Guest post: Two great hikes

Looking for a good hike on a nearby trail? Our Outdoors reporter Al Thomas has a few good tips for getting out and about in and around Clark County.

JUNE LAKE TRAIL: June Lake trail No. 216B leads from Gifford Pinchot National Forest road No. 83 for about 1.25 miles to scenic little June Lake on the south side of the volcano. It’s an easy climb, gaining just 480 feet in elevation. A waterfall flows into the back side of June Lake.

June Lake has a sandy shore. While it’s pretty cool for a swim, parents can challenge their offspring to remove their shoes and see how long they can stand in the lake before getting cramped feet.

Yeah, it sounds silly, but kids like to play in water.

June Lake trail continues before the lake to Loowit trail No. 216 circling the peak. The snow melted out at June Lake only this week, so don’t expect to get far on the Loowit trail.

GRASSY KNOLL TRAIL No. 146: This trail was featured in Thursday’s Columbian. It’s much more work than June Lake trail, but the wildflowers on Grassy Knoll are near their peak right now.

Here are driving instructions and brief notes about Grassy Knoll trail No. 146:

Driving instructions: From the stoplight in Carson, follow the Wind River Highway for 3.2 miles to Bear Creek Road. Turn right. In 3.8 miles, the road becomes Gifford Pinchot National Forest road No. 6808. Follow road No. 6808 for another 7.4 miles to Triangle Pass. Go left on to road No. 68 for 2.2 miles to the trailhead. No parking pass is needed.

Hiking notes: Trail No. 146 climbs steeply for the first mile to a several rocky outcrops with views of the Big Lava Bed below and Mount Adams on the eastern horizon. The path then drops before climbing to the former lookout site atop Grassy Knoll. While this can be a logical turnaround spot, trail No. 146 continues for another 1.3 miles through open hillsides studded with wildflowers and views of Mount Hood, Mount Adams, Mount Defiance and other lesser peaks. At 3.44 miles, the trail enters the trees again. It will soon pass Cold Springs before ending at the junction with the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail at 5.5 miles.

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