Hardy Ridge is a 12.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Stevenson, WA that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is accessible year-round.
An off-the-beaten-path Gorge hike with good view or two.
great views and a good workout.
I would rate this moderate, but I'm old ;-) The first mile is a steady but pleasant incline. It's true there are no spectacular vistas, but I was out for fall color (there was some, will be better on a few weeks). The breeze/wind was delightful.
Want to see big views of Adams and Table Mountain, then look down on Hamilton while surveying the Gorge? I did too--but it was foggy. So instead I slogged in the rain.
Hardy Ridge is a lesser-known ridge and trail loop that can connect with Hamilton Mountain and is close to Beacon Rock. It has plenty of gain and distance, though a lot of the lower part is on old and wide 4x4/equestrian roads.
Treat it as a lasso/dog-leg loop, but add a 1mi out and back straight north to hit the summit (map in pics). Done this way, you'll get a couple thousand feet of mellow gain, at least 8mi, and a cool ridge to hike at the end. There's a little leg burn and some (brief) steep and rocky sections with poor footing, so you may want to leave Mee-Maw and Pop-Pops at home on this one. Fat Aunt Margaret can make it though, and so can little Timmy. Bring your rottweiler Mr. Pickles along too if you like--just don't let him bite anyone this time.
It's a decent hike. On a sunny day with a dash of wildflowers, it could even be more than decent.