Saddle Mountain

Date: July 8, 2007
Distance: 5.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 1603 ft
Time: 3.5 hours
Difficulty: Difficult
Weather: Cloudy at the bottom, foggy at the top, windy
Maps: There is a good map on NW Hiker
My Route:
Standard route to the summit, with detour to the viewpoint less than 1/2 mile into the hike.
Saddle mountain turned out to be more difficult than I'd anticipated. Toward the top the trail is loose gravel. Combined with the steepness of the hill it makes for a precarious climb and decent. The summit was moderately crowded and people had to take turns coming up and down the steepest sections as it wasn't feeling safe to have more than one person scrambling at a time.

Wildflowers on the rocky Saddle Mountain Trail
Bring plenty of water, even on a cool day as the route is a real work out. We met a family at the top with two kids, I was mildly surprised they made it to the top. And I was even more surprised when I found out the whole family was sharing a single 12 oz water bottle. I refilled them with my more than ample 2 liters.
Viewpoint less than 1/2 mile from the trail head.

The views were nice at lower elevations. The coast range is pretty remote so the view to the south is pure forest. There were low clouds which surrounded the summit. We had a 360 view of fog!
Near the Saddle Mountain Summit

I've been told there are amazing wildflowers here in the spring. All these were still around in early July.
Wildflowers along Saddle Mountain Trail

In all it was a tough day. I'd like to try it again on a clear day.
Trail Head:

View PDX Day Hiker in a larger map

What I said about these trails before: Saddle Mountain Hikes
Other resources for this and other nearby hikes:
Saddle Mountain State Park
NW Hiker
Portland Hikers

Trails NW
60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Portland, 3rd: including the Coast, Mount Hood, St. Helens, and the Santiam River (60 Hikes - Menasha Ridge) Hike #39
Portland Hikes: The Best Day-Hikes Within 100 Miles of Portland Hike #1
Afoot & Afield Portland/Vancouver: A Comprehensive Hiking Guide Trip #3
Hiking the Oregon Coast: Day Hikes Along the Oregon Coast and Coastal Mountains Hike #6
Hiking Oregon, (1st or 2nd edition) Hike #2
100 Classic Hikes in Oregon: Oregon Coast, Columbia Gorge, Cascades, Eastern Oregon, Wallowas Hike #8

: ★★★

Have you been on this or a nearby trail? Please share your experience.

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