hike: Little North Santiam Trail

After being stopped by high water in January, I returned to hike more of this trail next to the Little North Santiam River.

6.5 miles 1,300 ft gain

I hiked here at the end of January, but high water in one of the creeks stopped us from going as far as we wanted. This time, the water levels were much lower and the creeks were easier to cross.

We started at the Little North Santiam Trail – West trailhead with a plan to do an out-and-back hike, going as far as we had time for. We started out cold, with temps in the low 30s.

Little North Santiam River Trail

Little North Santiam River Trail hike

Little North Santiam River Trail hike Little North Santiam River Trail hike Little North Santiam River Trail hike

A short side trail leads to this rocky overlook just above the river.

Little North Santiam River Trail

 

The trail goes up and down quite a few times, but the river is never too far away.

Little North Santiam River Trail Little North Santiam River Trail

 

I love the rocky landscape that the river twists through. : )

Little North Santiam River Trail hike Little North Santiam River Trail hike Little North Santiam River Trail hike Little North Santiam River Trail hike  Little North Santiam River Trail hike

 

The sun came out as we reached the first rocky viewpoint, and a dusting of snow covered everything. As we continued on the trail along the top of the ridge, the snow melted off of the trees and rained on us.

Little North Santiam River Trail Little North Santiam River Trail

 

The trail descends back towards the river on steep switchbacks, and the understory changes to a dense concentration of ferns.

Little North Santiam River Trail

 

I love the emerald-green water of this river.

Little North Santiam River Trail

 

The sun! A welcome sight on a cold day.

Little North Santiam River Trail

 

We stopped at a clearing next to the river for a break. The water is quiet, calm, and super clear all the way across.

Little North Santiam River Trail

 

Back at the top of the ridge, there is no more snow on the trail, but we did get a better view of a snowy mountaintop across from us.

Little North Santiam River Trail

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