One of my favorite spring outdoor activities is wildflower hunting. During my time in California I would go to Carrizo Plain, or Henry Coe, or one of many Bay Area parks to photograph and document the wildflower bloom.
Now, as a resident of Oregon, I have a lot to learn. Where can I find wildflowers? When do they bloom? What flowers are native vs invasive? In an effort to educate myself I headed up to Columbia Hills state park in Washington a few weeks ago, but found myself a little ahead of the bloom. After giving it a few weeks, I decided to go back this weekend and explore the Oregon side of the gorge between The Dalles and Hood River. I stopped in three spots and had great success!
Hood River Mountain
This was my favorite hike of the day! Although short, the views were killer and the flowers only sweetened the pot. I highly recommend this one. Get the hike details here.
Sevenmile Hill is a small pocket of public land to the west of The Dalles. There are no trails in this area, but you won’t need them. I wandered up the slopes and valleys, climbing 1000 ft in a little under 2 miles. The varieties of flowers changed as I climbed, making it quite fun to wander and explore. I did find some patches of poison oak so be careful! It helps to go with a topo map in hand with land management boundaries if you want to stay out of private land.
Mosier Plateau was really busy when I visited on a warm spring Saturday, but it was still quite scenic. I didn’t see any flowers here that I didn’t see elsewhere, so I could have skipped it. Still, it had an interesting pioneer cemetery and waterfall to keep things exciting.