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PCC partners with Audubon Society to launch Hike the Gorge Series
Photos and Story by James Hill
For the first time, PCC and the Audubon Society have partnered to offer hiking tours in the Columbia River Gorge this summer.
The three hikes will be led by Audubon naturalist and educator Steve Engel, who will give students a tour of the area’s natural history, from ancient lava flows to ice-age floods, to Lewis & Clark-era explorers and modern-day ecological issues. Additionally, he will point out the many plant species and bird calls as well as discussing the wildlife indigenous to the region.
An informational session will be held at 7 p.m, Monday, June 22, at the Audubon Society, 5151 N.W. Cornell Road.
The hikes include:
Angel’s Rest – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, June 27, Meeting place TBA. A moderate to difficult 4.5-mile round trip hike with 1200’ elevation gain from the valley floor, above waterfalls, along steep switchbacks and over a stone quarry to the spectacular Angel’s Rest viewpoint. Tuition $25. Fee $30.
Beacon Rock and Wahkeena Falls – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, July 25. Meeting place TBA. A moderate seven-mile hike with 1,600-foot elevation change up and around the old volcanic plug, Beacon Rock, via catwalks and 47 switchbacks, as well as exploring the many waterfalls on the Wahkeena Falls trail loop. Tuition $25. Fee $30.
Eagle Creek Trail – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 22. Meeting place TBA. A moderate 7-mile hike with 1,200-foot elevation change, starting out through a forest and climbing several hundred feet over narrow paths carved into basalt cliffs, past the whimsical Punchbowl Falls. This is part of the legendary Pacific Crest Trail. Tuition $25. Fee $30.
Fees for these trips help support the Audubon Society of Portland, which advocates for bird life, wildlife and environmental conservation. So sign up today and schedule your hikes for the summer: