35 Reasons to Explore the Gorge this Fall

The Friends of the Columbia Gorge present 35 guided treks for everyone—families, couples and friends, and lone-adventurers.

By Eric Earle September 8, 2014

Elowah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge

There is a hike for every one this fall—history enthusiasts, families, readers of Wild, residents of the Pacific Northwest. The new fall schedule released by Friends of the Columbia Gorge features 35 guided outings offered from September 13 to October 26. We chose a few of our favorites. 

Beacon Rock 
Looking east from the top of Beacon Rock you can see the Bonneville Dam, to the west the Crown Point Vista House, and to the south you can spot Elowah Falls. This is a perfect hike to pack a picnic, lace up your tennis shoes, and head out to the moderately difficult 1.8 mile loop—which climbs 680 feet in total. The trail is in the Western Gorge of Washington, and requires a $10 State Discovery Pass. You can also take the hike on October 10 with Jim Chase, who will give a 20 minute Ice Age discussion about the glacial floods which helped form the Columbia Gorge.

Elowah Falls
As you walk across a rustic-wooden bridge, you see the flowing water from Elowah Falls crashing down from about 215 feet above. The water then seeps into old lava flows, surrounded by big cliffs which are brightly colored by a green lichen common to the Columbia Gorge area. The hike is about 3.5 miles and rated as moderately difficult—a great family trip. Consider taking the trek with environmental educator, Roland Begin, which includes a forest scavenger hunt. 

Green Leaf Overlook
The Pacific Crest Trail connects the Bonneville Dam Trailhead to Gillette Lake. After passing the lake and many streams, you will reach the gorgeous views of Green Leaf Overlook. Take the hike with Dana Hendricks on October 26, and she will share history and news about the PCT, including a discussion of the effect of Cheryl Strayed's incredibly popular book Wild. 

For more information and to register for a hike, visit

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