Oregon: Nesmith Point

Something rather different : I’ve been in the USA for a couple of weeks and packed the bare essentials in case an opportunity to get presented itself.

I was staying in Portland,  Oregon, and a visit to the waterfalls in the Columbia River gorge was suggested.  It was great weather, and I started late, so unsurprisingly all the parking at the trailheads was taken.  I drove on , and took the trail marked towards Nesmith Point. At a little over four miles with just under 4,000ft of elevation gain, it’s a good workout.


The trail leads into the forest, gradually rising towards a series of switchbacks as it steepens.  There are good views over to Beacon Rock on the north side of the river once you gain a little height.

The rock on the path gives plenty of clues about the volcanic nature of the terrain,  and there’s  an interesting selection of flowers out – mostly very different from those found in the UK.


This one with the white petals is Trillium.


The trail climbs steeply under the impressive canyon walls, and finally (with a huge sense of relief) the grade eases dramatically.



The summit is a couple of kilometres on, after a marked junction. The views west down the gorge are impressive, but the trees still block the view north and east.


The fresh landslip here shows the instability of a lot of the gorge – one major landslide a few hundred years back formed the Bridge of the Gods a few miles upstream.

A quick snack, a rest, and then a faster and easier descent back to the car.