Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tomlike is White Mountains like

One of the neat places that I researched (hiked) last week was Tomlike Mountain in the Hatfield Wilderness in the Columbia Gorge. Near the popular Wahtum Lake, Chinidere Mountain and underrated Mud Lake, Tomlike only attracts a fraction of the visitors that its neighbors (except Mud Lake) do. Main reason? The trail to it is more of a scramble path and doesn't show on any maps. But the route is straightforward and quite an enjoyable hike and probably one off the nicest summits with the best views in the entire Columbia Gorge. One of the coolest aspects of this hike was that it felt like being back in New Hampshire's White Mountains. The one mile ridge walk trough krummholtz and shale was right out of the Franconia Range. The immediate surroundings of tree cloaked gentle ridges interrupted with outcroppings and ledges looked straight out of the Pemigewasset Wilderness. But the view of four towering snow-capped volcanoes (Hood, Adams, Rainer, and St Helens) reminds you that you are indeed in the Pacific Northwest. Tomlike Mountain is a little like the Whites-and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else in the region. Check it out-it'll be one of the 100 highlighted hikes in my upcoming Day Hiking Columbia Gorge Book (Mountaineers Books; spring 2011 release).

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