Columbia River Gorge Part 3: Beacon Rock 1

I just realized I had enough good photos from the Beacon Rock hike to do two posts, so I will.  This first part is about the path going up, which is not for people who are afraid of heights.

Beacon Rock - Door to the Sky

Beacon Rock – Door to the Sky

I guess they lock this door at night, and if you’re hiding up there you either try to get down without falling to your death, or you call for a rescue, in which case, you’re a “violator” and you’ll be “cited”.  Anyway, I just thought this was a neat perspective on the beginning of a trail which gains 800 feet of elevation in a very short distance.  And this is how it’s done:

Beacon Rock - Walkways

Beacon Rock – Walkways

As you can see, the narrow path is cut into the side of the cliff, and hand rails added. In some places, a wooden walkway spans rocks jutting out from the cliff.  There are several switchback sections like this on the way up.

Beacon Rock - Halfway Point

Beacon Rock – Halfway Point

I am just guessing, but I think this was about halfway up.  You’re looking east along the Columbia River.  You can tell it’s winter by the brown trees near the river.  That day, you certainly couldn’t tell by the weather!  I’ll just add that I really love my 17-40mm Canon L lens on a full-frame dSLR body.  I can get much wider angles now, as opposed to my previous APS-C sized sensor body.

Beacon Rock - The View East

Beacon Rock – The View East

I’ll leave it with this photo. I took this on the way back down, so it isn’t from the top, but it was so pretty I couldn’t resist.  You can see the massive shadow cast by Beacon Rock the bottom of the frame.  Next post I’ll show you the shear cliff I slid along to get a clear westward shot.  It was downright scary and I’m not really afraid of heights.


4 thoughts on “Columbia River Gorge Part 3: Beacon Rock 1

  1. Reblogged this on Phase Three and commented:
    My husband has mentioned his experience with Beacon Rock in Columbia Gorge. I had thought he literally climbed it, handhold by handhold. He had said he hiked it and I envisioned primitive growth requiring him to beat out a hiking path. I didn’t realize there is already a path there to be taken. Not something I could do now, might have been able to to it back then when he was telling me about Beacon Rock.

    • You can climb straight up the cliff if you’re into that. I saw evidences that rock climbers use parts of Beacon Rock. I just wanted good photos, and switchbacks up 840-some vertical feet was enough of a challenge, after two other hikes earlier in the day.

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