Tag Archives: Klickitat River

Swale Canyon- Harms Road Trailhead (Winter 2019)

Directions: Take I-84 east to exit 64, cross the Hood River Bridge ($2 toll) and take a right onto Highway 14. Drive to the town of Lyle (little over 11 miles from the bridge) where you will take a left onto the Centerville Highway. Follow the highway for about 15 miles where you will take a left onto Harms Road, follow the road a short distance to the trailhead and a small pullout for parking.

This hike is part of the Klickitat Trail- we have done a few sections already (find those posts here and here.). This time we decided to check out the Swale Canyon section.

The Harms Road section is fairly long so we just did half of it for this visit.

The hike starts out heading west as you quickly cross a bridge and get on the gravel trail. You’ll pass a small marshy area and then quickly start to see the creek off to your right. We saw a great blue heron in this area as well as many juncos.

      

Off to your left will be a large grassy area, we saw western meadowlarks and a couple northern shrikes in the trees. The trail gradually heads downhill as the basalt cliffs start to rise up around you. We noticed quite a few bones along the way as well.

      

You will cross a few bridges and the creek switches sides as you cross over another trestle bridge. In this area we saw a couple rock wrens and a red-tailed hawk. Keep going for a bit past the trestle, the trail will curve a few times- this area is about the halfway point (roughly 3 miles from the trailhead). We decided to make this our turn around for the day.

      

This trail is very quiet and it’s a great place to bird watch if you’re into that sort of thing. The Klickitat Trail is well known for ticks (in fact one of us picked up a tick on a different section of this trail) so be extra cautious and do a good tick check before you get in your car and when you get home (for more info about ticks click here).

      

Distance: 6 miles (moderate)

Elevation: 300 feet (easy)

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: None

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: This section of the Klickitat trail closes in the summer due to high fire danger. We would recommend calling the nearest ranger station in the summer to check for specific closure dates.

Popular: No

Warnings: Ticks

Klickitat Trail- Fisher Hill Bridge Trailhead (Winter 2016)

Directions: Take I-84 East to Hood River exit 64 (marked for White Salmon) and cross the Hood River Bridge ($2 toll). After crossing the bridge take a right onto Highway 14 and drive for about 11 miles. After crossing the Klickitat River take an immediate left onto Highway 142, drive until you see the Fisher Hill Bridge trailhead. There are two parking areas, one on Highway 142 and the other down the little road next to the bridge.

The Klickitat Trail is 13 miles one way and it’s often done in sections. This post will be from the Fisher Hill Bridge Trailhead to mile marker 6.

From the trailhead get on the main trail and walk for about a quarter mile as you pass a building on the right and come to mile marker 2. The trail is much more rocky than the first section and is closer to the river too, as you get out of the gorge area of the Klickitat.

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You will cross a few small streams and small slide areas with a sheer cliff to your left. The trail turns to boardwalk in one spot, and you’ll pass a big slide area as you come to an area with Ponderosa Pine that opens up to a grassy field to your left.

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From here it’s a short distance to mile post six and the end of this section of the hike. This isn’t the most interesting section but it’s still scenic. You are always surrounded by mountains and right next to the river. But you are seeing a lot of the same thing which can make for an even longer 8 miles. The trail wasn’t too busy but this section had more mountain bikers.

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Distance: 8 miles (moderate)

Elevation: 200 feet (easy)

Pet Friendly: Yes

Good For: All ages just be aware of the distance

Bathrooms: None

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: Fall through early summer. This trail usually shuts down in mid to late summer due to high fire danger.

Popular: No

Warnings: Ticks. We picked up a tick while we were out here, see our post on ticks to learn more.