Hardy Ridge

MODERATE 69 reviews

Hardy Ridge is a 8.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Saint Cloud, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
8.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,227 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

An off-the-beaten-path Gorge hike with good view or two.

1 month ago

Great hike when you don’t have all day. Beautiful views at the ridge if it’s a clear day. Today was not clear so I’ll be back. Well maintained and easy to follow. There are several cross trails so make sure you have a good map to guide you.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked on a partly sunny 70 degree day in June with my dog (50 pounder). Unlike a lot of the other gorge trails, this one was not as busy on an ideal day to hike; saw less than 10 people. If you don’t have one already you can buy a state park pass at the ranger station which is less than five minutes from the trailhead. The rangers do check for the passes in the parking lot and did so when I returned, so don’t press your luck without one.

As others have said the equestrian trail provides a different dynamic for the ascent and descent, with both offering a more or less continuous slope with relatively few breaks in between. Once on the foot trail the challenge gets more pronounced and it is a good workout, particularly if you do the loop in a clockwise fashion. Overall the trail was in great shape; only a few downed trees or rocks to contend with. The top 300 feet or so is lined with wildflowers. The signage at the top is a bit confusing, but a five minute walk to the top of the slope rewards one with a beautiful view of Mount Hood, Mount Adams, and a huge area of the gorge from Hood River to Crown Point with Bonneville Dam directly below.

With the Oregon side still in recovery after the fire, this trail definitely fit the bill for a quality day hike in the gorge; one that got your heart beating and rewarded you with a lovely view.

1 month ago

So gorgeous with an easier hike than Hamilton and better views at the top. A good five miles of this hike is on equestrian trails which bothered me more than I thought it would. However once you get on the actual trail it’s truly gorgeous. The incline is pretty steady which makes it super doable. Very easy to get to and so close to Portland!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike on a lovely day!

trail running
1 month ago

Really good trail for running. The uphill (counter clockwise) is steady and long but good trail conditions. Amazing views from the top and the way back down through the single tracks is really fun. To explode through. Only a couple sections to watch your ankles on.

hiking
2 months ago

A good place to have an apple, some crusty bread and a hunk of aged white cheddar.

hiking
2 months ago

Good quiet trail for a different view. As others mentioned, the way up is uphill all the way (although the trail is in good condition), and gets steeper the closer you are to the top. You'll want some good directions as there are several junctions to navigate (although the signage is pretty good - look for "Hardy Ridge" on the way up, and "Equestrian Trailhead" on the way down).

Most of the hike is on wide dirt/rock paths (abandoned roads, I think) through dense forest and while it's pleasant enough, to be honest it gets a little monotonous after a while since this is a longer hike, especially on the way down. On the plus side, there's an insane variety of wildflowers to see, all along the path in spring & summer (as in... right now!)

There are few views until you get to the ridge itself - but if you have the energy, make your way up the full summit. There's an unsigned path heading upwards from the top of the "official" Hardy Ridge trail. It's a bit rough and tumble, with some steep-ish ups & downs, but there's a very nice viewpoint on the way even if you don't make it to the final summit. Worth checking out at least once!

hiking
2 months ago

Such a beautiful hike. A little over 3 miles in you get a peak of the view. Along the way the wildflowers are in full bloom and the smell is heavenly. I wasn’t expecting the switchbacks to kick my butt like they did and my dogs were dragging after just the 3.5 mile mark (climbed about 120 flights of stairs!). We turned around but we will return (should have just looped around after reading the other reviews). It was the weekend on a beautiful day, but was more busy than expected, due to being rated lightly trafficked, and lots of off leash dogs. I’d probably return during the weekday and start early.

hiking
2 months ago

This was an unexpectedly beautiful hike. At the entrance there was a pay station because I believe you have to have a discovery pass, but I’m not sure if you just need it to stay over night. I’ll be looking into that. When you make your way up from the parking lot, there are three different paths/trails to take. I took the Hardy Ridge trail and didn’t document how long it was until I turned around because it was really long with lots of switchbacks. I basically made it to a place where there was a gorgeous view of the Columbia River. This truly is a beautiful hike, even if you don’t finish the whole thing! Conditions are perfect right now.

