This forum is used to share your experiences out on the trails.
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My hiking is always motivated by a desire for views and, at this time of year, minmum contact with old, crappy snow. So, despite having done it a bunch this year, I headed for Dog, where the views were glorious on this sunny spring day.However, the poison oak was growing lush, fast, and furious on the lower trail, so I'd be wary of venturing off the trail (or letting your dog wander off) below the first trail junction. The balsamroot wasn't out yet, but several other flowers and plants were active. After reaching Dog and its views, I was planning on just doing the usual loop back to the parking lot. However, when I got to the junction with the Augsperger (or Augspurger on some maps) Trail, I decided it would be something new to hike up to the second viewpoint on the Augsperger trail - where the trees and open ground intersect at the top of the peak in this view: From the junction, the Augsperger trail drops 300', crosses a saddle, and climbs briefly to a junction with a road. You go right on that road and then straight under the powerlines to a junction with a continuation of the trail. The trail heads north (and is less well maintained) and then makes a hair-pin turn south at about 2800'. I almost lost the trail in snow here but was able to pick it up as it climbed up and south until it reached an open area before turning north again just before reaching the viewpoint - from where you can see the summit of Dog about 2 miles away, and also the summits of Hood and Defiance. Getting to this viewpoint adds about 3.5 miles and 1400' gain to a Dog Mtn hike (including the 300' climb back up to the trail junction) - but was well worth it for the unique views and reason (as if I needed one) to spend more time hiking.