I was technically supposed to hike today with an IG contact but when that didn't pan out, the dogs and I headed out on our own anyway. It was so well worth it! Dog Mountain is a well-known and traveled Gorge hike that I had wanted to do last year, so it's been nice that the dogs and I have been able to pick off some of the hikes that are left over from last year's list!
Dog Mountain is about 7 miles round trip with a 2800ft elevation gain. You pretty much go uphill for 3.5 miles and then return down, although the dogs and I took the easier downhill route toward Auspberger's Mountain trail. (We debated going on to conquer that trail too but due to total timing we didn't.) Overall this hike had some parts that left us huffing and puffing but honestly it wasn't as much of a butt kicker as I expected. The views throughout this trail are so pretty however, as the Gorge is visible and/or the sun is shining through the trees most of the way. Definitely worth doing again! :)
Yes, we WILL take the "less difficult" trail!
First main viewpoint about 1.5 miles up.
After another mile, we climbed up a decent incline then rotated around and headed up the final part of the trail. Such amazing weather and views!
I think the dogs were mesmerized by the far away water!
At the top of Dog Mtn we ran into two other solo women hikers. Chatted with each of them for a bit and snapped a few pictures before heading back down trail.
After about a mile of decline, we kicked it into trail running time and jogged the rest of the 2.5 miles off the mountain. Altogether was a gorgeous incredible outing!
Since we still had another 1-2 hours to spare before I was to head back to meet up with a friend downtown, I decided to check out the final Historic Hwy 30 waterfall that the dogs and I hadn't explored yet. Horsetail Falls is visible from the road but after a few switchbacks you arrive at Ponytail Falls which you can walk behind. We carried on along the trail until we reached the bridge that crosses the Oenata Gorge and from there we turned around.
SO many people were out today on this gorgeous President's day and it was so great to see so many lil kiddos out with their parents on the trail today. Was definitely impressed by two of the guys I saw packing lil babes up the elevation gain also!
Altogether a really great day!
From behind Ponytail Falls