A hike up Beacon Rock


I'm not normally a "hiking" person - someone who I imagine to be really fit and doesn't mind eating those dehydrated food packets from REI - but more and more I want to get out and see some of the beautiful places that I live so close to. So, in that spirit, I convinced my boyfriend Harry to get up at the crack of dawn and drive about an hour out of Portland to Beacon Rock State Park. 

We had some trouble the last time we tried to go out for a hike, as so much of the Gorge is closed off from last summer's fire. We almost ended up on one of the toughest hikes by pure accident! So this time I did some research to make sure we could handle it. After a brief panic moment where neither of us had cash and ended up missing the credit card pay station altogether so we drove into the next town to buy a 1-day pass from a gas station, we FINALLY got started on our hike up Beacon Rock. 

For those curious, it literally is a hike up a big rock. They have pathways with railings that switchback all the way up, which was nice, but even so, it wasn't such an easy climb! One of the big highlights for me was seeing peregrine falcons flying below us, which like to nest in the rockface. I was kind of obsessed with peregrine falcons as a kid after reading My Side of the Mountain and interpreting it as a real lifestyle choice. Watching them soar above the forest but below us on the rock trail was surreal. 

The views from Beacon Rock are incredible and well worth the climb. Reaching the top was a little anti-climactic, however. We expected there to be more room at the top to really take in the view, but it was a tiny little point with some craggy rocks and a little board talking about floodplains or something. There was also quite a few socialized squirrels who were clearly living off of treats from hikers. 

Ultimately I was just happy to be out in nature, breathing some fresh air instead of laying on my couch, which is what I'm usually doing. 

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