Memaloose State Park in the Columbia River Gorge is a favorite of ours in the spring for many reasons. First, it’s still quiet early in the season and you can camp on a nice river site before the summer crowds hit. Second, the scenery is awesome – this was an incredible year for wildflower blooms and there are many, many trailheads in the area! Third, you’re far enough east that you can escape the usual gray sky and drizzle of the valley (although you may have to put up with some gusty winds). The campground is situated between the towns of Hood River and the Dalles – both wonderful places to explore or to grab a bite.
Out of all the Oregon State Parks, this campground is, in our opinion, the most beautiful in the spring. I love the green grass, the huge cotton wood trees, lilac bushes and wildflowers. The railroad runs between the park and the river, but that doesn’t bother us a bit. I love sitting on the bluff at night watching the trains go by on both sides of the river. If there weren’t so many things to see and do in the area, it’s a place I’d be content to sit for the weekend and just watch the world pass by.
Our plan was to hike Dalles Mountain Ranch on the Washington side of the river. Unbeknownst to us, no dogs are allowed on the trail. It was a warm day and leaving our pup in the car wasn’t an option so we were only able to snap a few photos out of the car window as we drove around. The hike would have been spectacular, but we were happy with just the view as we drove around.
These are all iPhone photos. I’ve really started to embrace taking photos on my phone and not lugging heavy cameras around everywhere.