Devil’s Rest hike

The Devil Can Wait

“Make me pancakes.”

That’s how my Sunday morning started. Lazing in bed, not really feeling motivated to get up, even though we were planning on going hiking. I told Michael to make ME pancakes. And this went back and forth for a bit. Finally, we agreed that I’d mix everything and he’d make the pancakes. Works for me. 🙂

After breakfast we headed to The Gorge for a hike. The plan was to do Devil’s Rest via Wahkeena Falls. I’ve done Devil’s Rest once, by myself, and it was strenuous. I remember being crippled for days afterward. But that was also several pounds and several years ago, so I figured I was in shape enough to do it.

We ate our sandwiches in the car on the way to the site. It was a muggy, overcast day in Oregon but there were still a ton of hikers out on Sunday. Wahkeena Falls is a lovely, very steep, hike in the cluster of trails near Multnomah Falls. In fact, the cluster of hikes all connect to each other and you could start at one end and do them all. Wahkeena is nice because the waterfalls are all over the trail, including at the trailhead.

The first mile or so of the hike is paved switchbacks and it’s a heart-thumper. My heart rate spiked up to 150 or so (usually what my heart rate is when I run!) but it leveled out at a normal number after we got to the first summit.

The trail then turns into a dirt path with lots of rocks and tree roots. I would suggest wearing hiking boots with ankle support for this hike. As the path wound through the forest, there were several bubbling creeks, beautiful waterfalls and gorgeous views. The many scenic spots to stop make the difficult hike worth it.

There was a part of the trail where the path turned muddy and it looked like there was a recent landslide that washed out part of the trail. It was sketchy and a bit scary because I had to grip the muddy wall and be very careful with sure-footing to get passed the washout. The below picture is of the washed out trail. It’s hard to tell, but we had to pick up the trail just over the mound of mud. Scary.

This time of year the wildflowers are starting to pop up and I got some really great shots of the beautiful flowers. There was one in particular that was half blue and half purple. It was really neat looking. I wish I knew what these were. I’ve always envied the people that can look at flowers or plants and be able to identify them.

There were lots of dogs on the trail and I had to stop to pet and swoon over all of them! We’re getting closer to getting a puppy of our own and it’s kind of like baby fever–every dog I see I think “awww! Puppy!”.

The trail is very uphill for most of it, then the crowds thin out and there are less hikers the harder it gets. The trail eventually levels out and the path softens into the dirt and bed of pine needles in the old growth forest.

Then we came to a crossroads.

We could turn right to Angel’s Rest, or go straight to Larch Mountain, Multnomah Falls, or Devil’s Rest. We continued on to Devil’s Rest. The path started going uphill again and we reached another summit with another crossroads. I sat down on a rock to drink some water, rest my feet and make a decision. The trees dwarfing us were spooky and reminded me of the TV show “Twin Peaks” for some reason.

By this point we had been hiking for 1.5 hours. Michael and I had a decision to make. Continue up the even more strenuous trail to the Devil’s Rest summit–the very tip top–or take the flat trail to Larch Mountain.

Even though Devil’s Rest had been our goal, we both agreed that we’d be sore the next day from Wahkeena’s ascent and Devil’s Rest would probably just cripple us. So Larch Mountain it was. We walked for another twenty minutes or so before turning around to go back to the car. The path to Larch Mountain and Multnomah Falls was beautiful and fairly gentle. I definitely recommend it to other hikers.

The way back down the trail was almost harder than the climb up! It was so steep that I was leaning backwards to balance out my body weight as I climbed down. I just knew my quads were gonna feel it the next day! I stopped to take a few photos that we missed on the climb up.

We stopped to rest just after the first big waterfall. We ate our pickles and drank some water, and then continued back down to the car. I was a sweaty mess and dying for a super hot shower.

What’s with Grumpers-McGee?! I have no idea why he was making a face. 😛

Stats:
Time: 2:31
Calories Burned: 787
Distance: 5-7 miles?

We got home and fixed dinner: grilling BBQ chicken, corn on the cob and salads. My spinach salad had broccoli, strawberries and gorgonzola cheese on it.

Michael and I may have been sporty matching compression tights for dinner…anything to prevent soreness…but sorry, no pictures of us in our spandex. Dinner hit the spot and it was nice to just sit on the deck with a cold beer and relax after a strenuous workout.

