Happy Ostara! Today is the spring equinox, and we are so excited to celebrate spring. No matter our age, we still love spring break. And being in the tourism industry, it’s like a never-ending delight from the beginning of March, when schools in Arizona start their spring breaks, until mid-April.
We couldn’t help ourselves — we had to get out into the Gorge more often. It’s so hard right now! Trail closures still outnumber trails that are opened. The wildfires that so badly affected the Oregon side of the Gorge over Labor Day weekend have trails closed throughout the Gorge with (our Forest Service contacts report) may not open until mid-summer.
As of March 24, we’re launching a much-needed first for the Gorge: a trailhead connection that functions somewhere halfway in between a shuttle and a tour. Our driver/guides are avid hikers themselves, and will provide background on the area as well as updates on trail conditions. We’ll take you out to trailheads so you can avoid the terrible parking conditions we’ve been experiencing on weekends already this year, and give you an opportunity to reach the trailhead if you don’t have access to a car.
Our initial service will include shuttles to Latourell Falls and trailheads at Beacon Rock and Hamilton Mountain. There is no more fitting way to celebrate the presence of spring than to hike the waterfall-laden trails, delighting in the new excitement of trilliums, bleeding hearts, the shoots of salmonberry, thimbleberry, huckleberry and devil’s club. The moss is heavy on the branches of Douglas-fir and Western redcedar and the ancient basalt flows are calling you to celebrate the rites of spring with these volcanic rocks as altar. Answer, with Cordilleran Tours.