Table Mountain Walking trails
- Start point: Dick Thomas Trailhead
- Hike Kind: Out and right back
- Length: 8.0 kilometers round-trip
- Large point: 3, 417 legs
- Elevation gain: 3350 foot
- Difficulty: Difficult
- Months: April-October
- Family Friendly: No
- Backpackable: Yes
- Packed: Yes
Table Mountain is just one of the outstanding attributes of the Columbia River Gorge, its sheared 800-foot south face exposing layers of Yakima basalt over mud flow sediments to 22 million years old. The south ridge of Table Mountain features the eroded remains of basalt dikes, craggy pinnacles that protrude above the woodland canopy. One particular importance is Sacaquawea and Papoose Rocks, proven to rock climbers while the "Rabbit Ears." The fantastic Bonneville Landslide, which briefly dammed the Columbia River and formed exactly what the indigenous individuals called the "Bridge associated with Gods, " contains a lot of Table Mountain and Greenleaf Peak. Initially, geologists believed the landslide had been about 800 years of age, but current evidence shows that it may be from the last great Cascadia quake around 1700. The hike described below could be the quickest standard solution to the summit because it begins during the Dick Thomas Trailhead at the Bonneville Hot Springs Resort & salon.
Walk up the gravel track on west end of the large parking area. The corridor here supports a natural fuel pipeline. The previous start of Dick Thomas Trail headed through a clump of blackberries: today go a little farther west in the pipeline corridor, crossing a flowing rivulet, to pick up the path going into the woods on your own right. Cross a four-log footbridge and then drop to step across a small creek. The old trail alignment will come in through the here. Continue upon a rooty tread, winding through sword ferns under Douglas-fir, western hemlock, and big-leaf maple. Drop to skirt a vernal pool after which gradually descend through a sword fern/Oregon grape carpeting. Within Carpenters Creek Crossing, use the makeshift footbridge.
Reach the Aldrich Butte-Dick Thomas Trail Junction, with grassy, alder rimmed Carpenters Lake, an old beaver marsh, towards right. Get right on junction, and after 60 yards, at junction aided by the Two Chiefs jeep track, go left within the slope on another old automobile track. Hike up under Douglas-firs and hemlocks while the roadway swings right. At next switchback, the Aldrich Butte-Aldrich PCT avoid Trail Junction, remain appropriate and walk up the eroded road sleep into the eastern of this ridge crest.