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Saddle Mountain Hike

From Portland Hikers Field Guide

The saddle and summit of Saddle Mountain (cfm)
Trail marker (cfm)
Cladothamnus pyroflorus aka copperbush can be found along the trail(cfm)
Mountain meadow knotweed (Polygonum bistortoides) (bobcat)
Alice Eastwood's fleabane (Erigeron aliceae) (bobcat)
  • Start point: Saddle Mountain TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Saddle Mountain
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Out and Back
  • Distance: 5.2 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain: 1600 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: April-November
  • Family Friendly: Yes, for older kids
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Yes, on summer weekends

Contents

Hike Description

Mountaintop views that reach from the Pacific Ocean to Mt Hood await you on this steep climb to the top of a doublepeaked summit of basalt. The upper part of the mountain is decorated with vast steep wildflower meadows in summer.

From the parking area, the trail begins in the campsite area. Get on the paved trail, and for left, passing several walk-in campites. The pavement soon ends, and you will enter a lush forest of red alder, with salmonberry lining the path. At a quarter mile, the trail flattens amidst a carpet of oxalis. You have an option to take a short spur trail to the right for the Humbug Mountain viewpoint, but it is not necessary, you will see it from the summit as well.

Soon the alders will be replaced with Douglas-firs and spruces as you switchback up the hillside. The trail skirts around sedum-covered house sized boulders, a preview for the upper portion of the hike. Nearing the one mile mark the woods are periodically opened for steep meadows-which are in bloom from May through July. The top 500 feet of the mountain is made up of huge basalt dikes. There is very little topsoil. The trail is loose gravel, and recently the tread has been completely covered with a chain link fence material to aid in traction. By a mile and half, you will be traveling mostly through the steep rocky meadows that make this hike famous. Admire the flora and the expansive views, but please watch your step. After a short descent through the saddle area, you will make the final steep climb up to the summit- a triangular cement pad that is the former site of a lookout tower.

Maps

Sky Island Graphics: Oregon Coast Area Trails

Regulations or Restrictions, etc.

Because of the mesh fencing on the upper half of the trail, this hike is not recommended for dogs.

Trip Reports

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Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast and Coast Range by William L. Sullivan
  • 50 Hiking Trails: Portland and Northwest Oregon by Don & Roberta Lowe
  • Afoot & Afield: Portland/Vancouver by Douglas Lorain
  • Oregon Coast Hikes by Paul M. Williams
  • Best Hikes Near Portland by Fred Barstad
  • 75 Hikes in Oregon's Coast Range and Siskiyous by Rhonda & George Ostertag
  • 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Portland by Paul Gerald
  • Hiking Oregon's Geology by Ellen Morris Bishop
  • 100 Oregon Hiking Trails by Don & Roberta Lowe
  • Take a Hike: Portland by Barbara I. Bond
  • Best Short Hikes in Northwest Oregon by Rhonda & George Ostertag
  • Portland Hikes by Art Bernstein & Andrew Jackman
  • 50 Hikes in Oregon by David L. Anderson
  • 100 Classic Hikes in Oregon by Douglas Lorain
  • Hiking the Oregon Coast by Lizann Dunegan
  • Hiking Oregon by Lizann Dunegan
  • Canine Oregon by Lizann Dungeon
  • Oregon Hiking by Sean Patrick Hill
  • Oregon State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide by Jan Bannan

More Links

Contributors

  • CFM (creator)
Portland Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.