A Cold Hike To The Top of Dog Mountain

Dog Mountain isn't particularly high, but its location makes it very popular with the sailing community. Steve and Theresa hike up to check out the stunning views.

Hidden on Dog Mountain

Recently a couple of us got together for a ‘guys’ weekend and ended up finding the spectacular Cathedral Falls. I knew this was something that I wanted to share with Theresa, so we came back to the area for our own weekend. I knew she would be as excited about the falls as I was, but I wasn’t counting on us stumbling over stunning views of Riffe Lake from the summit of Dog Mountain.

Dog Mountain isn’t particularly high (my topo maps show a height of 2133’) but it is right on the east edge of Riffe Lake and it has a large flat meadow that borders the shoreline. This combination makes it very popular with the hang gliding and paragliding groups. In addition to the lake, you have a great view of Glenoma Valley to the north.

Dog Mountain
Dog Mountain is a popular launch site for paragliders.

We hiked up the dirt track whose entrance is locked with a gate. This is private land but the owners make it accessible to members of the Cloudbase Country Club. Apparently, if you pay your fees and sign waivers you get a key to the gate. We’d rather walk. For those of you who might be interested in membership, you can find information here.

Support

Our mission is a labor of love, but it does come with overhead. If you’d like to support our efforts we’d certainly appreciate it. Currently, we’re actively participating in the following field research:

  • COASST Beached Bird Surveys
  • Wild and Scenic River Project

Thank you.

advertisement

Member of the following

We are the learned society for geography and geographers.
as-seal-gr
Working to provide opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to make a difference as they play in the outdoors.
coasst-logo
Working to translate long-term monitoring into effective marine conservation solutions.
Sea Grant Washington
Provide integrated research, communication, and education to coastal communities that lead to the responsible use of the nation’s oceans.

Latest Instagram

Looking down on our campground from atop Tower Rock. It's a straight 2000' straight drop from here. ...

Driving up to Mosquito Meadows I noticed a dark shadow and gap just off the forest road. This small but picturesque waterfall on Pinto Creek was the reward for pulling off to investigate.⁠ ...

Heading out to Gifford Pinchot National Forest to explore a few new areas. ...

After a week of sitting on the shoreline waiting for the weather on Augustine Island and her volcano, we finally had our chance to paddle over to the mainland. Fortune smiled at us that day! ...

A kayaker making his way across Coldwater Lake with the crater of Mt. St. Helens in the background. ...

On May 16, 1898, the North Head Lighthouse was put into service as the primary navigation aid at the mouth of the Columbia River and still stands as a sentinel overlooking this treacherous body of water, the confluence between the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean. ...

This root was near our campsite. I was intrigued because it looks like an entire forest wrapped around it. ...

Mt. St. Helens seen from Windy Ridge. ...

Cispus River with Tower Rock in the background. Our camp was locate on the banks of the river. ...

River bank of the Cispus River inside the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. ...

Headed back to Mt. St. Helens for the weekend. Hoping to visit some of our favorite places as well as discover new ones. ...

Buck Creek is one of the many waterways that feed the Suiattle River. We spotted this view during our last Wild and Scenic Rivers fieldwork. ...

During our recent Wild and Scenic River Survey we had the opportunity to do a bit of exploring. Here's Buck Creek which drains into the Suiattle River. ...

Theresa taking a sample for the Wild and Scenic Rivers project with Adventure Scientist. We'll be heading out to the Suiattle River this weekend for another round of data. ...

Looking out over Crescent Bay from Tongue Point. We recently experienced the lowest tides in a decade here in Washington. ...

Creepy Night in Mossyrock

We decided to try and beat any ‘weekend’ camping crowds as there’s been a noticeable uptick in off-season camping this year. I needed to be able to work from the campsite so that meant picking a spot that had cellular connectivity. So we decided to use Tacoma Powers’ Mossyrock Campgrounds as our basecamp.

Pulling in on Thursday afternoon, I had a moment when I thought that perhaps I had made a terrible mistake. There was absolutely no one in the campground. The gate had been opened and checking one of the sites there was water and power so we went ahead a chose a site. The funny thing was that we’ve never been confronted with so many options and we had a hard time choosing that ‘one perfect spot.

I felt sure we’d have company before the sunset. That was not the case. It was wonderful sitting around the fire watching the mist form over the lake and hillsides, but as the evening wore on, it got decidedly creepy. I had to laugh at my reaction. It’s been some time since I’ve been spooked while camping!

all article photographs

Return to Cathedral Falls

As mentioned earlier, this was my second trip out to the falls, and I wrote about it here. What was different this time was the colder temperatures and snow on the ground. It gave everything quite a different feel. Even the drive up to the trailhead was much more gnarly. Bigger rocks had come down since last time, a few trees, snow patches on the trail, and a washout tree combination that had you committed to driving right on the cliff edge! Plenty of adventure even before you hit the trail.

We were joined by some friends, Erin and Connally, who were interested in seeing the falls. Due to our day jobs, we had all received our COVID-19 vaccinations so felt comfortable hiking together.

Once on the trail, we quickly made our way to falls and everyone’s jaw dropped; mine included. If you look at my previous articles photos you’ll see that the falls actually drop on a large granite boulder. Cool. This time it was very cool. That boulder was completely encased in layers of ice. It made for some interesting photos and a lot of excited conversation.

I’m already contemplating returning in the spring to see what the falls will look like with the spring melt coming over the edge.

Please share this:

More to explore

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.