Like "Uncle Tom's Trail in Yellowstone National Park, the Beacon Rock Trail in southern Washington State is about as artificial as they come -- meaning most of the trail is metal planks or stairs.
This rather unusual aspect is what rates Beacon Rock a place on "Best of the West" hiking -- it is different than a standard walk up a mountain.
It is less than a one-mile climb (0.8 miles and 750-feet up) to the summit of this 848-foot-tall ancient volcanic remnant, along the north banks of the mighty Columbia River.
Beacon Rock was a pioneer landmark.
It is family friendly, with some supervision, and is worth the trek for the view at the top, as well as a look at the engineering marvel it was to create this "path."
It may be windy on top and the average weather here is cloudy and/or misty, but that's why it is so green in the Gorge.
There are sweeping views of Columbia River Gorge on top.
It is simply a kick to traverse all those platforms along this "trail."
Most visitors to the Columbia Gorge only frequent the south (Oregon) side, but this short hike will not disappoint.