Popular hike offers peak wildflower viewing in Columbia River Go - KPTV - FOX 12

Popular hike offers peak wildflower viewing in Columbia River Gorge

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The month of June is an ideal time of year to see the peak of wildflower season in the Columbia River Gorge.

Possibly the most popular spot, which features one of the Gorge's most impressive wildflower displays, is Dog Mountain.

The hike is challenging, over seven miles round-trip, over rough terrain lined with poison oak, and a 3,800 foot gain in elevation.

The reward, though, is a breathtaking view of the Gorge, and thousands of colorful wildflowers.

"Every time you crest up into these open meadows, it's just breathtaking. That never changes. It's just beautiful," said Katie Santini, a natural resource expert with the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area.

Despite the difficult hike, Dog Mountain draws visitors of all ages.

The Forest Service asks visitors to not pick the wildflowers.

"The flower is their way of producing, so if we pick that, they have to come up with more energy to send up another flower," said Santini.

Hikers are encouraged to bring proper footwear, plenty of water, and a flashlight in case they are caught on the trail after dark.

"When you do come and visit, please show good trail etiquette. Stay on the trail. If you bring stuff with you, please take it out with you. And just be respectful of the experience that everybody is having," Santini said.

The wildflowers reach peak bloom in May and June and begin to fade in July.

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