Beacon Rock State Park
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Beacon Rock State Park

visited 27 March and 10 – 11 April 2021

Beacon Rock is so many parks in one: an iconic rock along the Columbia River, comfortable flatlands along the river, and a deep inventory of hiking trails. It took me three separate visits to feel like I had truly understood this park.

You might be tempted to start with the parts of the park that are easily accesible along the river and Highway 14. And you wouldn’t be disappointed.

From the former Doetsch Ranch property, you can see Beacon Rock itself and some of the nearby rivers as they approach the Columbia:

Trains make a big impression as they pass through the park:

I love this entrance sign to the park.

To stay near the river would be to miss some of the highlights of the back part of this park. There are many miles of hiking trails. If nothing else, you should take the time to climb up to The Saddle and Hamilton Mountain:

The trails near Rodney Falls can be, shall we say, a bit muddy.
A peek-a-boo view of Beacon Rock from the Hamilton Mountain trail.
A fellow hiker was flying a kite at The Saddle.

Ironically, the best view that I could find of Beacon Rock itself was from across the river in Oregon’s John B. Yeon State Park:

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