Directions: Take I-84 East to Cascade Locks and cross the Bridge Of The Gods ($2 toll). Go left on Highway 14 and drive until you reach Beacon Rock. Take the road right across from Beacon Rock and follow it to the parking area for Hamilton Mountain.
This hike is a revisit, to see our first post click here.
The first time we did this hike was at the end of August a few years ago. It was extremely hot and Hardy Creek was really low. For us, it was a pretty boring hike. This time around was SO much better!
From the trailhead the wide path immediately starts uphill. The trail was really muddy and slick in areas due to all the rain we’ve had lately. Nothing abnormal for a winter hike in the Northwest though :). After about a half mile from the trailhead you’ll cross under some power lines and come to a trail junction where you get a good view of Hamilton Mountain. Stay straight and the trail continues to stay uphill for another quarter mile. As the trail flattens out you’ll cross a footbridge and come to a side trail that takes you down to a viewing platform for Hardy Falls. The view isn’t that great as you’re mostly seeing the top of the waterfall.
Back on the main trail continue on and a short distance later the trail comes to another side trail. Going left takes you up to Pool Of The Winds. The trail was closed because of a few large trees that had fallen and damaged the trail. Check out our last post to see pictures of this waterfall. Following the main trail down one long switchback takes you to a bridge right at Rodney Falls. The difference this time around was crazy. On our first visit we ate lunch under the bridge on the rocks because the creek was just trickling. This time it was so full and actually looked like a waterfall
Rodney Falls is the endpoint for this hike, so turn around and head back out the way you came in.
We definitely recommend doing this hike in late fall, winter, and spring. Water levels make all the difference!
Distance: 2.5 mile (easy)
Elevation: 500 feet (moderate)
Pet Friendly: Yes
Good For: All ages
Bathrooms: Yes at the trailhead
Parking Fee: $10 Washington Discover Pass