Monday, April 10, 2017

Beautiful Catherine Creek

Exploring the Pacific Northwest

If you are visiting the Columbia River Gorge in the Spring, the Catherine Creek Trailhead is an excellent place to begin your wildflower viewing.  It is considered one of the premier spots to see early Spring blooms.

Catherine Creek is located on the north side of the Columbia River, just 5.9 miles east of Bingen, Washington.  Take Highway 14 to Old Highway 8, turn left, go around the small lake until you see the sign.  What is wonderful about this little gem of a spot is the easy one-mile trail south of the road.
Not only is it paved, making it wheelchair accessible, but there are interpretive signs along the way, identifying the blooms you might be seeing.  There aren't too many of these easy access trails in the Gorge, so I applaud the US Forest Service for providing this unique experience for the walking-impaired.

But, believe me, this place is so beautiful, even for hard-core hikers, it is a "must-see" destination.

Last Saturday we saw many people, young and old, walking the short trail.  They were either toting cameras or babies.  Loved it!  Because there are many benches scattered throughout, we also saw people with books.  What a nice way to spend a day--looking up now and then from the pages of a good novel to gasp at the view.

Although the wildflowers are the big draw, to me it was the phosphorescent green of the grass that makes this place so beautiful this time of year.  None of these photographs are enhanced.  There is no need.  


In this neck of the woods, however, a downpour can happen at any time and we barely ended our walk when the sky turned dark and we were assaulted with icy pellets of hail.  We had intended to hike the longer, more strenuous trail to Catherine Creek Arch on the north side of the road, but hightailed it to the shelter of our van instead.   We will keep that hike for another time.  Another day.

Stay Tuned.

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