Hardy Ridge Loop Hike
From Portland Hikers Field Guide
- Start point: Hardy Ridge Equestrian Trailhead
- End point: Hardy Ridge Summit
- Trail Log: Trail Log
- Hike Type: Loop
- Distance: 8.1 miles
- Elevation gain: 2200 feet
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Seasons: Spring through Fall
- Family Friendly: older kids
- Backpackable: No
- Crowded: No!
This lovely loop hike at Beacon Rock State Park will give you views, solitude and a great wildflower display in June.
The hike begins at the Equestrian Trailhead on Kueffler road. You can examine the map in the parking area before starting, but the new connector trail that links the East and West Hardy Ridge Trails may not be marked on the map. Most of the junctions indicated in this description are marked with signs.
Begin by hiking north on the Equestrian Trail which is actually a gated dirt road. After about a mile, take note of the West Hardy Ridge Trail, as you will be coming down that on your return trip. Continue another half mile and turn north onto the East Hardy Ridge Trail, another dirt road in the woods, lined with salmonberry bushes. Travel this road until it ends, and you will see a sign for the connector trail marked "foot traffic only". This well established, single track trail will take you up to the top of the ridge in half a mile, where you will come to a four way junction. You can go straight here to head back down the other side of the ridge, but you should do some exploring first!
At the four way junction at the top of the ridge, turn right to travel north on the trail to the Hardy Ridge Summit. This route provides a wonderful view hike along the top of the ridge to the summit. You will alternate between open meadows, small clumps of forest and small rocky knobs. Hamilton Mountain looks small from here, and Table Mountain seems so tame, with Mount Adams perched on its northern shoulder. The trail on top is not regularly maintained, and it can be overgrown and brushy, but just stay on the ridgetop, and you won't lose it. Expect the wildflowers to peak from June to late July. When you return to the four way junction, take the connector trail to the right (west), heading down the western side of the ridge. This trail is an old road that has been reopened by the Washington Trails Association. When the connector trail ends on the West Hardy Ridge Trail, turn downhill (south) to return to the equestrian trail.
- Maps: Hike Finder
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