||1.8 miles round-trip
||N: 45° 37' 40"
W: 122° 01' 10"
Beacon Rock Photos
To Reach (From
Cross the I-205
(Glenn Jackson) bridge, taking SR-14 eastbound to Camas. Follow
SR-14 past Washougal, and the vistas of Cape Horn for 28.6 miles.
You'll see Beacon Rock State Park, with the Hamilton Mountain parking
area on the left and the Beacon Rock parking area on the right.
It will be pretty obvious that you've reached the right place, when you
see the 848-foot monolith towering above you.
Built in 1915
Henry Biddle, the Beacon Rock trail goes through 47 switchbacks and
countless catwalk bridges en route to the views atop the largest basalt
monolith in the world. Hordes of people (and kids) climb this
trail during the summer months, as it has become a bit of a tourist attraction.
The trail is carved into the rock, and connected by bridges, with handrails
along its entirety.
To start, walk
150 feet or so along the road from the parking area to the sign marking
the trailhead. Follow the obvious, touristy trail to the top, where
vistas extend from Bonneville Dam to Crown Point. The 600-foot elevation
gain makes this short trail of less than a mile fairly steep, but should
still be do-able for people of all ages. Don't be startled if you
see a stray rock climber pop up from the edge of the trail!
This trail has
a special place for me, as I spent part of my childhood growing up on
Ranch (now a wildlife preserve), at the foot of Beacon Rock.
My dad used to rock climb it daily, and my mom would hike up and down
with me on her back nearly every day. I took numerous school field
trips here, and also many hiking trips here throughout my early childhood.
Sandra and I
last went up in 1995, our first year together, before we were married.
The trail is short, easy, and offers nice views at the top. If you're
just passing by, or Hamilton Mountain just wasn't quite enough, this is
a nice way to spend a couple of hours. The narrow trail gets quite
crowded, though, so be prepared! The wind always blows here, so
be sure to bring a jacket, and long pants are recommended! Click
on the link below to view our photo gallery.
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