Grassy Hills & Big Blue Skies: Coyote Wall

Posted on April 16, 2012 | 0 comments
On the Washington Side of the Columbia Gorge lies yet another example of nature's magnificence: Coyote Wall.
This is a 9 mile loop trail of high up grassy hills and no shade for half of the hike. We followed the curving trails a couple miles, avoiding bikers who were zooming past, and stopped a while for some snacks. Instead of following the smaller zig-zagging path along the cliff edge, we decided to scale the steep trail that lead directly to the top. It was so incredibly windy, we were nearly thrown on our backs trying to do this. In order to safely get a good view, we carefully crawled to the cliff's edge. The view from atop the wall is magnificent.
On the way down we decided to utilize the smaller trails to keep better footing. Careless or inexperienced mountain bikers following this trail can be easily swept off the cliff by a large gust of wind. It has happened, and there is a memorial for this unfortunate person.
 Bri, my ever enthusiastic hiking partner, referencing our map near the edge. She is much braver than I!
I love seeing different perspectives of Mt. Hood, and there he is in the distance. We followed the trail down and turned left at the fork to continue on the loop. After some time descending we came to an oak grove, and finally a break from the wind.
There are many stunning wildflowers and impressive rock formations on the Coyote Wall/Labyrinth loop.
Upland Larkspur
How beautiful are the colors and intricate details of this Upland Larkspur?
Unidentified, But Gorgeous!
Passing through the oak grove takes you to the coyote labyrinth. There is a very narrow trail hugging the side of a hill with a steep drop, so careful footing is required.
I'm so intrigued by rock formations. Check out those amazing columns! Turkey vultures glided overhead, seeking out their evening meals.
This area seemed dry, but there were at least two streams passing through, including this one. Though we heard frogs, we were unable to actually see any.
Another view from further down the trail.
Interesting Wildflowers
Desert Shooting Star
Toward the end of the trail there is a small waterfall, and then it's back to the dirt road leading to the car.
This was a very nice hike, and actually one taken unintentionally. Bri and I had originally headed up to a trail on the other side of the Columbia Gorge near Hood River, but the elevation was too high and we came across unpassable snow-covered roads. We did, however, get some spectacular sights... including... you probably guessed it, Mt. Hood.
So Close!
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