Native Land of the: Cowlitz, Grande Ronde
16m 3,960ft gain
Table Mountain is located on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge and is one of the most recognizable features in the area. It’s like the many Table Mountains in that from certain angles it looks like a table. The southeast face is quite unique as it drops 2,400ft in less than a mile. It was caused a long time ago by a huge landslide that sheared off the south face of Table and Greenleaf damming the Columbia River. For a short period, Native Americans could walk across the River leading to the legend known as the Bridge of the Gods! There’s a long approach to get to the flat summit but it makes for a great training hike.
1st Trip: 10/26/20
An ambitious after work hike starting from the Bonneville trailhead and the Tamanous trail. Tamanous translates to vision quest so I knew this would be a good hike. I’d been waiting for the trailhead to open during the pandemic so once it was, I jumped at the opportunity! A half mile into the quest I’d connect with the Pacific Crest trail and take that towards Canada for six miles.
After a long approach you have two options to reach the summit. If you plan to walk across the entire table-like summit like I did take the West Table Mountain trail up and Heartbreak Ridge down. Either way gains over 1,600ft in less than a mile but the west side has more stable ground.
The north side of the summit offers excellent views towards Mount Saint Helens, Mount Rainier and Mount Adams!
I enjoyed walking along the flat half mile summit with great views in every direction!
The southern end of the summit offers an incredible view of the steep cliffs framing the Bonneville Landslide. During the years of stops in Cascade Locks I always thought about standing right here. It lived up to what I imagined!
Mount Hood towers over the Columbia River and the Bonneville Dam.
To get down before sunset I’d have to move quickly. I did plenty of jogging on the PCT but it was slow going down the steep and rocky Heartbreak Ridge trail.
I only saw one other person over 16 miles and we actually walked and chatted for a mile or two. I should have stayed with him but I continued to jog and with a 1/4 mile left I stepped on a loose rock, heard a loud pop and saw my ankle touch the ground. I like to think my ankles are flexible because I never get injured when twisting them but this time had me out of commission for a month.
Table Mountain is a great training hike with stellar views but my ankle is going to take a long hiatus before returning.