hike: Saddle Mountain
Saddle Mountain, located 12 miles east of the Oregon coast, offers panoramic views from the summit stretching from Mount Rainier to Mount Hood to the Columbia River and the Oregon coastline. In June, open meadows are filled with wildflowers, several of which are endemic to this area.
distance: 5.2 miles (out and back)
elevation gain: 1,900 ft.
drive time from Portland: 1 hour 30 minutes
parking pass: none
hike description: OregonHikers.org: Saddle Mountain hike
Note: As of June 21, 2022, this trail is closed for repairs. Check the Oregon State Parks website for more info.
This hike is located about 13 miles inland from the Oregon Coast, just off highway 26. The views from the top are expansive, with the Cascades visible including Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams and Mount Hood. To the west are views of the coastline, unless low clouds obscure the views as it did on this day.
This trail can be super crowded when wildflowers are blooming. When I was there in June, people were parking on the sides of the one lane road for about 1/4 mile after the parking lot filled up.
The lower forest section is filled with oxalis covering the ground.
Take a short side trail to get this view of Saddle Mountain.
Quite a bit of this trail is covered with wire chainlink to help provide traction on the steep slopes covered with loose rock. The wire can be quite hard on dog’s paws and I’ve seen people need to carry their large dogs after they couldn’t handle it, so I’d recommend leaving them at home for this hike.
Wildflowers cover the slopes next the trail in early June.
More sections of wire-grate covered trail to prevent erosion.
View of the top of Saddle Mountain from the trail.
Hikers taking in the views at the summit area