What a great hike! The Devil will still be there next time, and hopefully we can tackle it.

QUESTION: What’s the longest and/or hardest hike you’ve been on? 

Independence Day Hike

Our plans for the 4th of July were pretty low-key. I met my friend Robyn at the gym to do a workout Monday morning. I did a quickie 15 minute warm up jog on the treadmill (my bruised butt hurt from Sunday’s fall!) and then Robyn and I focused on upper body weights and abs. It was a really good workout after a very active weekend.

Gym Stats:
Time: 1:18
Calories Burned: 506


After the workout Robyn and I went to Panera Bread for lunch. I like Panera because their calorie information is readily available and everything is pretty low in calories! I ordered a cup of the French Onion Soup (250 calories) and half a ham and swiss sandwich (290 calories).


It was delicious and filling. Then Michael and I decided to go for a hike. It was 82 degrees, sunny and gorgeous out. We drove out to The Gorge to do Wahkeena Falls.


The Gorge was incredibly crowded–which was to be expected on such a nice day and a holiday. Wahkeena Falls connects to Multnomah Falls. It’s a very strenuous, uphill hike. The first half mile of switchbacks are steep but paved. I think that lures non-hikers into a sense that they can do the hike easily. It’s not an easy hike at all.


Our goal was to hike Wahkeena Falls to Larch Mountain. I’ve always wanted to do Larch Mountain but have never made it. One way is to hike up Multnomah Falls and then it connects to Larch Mountain at the top. All the times I’ve tried to do that I always had to turn around once I got to the top. Either I was tired, or the person I was with couldn’t do more.


After the Falls the trail is no longer paved. It turns into a very rocky, dirt trail that is just as steep as Multnomah Falls.


I personally think Wahkeena Falls is nicer than Multnomah Falls. You can get a lot closer to the actual falls on this hike and it’s less crowded.

The other great thing about Wahkeena Falls Trail is that you’re hiking alongside a lot of waterfalls. There is always something pretty to look at for most of this hike.


Most of this hike is covered under trees and shade. It was about 10 degrees cooler than Portland but it felt really nice! 75 degrees is a good hiking temperature when you’re in the shade. I was wearing my new UnderArmor boy shorts underwear and it worked great! It wicked all the moisture and kept me cool. I also wore a wicking workout shirt. Another brilliant idea on my part. We stopped for protein bars and G2 half way up the steep hike.


The hike was quiet and lovely. But there were a few other people on the trail (it always baffles me how people can do such strenuous, rocky, steep hikes in flip flops!).


There were a lot of waterfalls along the creek. It was a nice hike up the mountain. Eventually the trail left the steep switchbacks and headed into the old growth forest.


The path was shaded and less rocky. The ground was softer too. The trail leveled out for about half a mile. Doesn’t Michael look great? He’s down 16 pounds from the Four Hour Body Diet! I am so proud of his hard work.

Then we got to an opening in the forest with a bunch of other paths and signs. I’ve done this hike once before by myself. The last time I continued on to Devil’s Rest Hike which is even steeper but it’s very desolate. Not many hikers were on the path that far out. The views are nice from the peak of Devil’s Rest. We planned on checking out either Larch Mountain or Devil’s Rest but it was getting late in the day so we decided to turn back after hiking 3 miles.


We stopped to rest for a few minutes. Then we had a decision to make: go back the way we came or take the Vista Point loop back to the Wahkeena Trail.


Vista Point Trail is how I went the last time I did the hike and it was an even steeper descent than the regular Wahkeena Trail. I opted to return the way we came.


The descent back down the trail was a HARD one! I know my quads will be screaming after that. It was a nice, cool hike down the trail. We were stopped a few times by different hikers asking how far it was to the top. Sadly, they weren’t happy when we told them there was no top and the trail never really ended! Some people chose to turn around, which is too bad because there are so many nice things to see further up the trail!


The hike was fantastic! The weather was perfect, our bodies held up (miraculous after biking 38 miles!) and I was glad we got to enjoy the nice weather on the holiday.

Hike Stats:
Time: 2:19
Calories Burned: 693
Distance: 6 miles


Dinner after the hike: grillin’ up bratwursts, zucchini, drinkin’ a beer and enjoying some ice cream. A great way to end a three day weekend if you ask me!

QUESTION: What’s the longest (or hardest) hike you’ve done?