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North Lake via Wyeth Trail

based on 8 tracks & routes #15 hike out of 65 in
12.5 mi
Distance
5 hrs 32 min
Time
terrain
3,834 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

The Wyeth Trail to North Lake is a challenging hike in the Gorge region that takes you from the river level to a montane forest in just a few miles. The trail offers limited views of the Columbia River and Washington side, but primarily consists of a shady wooded area with lush old growth bench forest before reaching North Lake. For those looking for a longer hike, you can extend the outing by continuing to Rainy Lake and Green Point Mountain, or loop back to Herman Camp via the Gorge Trail.

Starting on an old road bed, the trail heads south under Douglas-firs and bigleaf maples until reaching the Gorge-Wyeth Trail Junction. From there, hikers can go left onto the Wyeth Trail #411. The trail passes through a scrubby area with oaks and ocean spray, crosses Harphan Creek, and gradually ascends through maples and Douglas-firs. Poison oak is present along the trail for a considerable distance. After four switchbacks, there is a small forested bench, and then the trail continues uphill. A spur trail leads to a rusting water tank as a relic of the forest's past.

The path meanders through the forest, offering occasional views of the Columbia River. Underneath the large Douglas-firs, the understory consists of hazel, vanilla leaf, bigleaf maple, vine maple, Oregon grape, and sword fern. The trail crosses streams, devil's club-choked creeks, and traverses boulder slopes, providing glimpses of the Wind River and Home Valley. As the trail enters the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness, silver and noble firs become more prevalent. After numerous switchbacks, hikers reach the Wyeth-Green Point Ridge Trail Junction.

From there, the trail descends through silver firs with a carpet of bear-grass and huckleberry. It passes talus slopes with eastern views, continues through lush woods with large Douglas-firs, noble firs, silver firs, and western hemlocks, and crosses Lindsey Creek. The rock dam at North Lake becomes visible, and upon reaching the Wyeth-North Lake Trail Junction, hikers can turn right to reach the lake and the rock dam.

Campsites can be found along the eastern shore of North Lake, and there are two tie trails leading back from the North Lake Trail to the Wyeth Trail. The Wyeth Trail extends for about three-quarters of a mile beyond North Lake to the Upper Mount Defiance Trailhead.

Getting Started

Drive I-84 east to Exit 51 for Wyeth. At the Stop sign after exiting, turn right and then right again onto Herman Creek Road.

Drive 0.2 miles, passing the entrance to the Wyeth Campground, and turn left into the large new parking area at the Wyeth Trailhead.



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