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Wind Mountain Trail [CLOSED]

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Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Wind Mountain Trail is a 2.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Carson, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 2.3 miles Elevation Gain: 1,138 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

rocky

closed

It has been reported this trail has a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information. From the parking area walk down the gravel road a shot ways till you reach the trailhead on the right. The trail head is not marked by the name of the hike but a sign warning against spreading seeds. This is a moderately steep hike with an average grade of 14%. The trail is not well maintained with plenty of fallen logs and some parts of the trail that partially slid out. However there is no risk of sliding down the hill, it is a safe hike. At the summit there are nice views of neighboring Dog Mountain and the town of Carson. There is a map located on top showing a small loop at the summit that shows the viewpoints. It's short distance to a great lookout makes this a great family destination, especially when one considers the history From the trailhead the trail should be easy to spot on the South side of the dirt road turnout. The trail almost immediately turns eastward as it gains elevation steadily for a quarter mile or so. Watch for a spur trail to the left just before the main trail turns southward. The spur decends sharply down to a to a great East-facing viewpoint. Leash pets and take little ones by the hand, as there are a few sharp drop-offs. Return to the main trail as it again starts climbing moderately steeply for the next mile or so. You will cross a talus slope a few times as the long sweeping switchbacks cross it. Eventually the trail levels out to a forest with a high canopy. You are nearing the summit at this point. Continue another 1/4 mile and you'll come across a large sign describing the cultural and historical significance of this mountain as a spirit quest site. The sign informs you that sections of the summit are closed to hikers: This archaelogical site is extremely fragile. Just walking over it will damage important cultural features. Therefore, the USDA Forest Service has closed the site to hikers. All visitors must stay on the trail or within designated areas shown on the map. It isn't long before you reach the summit. The summit does not have a 360 view, but you'll find the designated viewing areas afford you spectactular views to the East and to the West. Looking East you have a great perspective of Dog Mountain. To the south across the Columbia River you will see Mitchell Point. Following the horizon toward the East you see Mount Defiance, the highest mountain in the gorge. Looking West down the Columbia River you might spot Indian Point, a rock sphire along the Oregon side. On the Washingon side, due West you will be Table Mountain and Greenleaf Peak. On a clear day, look to your Northwest and spot Mount Saint Helens.

mountain biking
blowdown
27 days ago

1 month ago

This trail is CLOSED for COVID-19. The police are giving out tickets. (Class C misdemeanor. Up to $500 in fines or 90 days in jail) This is a very low traffic hike so I tired my luck, the cop was waiting for me when I came back to my car. He said they are doing it at ALL trailheads in Washington.

hiking
1 month ago

Trail is unmarked and closed due to COVID-19, even though in the National Forest.

hiking
2 months ago

Short and sweet pump and generally without the crowds. Me thinks poison ivy at the bottom where it merges with the road? Not typical habitat but something to keep an eye out for?!

hiking
blowdown
rocky
2 months ago

Trail is in good shape. There are three downed trees in various spots along the trail. There are several short, steep parts of the trail, followed by longer switchbacks of more normal steady climbing. A few talus fields cross the trail, they are short and stable. Be careful climbing on the loose rocks on the summit. (Would be easy to twist an ankle.) It was busy today, about 25 people on the summit. Weather was beautiful. (Plenty of space on the summit though to practice social distancing. :)

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

Great trail! Some icy areas and pretty muddy. Light foot traffic and awesome views!

hiking
blowdown
muddy
rocky
washed out
2 months ago

This is a nice little thigh burner. the pay off Is amazing and so worth it. some washout and blown down trees but nothing that makes the trail unusable... very very steep. spirit quest site for natives on part of the top of the mountain. Be respectful!

hiking
2 months ago

This is a good ‘training’ trail, to help get in shape for hiking season. Nice elevation gain & not too far. Took about 2 hours.

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

Great day for a hike! We had some blue skies which made for a great view of the gorge. Will definitely be back. Steep, rocky at times, muddy and wet towards the top.

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

rocky
4 months ago

Did this with my nephew and cousin today. It was an ad hoc Plan B hike, and I'm glad we went. There was very little mud, and the views when the cloud and fog cover blew through were solid. A little short, but you get a good workout in a short period of time.

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
4 months ago

Loved it. Was super icy and slippery so def not a good time to go w/o the right equipment but was super fun regardless! Amazing views at the top as well

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
4 months ago

perfect weather today. took us a while to get to the top, likely because of the snow. the veiw was beautiful!!! Was definitely windy lol

hiking
4 months ago

wish we had looked for the right trailhead; my impulsivehusband launched us onto the 1st visible "trail"which was probably an animal route, straight up, elevator style, hanging onto roots and branches to save our lives from falling. When we were almost at the top, my husband exclaimed, "I found the trail!" A beautiful view from top and descending the correct trail was refreshingly easy!

hiking
4 months ago

The trail starts super narrow, but widens our once you get around half way up. Definitely an incline the entire way. Amazing views at the top and beautiful lush forest at the bottom. Definitely recommend

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

Perfect trail for a quick but good workout. Getting to the trail was easy and didn’t require all wheel drive (I got there just fine in a small Toyota). Part of the trail is rocky so make sure you have good boots with ankle support. All in all, I would highly recommend this hike for it’s beautiful view at the top and it’s historical significance.

recorded Wind Mountain Trail

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

Wonderful hike today - super windy and chilly at 25 degrees. Path was solid dirt and stable. Little bit of snow on edges —— all good. View was a spectacular as always. Windy at view yet somewhat sheltered on path up as trees provided shelter.....

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