Central Oregon's Smith Rock is one our favorite places to visit in the whole State.…
Beacon Rock State Park is a geologic preserve and public recreation area on Route 14 in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area in Skamania County, Washington, The park takes its name from Beacon Rock, an 848-foot (258 m) basalt volcanic plug on the north shore of the Columbia River 32 miles east of Vancouver. On October 31, 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived here and first measured tides on the river, indicating that they were nearing the ocean.
We decided to check out Beacon Rock on Thanksgiving morning and the weather was typical North West Winter – cold and damp, although we did manage to dodge the rain showers. The Rock basically goes straight up 850 feet and reminds me a bit of Devils Tower in Wyoming. The path essentially winds it ways up the side of the rock on a series of switchbacks. Much of these paths are naturally carved in the rock face but at some points, these are augmented by some walkways. For those who are familiar with Harry Potter, these walkways reminded me a bit of the moving stairs at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, except these were firmly attached to the basalt rock not suspended by magic. The climb to the top is not too onerous but takes about 20 to 30 minutes and the view, even on this drab day were well worth the effort. The nice thing about the miserable weather and this being Thanksgiving Day there was hardly anybody else taking the walk to the top.
Climbing to the top of Beacon Rock on this cold, breezy day certainly blew out the cobwebs and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit. So, if you find yourself passing down the Colombia River we can strongly recommend checking out Beacon Rock.