Sometimes you want an outdoor experience that delivers what the name promises, and Cascade Boulders does just that. They’re a collection of boulders large and small dotting a lightly forested area conveniently close to Portland, near Cascade Locks.
At the Cascade Boulders area look for dozens of groups of boulders scattered in soft forest landings, grassy meadows and roadside areas. It’s a location that guarantees a full day of rock climbing. The rocks are a volcanic basalt mix, pitted and shaped perfected for hand and foot holds. They vary in size, are sturdily sunken into the earth, and most have soft landings by their bases (just in case you fall).
The variation in size and the number of boulders makes this a great place for beginner and experienced rock climbers alike. It’s also a lovely place for a ramble if you’re the kind of adventurer who prefers to keep both feet on the ground while your friends scale rocks. The wooded areas have a Tolkien-esque feel, complete with luscious bunches of moss, downy ferns and a brilliants array of flowers.
Directions from Cascade Locks: Take exit I-84 to U.S. 30 east and continue onto Frontage Road. Take a left when you hit Herman Creek Road. When you see a gate with a yellow reflector, park and walk. The boulders can be found at this GPS position: 45.68395, -121.83526.