic cars. Maybe next time. I did drive through the town to see what there was....a little park and yes lilacs. Columbia River gorge area is so gorgeous!!! Thanks for sharing your photos. Balsam root is pretty!!! :-)

  17. Great post, Linda. It's fun seeing places I wander, like that road with the hairpin curve and the many cemeteries... I seem to be drawn to them. I love that area, always something new to see.
    You captured it all beautifully!

  18. Oh my heart aches when I see those views in your part of the world. The Spring flowers are just beautiful.

  19. Spring looks like a spectacular time to be in the Gorge, we've got to make it there in the spring some time. I remember looking across the river from some trail, maybe the old cherry orchard trail, seeing Mosier and thinking that looks like a neat little town to explore, tucked into the folds of the hills like it is.

  20. Your lens has been busy, all right! I love that picture of the backlit yellow flowers. Our lilacs have been gone for weeks now, and I love those pretty things. Great shots, Linda. Thank you for sharing them with me. :-)

  21. Such beautiful views and you have captured them perfectly! The yellow flowers are so welcoming, I like to walk the old grave yards too:)

  22. 'Heading back to town' - could almost be a Swiss Alps shot. Such a glorious day enhanced by the vibrance of the yellow balsam root.

  23. Another lovely hike - you have great wildflowers out there.

  24. So many lovely scenes, but the horseshoe road is my favorite. Tom The Backroads Traveller

  25. Hi! The first photo is very impressive. The cloud reflection photo is very cool too. I think you are very happy,because you can go hiking very easily. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Your wildflowers are so pretty, especially since I have winter on the horizon. I like to read old headstones, too, and wonder what happened.

  27. Hmm, I've never been there but that hike looks great! I also like wandering in old graveyards. So sad yet fascinating.

  28. Great pics! Love that looping road!

  29. Beautiful views and gorgeous flowers! Old cemeteries are very interesting.

  30. My mom graduated from the Mosier High School and they lived up on top the Rowena Loops. She has often tolds stories about her brothers/sisters and herself spitting on cars as they drove down below. I was delighted to see this post and wasn't disappointed as you had some fabulous photos to view once again.

  31. More gorgeous photos from flowery, scenic Oregon!

  32. We travel through the Gorge about once a year to visit family in Washington, and I'm always frustrated because there is never enough time for me to be a landscape/nature photographer in this beautiful place! Love this series. All so beautiful. The shot of the horseshoe bend in the road, however, really attracted my attention. It is eerily the same but totally different from the horseshoe bend in my current post. Check it out and you'll see what I mean!!!

  33. Your local area has such gorgeous scenery. the balsam root is amazing as are your fabulous images.

  34. I'm off to Door County and I'm scouting for lupine. It should be the right time.. 2 months after yours bloomed! I'm bringing my bike and even my GoPro which I haven't used in 2 years, hope there is lots to see.

  35. Love your shots here! Such interesting tombstones that you have captured. I do love going in to old cemeteries and seeing the interesting stones. Your flowers and landscaped shots are lovely too! Such amazing scenery.


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