A remnant of a lava flow that once covered this region along the western foothills of the Cascades, the"fortress" of Table Rock stands at 4,881 feet above the northeastern portion of this small wilderness. On this steep and rugged terrain you'll find a quiet forest of Douglas fir and western hemlock, with noble fir at higher elevations and crowds of rhododendron on many of the upper slopes, an island of old growth in an ocean of forest development. At least two endangered plants bloom here: Oregon sullivantia and Gorman's aster. Deer and elk wander about in winter, and the northern spotted owl has been spotted among the old trees.
From four trailheads, about 17 miles of trails give access to the wilderness. A relatively easy hike of 2.3 miles from Table Rock Road will take you up the Table Rock Trail to the sweeping vista from the summit of Table Rock, where the land falls suddenly away in basalt cliffs on the north face. From this high point, Mount Rainier looms far to the north, Bull of the Woods Wilderness beckons from the east, and the Willamette Valley spreads out to the south.
You will not find any reliable sources of potable water on the trails, so pack along your own. Horses may find dangerous footing on some of the talus slopes.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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