Tom McCall Point─Legendary Columbia River Gorge Wildflower Display

Quick Facts:

Location: Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Land Agency: Oregon Nature Conservancy and Mayer State

Roundtrip: 3.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet

Notes: Dogs prohibited; Trail closed from Nov 1 through Apr 30 to limit tread damage. Practice Leave No Trace Principles

Green Trails Map: Columbia River Gorge East No. 432S

Contact: Oregon Nature Conservancy; The Dalles Office (541) 298-1802; www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/oregon

More information: Day Hiking Columbia River Gorge (The Mountaineers Books)

Access: From Portland follow I-84 east to Mosier Exit 69. Then continue east on US 30 (Historic Columbia Highway) for 6.6 miles to the Rowena Crest Viewpoint and trailhead.

Good to Know: kid-friendly, exceptional wildflowers, sprawling views, exceptional bird-watching

A Nature Conservancy preserve named after an Oregon conservation champion, more than 200 species of plants thrive here including several endemic only to the Columbia River Gorge. The McCall Preserve is legendary among wildflower aficionados. From spring throughout summer, wildflowers carpet the peak’s open slopes, accent its abrupt ridges, and decorate its oak and pine groves in a multitude of brilliant colors. Birders too will delight here. The preserve is home to western meadowlarks, canyon wrens and horned larks.

Follow a well trodden trail across the edge of basalt cliffs coming to an old road at the base of a talus slope. Turn left here skirting talus and then climbing onto an upper plateau that explodes with blossoms in the spring. Lupine and balsamroot dominate, streaking the countryside in purple and gold. Continue climbing—and continuing awing at the amazing arrangement of wildflowers—grass widows, prairie stars, shooting stars, Indian Paintbrush, Oregon sunshine—the list goes on!

The trail does a short stint along a steep ridgeline before weaving back across sun-kissed grassy slopes. Continue climbing some more—eventually cresting the round grassy summit of McCall Point. Then soak up as much sun and scenic splendor that your little heart desires. Look east to the Columbia Hills, west to Mount Defiance king of the gorge, north to massive Mount Adams, and south to iconic Mount Hood.

For more information on this hike and 99 others on both side of the Columbia River Gorge, pick up a copy of Day Hiking Columbia River Gorge.

For great information on where to play and stay in the Columbia River Gorge, Consult !

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