Overlook to Bonneville 10K

Our first Volksmarch in the Columbia River Gorge started at the Overlook of the Bonneville Dam.

Overlook

Most of the walk was an out and back on a nice wide trail.

The trail leads to the Wahcllela Falls Trailhead.

From there the directions say take the trail to the right going downhill cross a short bridge then an longer one, etc etc.

We started out along the level trail looking for a trail to the right crossing a bridge.  It made sense because we had a creek on the right side of the trail.

We came to this waterfall right along the left side of the trail which didn’t make sense to me.  The instructions didn’t say we’d be passing a waterfall.  Was this Wahcllela Waterfall?  No sign, no ribbons on the trail to indicate.  Where had we gone wrong?

We continued on and the trail started to climb.

Then we came to a set of stairs.  No where in the directions did it mention climbing stairs.  But we climbed to the top and the trail just continued to climb.  Nothing to indicate we were on the correct trail.  Here is a picture I took from the top of the stairs.

At this point we assumed we’d missed the turn somehow and returned to the trail head.  Am I disappointed that we came up to do this walk and didn’t get to see the waterfall.  YES I am very frustrated.  However, I’ve marked trail for Volksmarches myself and know that what makes perfect sense to me doesn’t to everyone else.  I do think in the future the club hosting this event should be much more specific in their directions.  Just because they know where the turn to the right is (way on up the trail from the stairs by the way) those coming from out of state to do the event will not.

From the Trailhead the walk crosses under I-5 and went to the Bonneville Hatchery which was pretty cool.

I loved the Sturgeon viewing tank.  Such gentle giants they are.

It was fun watching the rainbow trout also.

From the trout pond we made our way back out of the hatchery.

Crossed back under I-5 and returned to the overlook via the same trail we came out on.

This was a good walk, but for us it was probably at least 1K short of the 10K planned.  With better directions it would have been a great walk.  I’ve looked up Wahcllela Falls on google and it looks beautiful.  Sorry I missed seeing it.

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