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BRIDGE of the GODS Magazine

A Gorge Photographer's Mini Field Guide

Jul 17, 2020 07:51PM ● By Linda Steider

Who's That There? 

Pikas Could Be the Most Unusual Creatures in the Columbia River Gorge.
Typically seen at high altitudes, pikas are related to rabbits and can be found on the talus slopes on the west end of the Gorge, where they have lived for thousands of years.

Pika © Steider Studios

 PIKA on WYETH TRAIL - When hiking near talus slopes (rockslides) with boulders about the size of a basketball, keep a lookout for Pika, members of the rabbit family (sometimes called 'Rock-rabbits) and the cutest mammal on the planet.  You may hear their call that has been described as a squeak before you see them.  Solitary and territorial, each Pika has a range about the size of a football field.

Primarily found in higher elevations, our Gorge Pikas are the only population residing in low elevations throughout the North American continent and are being studied as indicators of climate change. They're about the size of a guinea pig with round ears, grayish to cinnamon-brown fur and no tail. 

Herbivores, they eat ferns, leaves, moss, wildflowers, grasses, and fern needles.

Juvenile Pika © Steider Studios

The image to the left is a juvenile pika. It has a high-pitched call and a smoother, less-tattered appearance than an adult.

Featured photographer: Linda Steider|Steider Studios

Linda Steider is an award-winning photographer and artist living outside of White Salmon, Washington in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. Her creative journey has included fiber, clay, beads, collage, pastels, and two decades working with glass, but it is photography that connects her with the natural world and allows her to share it with others. 

Linda’s photography is available as prints and on greeting cards. Visit for a selection, or follow her blog at: