Spring on Dog Mountain

I've had "hike Dog Mountain" on my calendar for months. While the hike may be memorable in any season, whether the mountain is enveloped in windswept snow or changing foliage, guidebook after guidebook labels hiking Dog Mountain in the spring as a "can't miss" event. In fact, one guidebook goes so far as to say that Dog Mountain really isn't worth one's time except in the spring, when the balsamroot wildflowers cover the slopes and hillside.

I disagree with that sentiment, but I will agree that spring on Dog Mountain, especially when the light falls just so, and you stare out on the vast Columba, looking back towards (puny) Wind Mountain or forward towards Hood River, is epic, and not to be missed. Keep in mind: you will work for your wildflowers and panoramic vistas. The hike starts with several steep switchbacks and never seems to ease off until the first jaw-dropping view.