the Columbia Coast beware, and come prepared for tides,
rain, strong winds, and mosquitoes.
If you hike near the water, remember that the Columbia
River enters the Pacific Ocean along the coast. This
means there are daily tides on beaches, salt marshes,
and up most rivers for several miles. Get and use a
tidebook, especially if you plan to paddle up rivers
or along the ocean. Know the weather forecast and come
prepared for worse weather than is predicted. Stay off
high headlands and mountain peaks during wind storms.
and early summer, be ready for dense clouds of mosquitos
around wetlands and coastal forests. Long sleeves, long
pants and a sturdy insect repellent are your best defense.
water, basic first aid gear, appropriate clothing for
the season, sturdy footwear, sunscreen. Walking sticks
are handy on steep trails. Cougar sightings have become
more common in the last few years. While no attacks
on humans have been reported yet for this coastal area,
these large predators do live here.
trips are rarely canceled on the coast due to rain,
they are frequently canceled due to strong winds. It
is not unusual for beaches and headlands to receive
gusts twice the strength of predicted winds. Hiking
in forests, and on steep terrain is unsafe in winds
over 30 mph. Wind speed also increases with rising elevation.
A moderately stiff breeze at sea level can be murderous
at 3,000 feet. Hypothermia is possible at any time of
the landscape. Haul out your trash. Limit group sizes
in sensetive areas to twelve people or less. Don't pick
wildflowers - take photos instead. Leave pets at home.
If you must bring pets, keep them leashed. Stay on trails
rather than cut new paths through wetlands, meadows
and other fragile environments.