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Hardy and Rodney Falls, Hamilton Mountain, Hardy Ridge Connector, Hardy Creek

Apr 20, 2010

by Sunrise Creek last modified Apr 21, 2010 11:25 PM
Type of Outing
Day hike
Read More in our Hiking Guide
Hike: Bridge Trail - (Hardy Ridge Connector)
Region: South Cascades -- Columbia Gorge
Agency: Beacon Rock State Park
Trails: Hardy Ridge Connector (#)
Avg Rating: 2.33
Read More in our Hiking Guide
Hike: Hardy Creek
Region: South Cascades -- Columbia Gorge
Agency: Beacon Rock State Park
Trails: Hardy Creek (#)
Avg Rating: 2.00
Read More in our Hiking Guide
Hike: Hardy and Rodney Falls
Region: South Cascades -- Columbia Gorge
Agency: Washington State Parks
Avg Rating: 3.00
Read More in our Hiking Guide
Hike: Hamilton Mountain
Region: South Cascades -- Columbia Gorge
Agency: Beacon Rock State Park
Avg Rating: 4.33
Why You Should Go Now
Wildflowers blooming
Bleeding Hearts were at peak bloom in the bright forest under red alders just beginning to leaf out. Photo by Susan Saul
WTA has been building and maintaining trails at Beacon Rock State Park for years. This time, I got to hike the entire route without tools in my hands!

After dropping cars at the Hamilton Mountain trailhead, we began this through-hike at the equestrian trailhead. It is reached by turning onto Kueffler Road by the Beacon Rock State Park ranger station and driving 1.1 miles, then turning right onto a gravel road for .3 mile to a large parking area.

We walked 1.8 miles up the closed road to the second intersection and turned left, following the signs for Hardy Ridge Loop. We walked another 1.3 miles to the unsigned start of the Hardy Ridge Connector Trail, which still is under construction.

Once on the Hardy Ridge Connector, we encountered various stages of trail construction as we descended to the bridge over Hardy Creek at about one mile. We crossed over and gained the fire road on the east side of the creek.

Following the road downstream for a mile or so, we came to the junction with the Hardy Creek Trail. The picnic table at this junction beside rushing Hardy Creek was our lunch stop.

We then hiked the Hardy Creek Trail for 1.1 miles to the junction with the Hamilton Mountain Trail. From there, it was 1.5 miles to the trailhead, passing Rodney Falls as we crossed Hardy Creek again on another foot bridge.

The complete hike is about 7.7 miles and 1,600 feet of elevation gain. Mid-April to mid-May is the prime time for wildflowers at Beacon Rock State Park. Many species of flowers bloom on the sunny forest floor beneath red alder trees that are only beginning to leaf out. Up on the summits of Beacon Rock and Hardy Ridge, large mats of spreading phlox will bloom around Mother's Day.
Trillium. Photo by Susan Saul
Smooth Yellow Violets carpeted the forest floor. Photo by Susan Saul
Salmonberry flowers attracted hummingbirds to the Hardy Creek Trail. Photo by Susan Saul
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