FEBRUARY

The suspension bridge at Eagle-Fern Park.

Grass widows at Coyote Wall.

One of the Klickitat Mineral Springs.

  1. Oceanside Beaches and Cape Meares

  2. Soapstone Lake

  3. Nehalem Spit

  4. Council Crest

  5. Oaks Bottom Park

  6. Eagle-Fern Park

  7. Henline Falls and the Cedar Creek Road

  8. Catherine Creek and Tracy Hill

  9. Coyote Wall and the Labyrinth

  10. Klickitat Mineral Springs

The long road out of winter begins in February, when the days warm ever so slightly and grow longer, and snow becomes less of a threat in the lower elevations. Slowly it becomes easier to journey out of the lowlands, and there are often a few more sunny days to bask in the views. The first flowers of spring begin appearing in the eastern end of the Columbia River Gorge, signaling the eventual arrival of spring. On the sunny days that sometimes come it seems like spring is at last here. But it isn’t, at least not yet. February is a difficult
month to plan for, as the mountain snows are at their apex and the weather is predictably unpredictable. It is as maddening as it is beautiful.

While all of the hikes presented here are of easy to moderate difficulty, many of them can be extended to further explore the trail networks in their respective areas. These hikes are open for hiking the entire year, but are never better than in late winter, when waterfalls flow at peak strength, when the first flowers of spring poke through the ground and when everything is lush and green. Just make sure you plan ahead!

You should prepare for hikes in February as you would prepare in November, December and January. Always monitor the weather forecast and snow levels before you leave the house, particularly when traveling over the Coast Range or through the Gorge, places where ice and snow can cause dangerous travel conditions. And as always, be sure to pack the Ten Essentials and let somebody know your plans, whether you’re hiking to the summit of Council Crest or driving to the eastern end of the Gorge.