Columbia River Gorge: Munra Point

A panoramic shot of a lookout from Munra Point.

A panoramic shot of a lookout from Munra Point.

For the last post in our series of winter hikes in the Columbia River gorge (see our previous features on the Cape Horn Trail and Eagle Creek Trail) we have the seriously stunning Munra Point Trail.

For those of you whose idea of the great outdoors is a paved nature walk with guardrails…maybe skip ahead to a different hike. Munra Point, as a “non-maintained” trail, is a bit more on the rugged side, but the views are equal to none.

Dense trees at Munra Point.

Dense trees at Munra Point.

The trail is about a 5-mile out-and-back that actually starts at the much more well-known Wahclella Falls trailhead, which is bound to have a lot more people on the trail than this pristine one. When we went, we were making fresh footprints in the snow! There’s something satisfying about knowing you’re the only one who’s been on a path recently.

Switchbacks at Munra Point

Starting out with some switchbacks.

The trail starts with a series of switchbacks through the woods of increasing steepness before opening up to a stunning view behind you of the woods you just trekked through on one wide and beautiful mountains lining the gorge on the other side.

At the end of the switchbacks at Munra Point

At the end of the switchbacks.

The view of the gorge.

The view of the gorge in front of you.

Check out these trees! So dense.

Check out these trees!

Another shot of the view behind you when you emerge from the switchbacks.

Another shot of the view behind you when you emerge from the switchbacks.

From here starts the technical part of the hike, which involves some steep scrambling/climbing over rocks before reaching the peak. We started climbing the first relatively doable bit and reached a gorgeous lookout point, but didn’t continue to the steepest part of the hike due to the thick ice that was layered on top of the snow. If you plan on summiting, make sure you’re equipped with microspikes (trekking poles are also a good idea) in order to get enough traction. Since the summit area is exposed, you might not make it back in one piece if you were to slip and fall.

We made it about 70% of the way before deciding to call it quits due to not having enough traction. Better safe than sorry! We were still able to walk out onto a ledge for some incredible views, however:

Lookout ledge at Munra Point.

Look ma, no hands!

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If you’re looking for more info on the trail, head over to the Oregon Hikers guide for more detailed instructions.

Cheers!

Mia

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Mia McMahon

About Mia McMahon

I’m constantly trying to learn more in everything from branding to social media to user experience to SEO. I live-tweet a lot. I’m studying communications/marketing/internet entrepreneurship and you can follow my journey at meetmia.com.

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