Tag Archives: Rowena Plateau

Tom McCall Nature Preserve & Rowena Plateau (Spring 2018)

Directions: Drive east on I-84 and take exit 69 for Mosier. Turn right and follow the Old Highway into Mosier. Continue on the Old Highway for about 7 miles. There will be a big sign marking Rowena Crest and gravel parking areas.

We started over at the Rowena Crest Viewpoint to get a view of the road “loop” below. We then went a short distance into Tom McCall Nature Preserve. We walked until the poison oak got thick and decided to turn back.

      

Next we crossed the road and went to Rowena Plateau. It’s a very easy to follow short trail that ends at the point of the plateau. You get great views of the Gorge along with the wildflowers.

      

      

The most common wildflowers you’ll see are balsamroot and lupine. But depending on the month you’ll see other wildflowers like bachelor button, wild cucumber, buttercups and many others.

      

Distance: 3.5 miles (easy)

Elevation: 110 feet (easy)

Pet Friendly: No. Dogs are not allowed on this trail.

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: No

Parking Fee: None

Seasons: All

Popular: Yes especially during wildflower season

Warnings: Tick and poison oak

Tom McCall Nature Preserve & Rowena Plateau (Spring)

Directions: Take I-84 east to exit 69 (Mosier). Take a right and follow the Historic Columbia River Highway for about 7.5 miles. There is a big sign marking Rowena Crest with areas to park.

We hiked the Rowena Plateau about 7 weeks ago, at the very beginning of the wildflower season. It was still pretty bare and dry up there so we decided to come check it out again and it was WELL worth the trip.

This time we decided to hike around the Tom McCall Nature Preserve as well. We didn’t go all the way up to McCall Point because there was so much poison oak and some of us in the group didn’t have long pants or sleeves on. Didn’t want to be itching for a week 😉

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We started at the signed Tom McCall Nature Preserve trailhead and walked along the flat wide field that was full of Balsamroot and Lupine, Bachelor’s Button was also starting to bloom as well. Soon the trail starts to narrow a bit as you gain a little elevation and switchback up to a great viewpoint of the Gorge. We continued on a bit farther down the trail until we started noticing the Poison Oak on both sides of the trail getting really thick. We decided to turn back here and head back to the trailhead. If you continue on we would highly recommend you wear long pants and sleeves.

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Back at the trailhead we crossed the Old Highway and headed towards the Rowena Plateau trailhead. To see our previous post about Rowena Plateau click here. Starting at the trailhead, the trail winds downhill gently for a little over a mile. You’ll pass Rowena Pond and many side trails that take you to different viewpoints of the Gorge. There are wildflowers on this part of the hike, especially at the beginning but they thin out as you hike. Also, keep your eyes peeled for deer, wild turkeys, butterflies, and lots of birds! The trail comes to an end at the “point” of the plateau. Head back the way you came to get to your car. There is poison oak along this part of the hike, but much less than Tom McCall.

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Distance: 3.5 miles

Elevation: 110 feet

Difficulty: Easy

Pet Friendly: No. Pets are not allowed, all areas are a nature preserve.

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: No

Parking Fees: No

Seasons: All

Popular: Very popular in spring, not as bad during the other seasons.

Overall: This is one of our favorite hikes to see wildflowers and one of our favorite views of the eastern Gorge!

Rowena Plateau (Winter)

Directions: Drive east on I-84 and take exit 69 for Mosier. Turn right and follow the Old Highway into Mosier. Continue on the Old Highway for about 7 miles. There will be a big sign marking Rowena Crest and gravel parking areas.

This hike starts across the highway from Rowena Crest. There is a signed area that says Tom McCall Preserve at Rowena Plateau. Cross through the fenced opening and the dirt trail begins to very gradually head downhill. With all the nice weather we’ve been having lately a few wildflowers were already starting to bloom along the trail!

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About halfway into the hike you’ll come to Rowena Pond, there are a few side trails you can take to get a closer look. All along this hike you will see side trails and most of them lead to viewpoints. As you continue past the pond the trail continues to head downhill until you reach the viewpoint at the end of the hike. There are plenty of places to sit and take in the great views of the east end of The Gorge. We also saw quite a few deer while we were hiking, so keep your eyes peeled! This is an out and back hike, so head back the way you came.

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Before you leave make sure you head across the highway and take a look at Rowena Crest. You’ll get great views of The Gorge and the Highway 30 loops below!

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Distance: 2.5 miles

Elevation: 110 feet

Difficulty: Easy

Pet Friendly: No. Dogs are not allowed since this is a nature preserve.

Good For: All ages

Bathrooms: None

Parking Fee: No

Seasons: All

Popular: Yes

Overall: This is place is great year round, we love the Gorge views.