hiking
5 months ago

Definite do again hike when we have better visibility!! Make sure to do the out and back at the top, that’s the ridge line!! I saw lots of maps that skipped it. Pretty muddy right now but still a fantastic hike!

hiking
5 months ago

Super wet day which made the Ridge very brisk and breezy! Gorgeous views throughout the whole hike. Would definitely pick this over Hamilton Mtn! Can’t wait to go back again in summer time.

hiking
6 months ago

I went up this trail for the first time today. At the fork I went left and up the West Hardy Ridge trail. Essentially the trail summits at a ridge, and then descends on the East side, so you can return using the East Hardy Ridge trail. There was a bit of snow up there today so I decided to return the same way I came up. Overall, much of the hike is on a wide equestrian trail except the final part that takes you over switchbacks up to the top of the ridge. Other posters have mentioned this, but I believe the “loop” as in walking the East and west trails back to the parking lot of closer to 7.5 miles, not 12. I think if you include the upper Hardy Ridge trail you could get to that mileage.

7 months ago

Not a great hike for a rainy day but will be back on a better day.

7 months ago

Great hike. We hiked the west loop and it is 7.2 miles (the 12 mile hike probably includes the east loop as well). It is a hike up to the top of the ridge on one side and down on the other side. We did it clockwise (south side facing the Columbia river first) and the incline is steep in the last half mile going up. It was 3.4 mi going up and 3.8 mi down. We did it the day after thanksgivings and the temperature was perfect (low 50s). My wife is not a hard core hiker and we did it at her pace in 3h 14 min (1.9 mi/h going up, 2.4 mi/h total avg. Very enjoyable trail!

hiking
8 months ago

First time checking this trail out. Didn't know what to expect and was pleasantly surprised how nice it was. If you just do the Hardy Loop it's closer to 7.5 miles than the listed 12. A bit of a climb in the beginning but not too bad. Awesome Fall colors out right now. The viewpoint offers a great view of the Columbia River. It was a beautiful clear day and you could see Mt. Hood as well as Mt. Adams peaking out over the lower mountains. In total taking the Hardy Ridge Loop and the extra bridge loop took my group about 4.5 hrs.

hiking
8 months ago

Access by turning north on Kueffler Rd off Hwy 14 just in front of the Beccon Rock State Park Ranger Station. One mile up there is an entrance labeled "Equestrian Access", follow that dirt/gravel road for .25 miles to parking lot. Trail entrance is at the road gate.
Nice hike, first two miles I hiked were on a decommissioned old access road, gravel and then layered with pine needles. Beautiful fall colors this time of year, plenty of leaves and fallen branches from recent storms. About 1.2mi up the road the trail branches off into the west Hardy Ridge Trail, lower Hardy Ridge trail or a trail that leads to the Hamilton Mountain trail. I took the west side for he views but hard to see the views through the trees. Not complaining though, I wouldn't want anyone to cut down trees so we can see more views of the gorge. There are plenty of other hikes in the area that offer that. This trail is a nice hike with good elevation gain, away from the freeway and railroad noise. Saw lots of wildlife and for two hours I was the only one up there on a sunny Monday morning. Will definitely do it again! I only hiked in 2.5miles so there's lots more to see!

trail running
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Trail ran this starting from the east side and descended on the west side. 75% of the trail is equestrian and rocky, not much of a view until trail narrows at the top but good for a training elevation gain run. Very quiet, only car in parking lot on a Tuesday. Glad I did it but probably won't again.

trail running
Thursday, May 11, 2017

Great trail! The ridge is gorgeous with much less traffic than Hamilton Mountain. FYI This loop as mapped is only about 8 miles.

hiking
Monday, May 01, 2017

This trail has a great view at the top on a clear day. Getting to the top for me was nice but mostly walking through trees with very little view.

Did this trail again in April before the trees got all their leaves and could see the views more along the way. Plus in April there was wild flowers which were fun to see.

hiking
Sunday, March 20, 2016

great views and a good workout.

hiking
Wednesday, September 30, 2015

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.

hiking
Sunday, March 22, 2015

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.

recorded Hardy Ridge

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