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Winter hike @ the Gorge and @ the coast

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Auburn, Washington
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Winter hike @ the Gorge and @ the coast

Hi - does anybody know if any of the trails @ the Columbia Gorge will be open or not during winter months? Will they be open at all?

Also, how does the coast (Cannon beach or Yachats) condition usually look like?

I will have maybe 4-5 extra vacation days plus the Christmas week. I plan to spend them either at the Gorge or at the coast.



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1. Re: Winter hike @ the Gorge and @ the coast

All hiking on the coast open year round. I would only be careful about Saddle Mt. the rest would be safe even in snow. It is the driving that might be ICY. Or mudslides (especially south of cannon beach).

The ocean is still very beautiful and I always suggest the coast, but am biased.

Most heavy hikers.. like MT hood or St. Helens and such go in the spring before the thaw, but avoid blizzards.

Longview, Washington
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for Mount Rainier National Park
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2. Re: Winter hike @ the Gorge and @ the coast

Hiking around the waterfall areas of the Columbia Gorge is generally open year round. They will occasionally get some snow or ice, but usually that occurs east of the Cascade Mts at Hood River and beyond.

Cannon Beach and Yachats will probably be raining, but hiking trails should be open and hiking along the beach is OK almost anytime.

Since you have 4-5 days, plus Christmas week, you probably would have time to visit some of both areas. Just pack your raingear and a good pair of waterproof hiking boots.

Eugene, Oregon
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for Eugene, Springfield
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3. Re: Winter hike @ the Gorge and @ the coast

There's always a good chance of rain. And many people book rooms overlooking the ocean to watch the winter storms roll in. But, on average, weather on the coast is usually better during the winter than it is in the Willamette Valley...which can be socked in with freezing fog...or just gray drizzle.

The hiking is good all along the central coast...from Newport down through the Reedsport dunes. Cape Perpetua (just a couple miles below Yachats) offers a few nice and interesting trails. The Washburne/China Creek Loops (which include the Hobbit Trail and even the Heceta Head lighthouse) offer a combination of forest and surf (but check your tide tables to be sure you don't try the beach part of this at high tide). Cape Mountain (trailhead just above the stables on the coast hwy north of Florence) gives a nice view of the coastline and some historic sites. Check out hiking guides by William L. Sullivan (www.oregonhiking.com). He has "100 Hikes" books by region, including "Oregon Coast and the Coast Range" and "Northwest Oregon." He's the guru of Oregon hiking and his hike descriptions and simple maps are indispensible.

You can also check out the Obsidians website at www.obsidians.org. We are a large outdoor organization with year-round activities. All trip leaders are required to file reports. We have them online going back to t he 1970s. Click on the "reports' section on the main page and you can read the reports of hikes taken on the dates you're going to be here. No guarantee the weather will be the same from year to year, but this ought to give you some indication.

I usually lead the Washburne/China Creek hike in January or February (if I can find a minus tide day). Check the Obsidians schedule later in the year (we're still on our summer schedule). If my trip coincides with your trip, we'd love to have you join us.

Portland, Oregon
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for Portland
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4. Re: Winter hike @ the Gorge and @ the coast

Everything is pretty much open but weather is unpredictable. If you head out to the Gorge hinterlands take a cell phone and provisions for an unexpected delay.

The beach is less risky but still cold and wet.

All that said, I do love camping and hiking in Oregon. I usually close it all off for the winter around the end of October and pick it up again in May.

Bend, Oregon
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for Bend
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5. Re: Winter hike @ the Gorge and @ the coast

I love the Oregon Coast during the winter, and go every January. Great storm watching and it's great to bundle up and walk near the ocean.

It can be very windy and cold so be sure to take layers if that's what you decide to do.

oregon city
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6. Re: Winter hike @ the Gorge and @ the coast

To add to Oregonpoppa's idea of checking out the Obsidians..

Try checking out the Mazamas- the Portland based hiking club(Im a member) they always have hikes out in the Gorge every weekend and a website with hiking trails, etc. http://www.mazamas.org/

My only suggestion is be prepared for whatever weather conditions you may find. Trails will be open, but use caution if it's icy, snowy, stormy, etc. Its fun to be in a hotel during a winter storm, its not fun to be in the woods during a winter storm.

BTW- just got back from Austin- what a fun town. :)

Auburn, Washington
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7. Re: Winter hike @ the Gorge and @ the coast

Thk you for all the replies/suggestions.

Yes chinookgrrrrl - Austin is real fun town. I moved to Nashville in Aug 2005 but missed it too much so I moved back in July 2006!

Oregon Coast
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for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
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8. Re: Winter hike @ the Gorge and @ the coast

The only thing I would add, since the Yachats/Cape Perpetua trails will be wet and muddy, and it most likely will be raining/storming, maybe try to link up with another hiker. This area is hit-n-miss for cell phone service ... mostly miss once you get around the Cape!

9. Re: Winter hike @ the Gorge and @ the coast

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