Mosier Creek Falls/The Dalles Riverfront

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Mosier Creek Falls/The Dalles Riverfront

Post by bobcat » March 11th, 2013, 6:28 pm

On Saturday, my wife and I did a lazy day trip out to the east Gorge just to soak in some sunshine and explore some not-so-wild, but geologically intriguing features. First stop was Mosier, where we parked across the 1920 road bridge and took the short trail above the canyon to the pioneer cemetery. A few of the Mosiers are interred here. The trail leads along above the canyon to Mosier Creek Falls, a popular summer swimming hole, but deserted on this day. There are views across to Coyote Wall, part of the Bingen Anticline, and we were walking above the lowest point of the Mosier Syncline (The synclines and anticlines of the central Gorge were a result of folding/faulting during the five million years or so of 21 successive basalt “floods” that formed the major strata that we see in the Gorge today). The bloom is on and my count reached double digits – even a balsamroot sprouting petals on the hillside.
Mosier Creek Bridge, Mosier.jpg
Grass widow (Olsynium douglasii), Mosier Creek Falls.jpg
Columbia Gorge desert parsley (Lomatium columbianum), Mosier Creek Falls.jpg
Pioneer cemetery, Mosier.jpg
Yellow bells (Fritillaria pudica), Mosier Creek.jpg
Mosier Creek Falls, Mosier Creek.jpg
Early balsamroot, Mosier Creek.jpg
We drove on to The Dalles and had lunch at the Clock Tower. Then we went over to the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and (this is cheating) rode our bikes along the Riverfront Trail as far as Riverfront Park, about 12 miles round-trip with plenty of stops. The first part of this paved trail winds around the scablands scoured by the Bretz floods, passing between the Columbia and the Taylor Lakes, a popular fishing hole for locals. If you factor out the powerlines, the din from I-84, and the sprawling industrial area of the Port of The Dalles (no mean accomplishment), then you can imagine tepees pitched among the basalt rims and hollows, preoccupied fishermen dipping for salmon, with a stiff breeze and a wide sky. There are views across to the scablands on the Washington side as well as the Columbia Hills, known geologically as the Ortley Anticline. On the Oregon side, Crate’s Point looms above as an extension of the anticline.
Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles.jpg
Pungent desert parsley (Lomatium grayi), Riverfront Trail, The Dalles.jpg
Basalt columns, Riverfront Trail, The Dalles.jpg
View to the Columbia Hills (Ortley Anticline) and Rocky Island, from the Riverfront Trail, The Dalles.jpg
Fishing platform, Riverfront Trail, The Dalles.jpg
The trail dips in to cross Chenoweth Creek and then skirts the industrial area, before turning in to River Road. Most of the trail from here is a widened sidewalk, yet to be fully completed, that ends up squeezed in between I-84 and the river. We passed the “Rock Fort”, an elevated natural bastion where Lewis and Clark camped upon rumors of an Indian attack (The rumors were unfounded). Riverfront Park itself is closed to protect wildlife from November 1st to Memorial Day, so the easternmost section of the trail, which stretches as far as The Dalles Dam, cannot be reached directly from the west at this time.
Rock Fort Campsite, Riverfront Trail, The Dalles.jpg
View to the town of Murdock and the Columbia Hills from the Riverfront Trail, The Dalles.jpg
If you were doing a family hike on this trail, and were sticking to areas more natural, it’s 3.2 miles from the Discovery Center to the restrooms and trailhead at Klindts Cove.

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Re: Mosier Creek Falls/The Dalles Riverfront

Post by BrianEdwards » March 11th, 2013, 6:47 pm

Great choice for a leisurely spent day. Been a dry winter if Mosier Falls looks like that!
Clackamas River Waterfall Project - 95 Documented, 18 to go.

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Re: Mosier Creek Falls/The Dalles Riverfront

Post by maeganj » February 22nd, 2016, 11:44 am

Hi -

Friends of the Columbia Gorge is updating its website and we really like this photo of yours on this trip report: download/file.php?id=40171&mode=view. Can we get the original or have permission to use your photo to add to this webpage: ... ont-trail/. We need a high rez photo, 1200 x 433. Can you please email me at [email protected]?

Thank you!

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