Safe rainy day hikes

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azimuth
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Safe rainy day hikes

Post by azimuth » October 16th, 2019, 2:49 pm

Newbie to hiking. Since Oct 1 have made only 3 hikes: Hamilton Mtn, Mult Falls-Wahkeena Loop, Cape Horn Upper and Lower loops. All on beautiful sunny days. I'd like to try some hikes even in rain but concerned about safety, especially slipping on rocks, mud when ascending/descending trails. I'd like to try Larch Mtn Crater Loop which sounds interesting. Can someone recommend good rainy day hikes in Columbia River gorge that tend to be safer on slippery raining days? Thanks in advance.

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Bosterson
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Re: Safe rainy day hikes

Post by Bosterson » October 16th, 2019, 3:00 pm

Welcome to the forum! You will best know your own ability to walk on uneven or slippery surfaces, but in general I would say that there are no official Gorge trails I would consider "unsafe" in rainy conditions. Mud can happen everywhere. If it's very wet, maybe stay away from cliff edges. The biggest concern may be staying out of the heavily burned areas during big storms, in case wind were to knock dead trees over. Larch Mountain crater is a fine rainy day hike, though note that in early November they will close the winter gate on Larch Mountain Rd and you will have to walk in on the fire road rather than parking up at Sherrard, which will add a couple of miles.
Will hike off trail for fun.

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retired jerry
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Re: Safe rainy day hikes

Post by retired jerry » October 16th, 2019, 3:06 pm

east end of gorge tends to be drier

e.g. Dog Mt, Catherine Creek, Deschutes River

welcome

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jdemott
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Re: Safe rainy day hikes

Post by jdemott » October 16th, 2019, 3:46 pm

A good pair of boots can help you feel more confident on slippery surfaces. Even better is a set of hiking poles. Mostly just pay attention to your footing. As with anything in hiking, if something feels unsafe don't do it.

As Bosterson said, the bigger concern is avoiding the recently burned areas when there is a lot of wind and rain because the unstable conditions can result in falling trees and rockslides.

If you can drive a little farther, you will often find drier, and even sunnier(!), conditions as you get close to Hood River and points east. The Field Guide has many nice hikes in that part of the gorge. Klickitat River and Deschutes River trails are relatively flat so almost no risk of slipping.

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adamschneider
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Re: Safe rainy day hikes

Post by adamschneider » October 16th, 2019, 4:33 pm

retired jerry wrote:
October 16th, 2019, 3:06 pm
Dog Mt
Except the middle part of the Dog Mountain Trail has some pretty steep sections that are no fun when muddy.

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jessbee
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Re: Safe rainy day hikes

Post by jessbee » October 16th, 2019, 5:34 pm

I'll second the recommendation for using hiking poles and making sure you've got good footwear.

If you're not confident on slippery ground, I'd also avoid trails with long rocky sections like Table Mt. Only us weirdos think that kind of thing is fun in the rain :lol:

Use your judgment and you'll build up your comfort with hiking in the rain over time. Then seek out places with waterfalls, like Silver Falls state park, which are extra amazing in the rain.
Will break trail for beer.

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azimuth
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Re: Safe rainy day hikes

Post by azimuth » October 16th, 2019, 5:58 pm

Thank you to all for the great advice, perspectives and encouragement. I do have new boots (broken in now and very comfortable) and trekking poles I've found very useful. This is a great forum and website!

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kepPNW
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Re: Safe rainy day hikes

Post by kepPNW » October 17th, 2019, 12:10 pm

One particular hazard I didn't see mentioned is fallen logs. They can be difficult nearly anytime, but often become quite slippery when wet. I think I've had more slips and slides going over/under/around those than any other rainy-day obstacle. Always figured the day I get stranded, out solo, would be due to not taking them cautiously enough.
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azimuth
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Re: Safe rainy day hikes

Post by azimuth » October 20th, 2019, 5:17 pm

Thanks kepPNW...that's good to know. So far most of the trails I've been on haven't had many fallen logs. Appreciate the advice. ;)

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