Hardy Ridge is one of the better hikes on the Washington side of the Columbia River and often overlooked by Dog Mountain devotees on a quest for yellow wildflowers. On the warmest day of 2018 (so far), our team of five hiked up Hardy in search of snow, adventure, and the perfect vista to sip an IPA.
The sky above the parking area was blue and clear as we started around 9am. The first mile through the trees brought occasional views of the Columbia to the south and the upper reaches of the ridge above us. We traveled at a brisk pace and quickly reached the start of switchbacks and snow.
The final mile to the summit was a beautiful slog with perfect weather as we post-holed our way in deep snow up the ridge. Mt. Hood watched over us from the Oregon side of the river, and eventually we caught glimpses of Mt. Adams and the top of Mt. Rainier to the north.
After enjoying a snack in a flat area out of the wind below the high point, we descended back down the trail and retraced our steps back to the car following the same path.
Overall, the day was 10: near flawless conditions, great company, and few other hikers. We didn’t encounter any other groups until after we reached the top. The snow slowed us down and presented a few navigation challenges, but added an element of adventure to the day. If you’re thinking of hitting the Gorge soon, consider Hardy Ridge.
Click here for more pictures from the hike.