Friday, September 9, 2005

Hike: Saddle Mountain, Seaside, OR

Distance: 4.5 miles
Type: Out & Back
Elevation Gain: 1,791 feet

High Point: 3,287 feet

Duration: 3.5 hrs


Getting There

The road to the trailhead is 70 miles from North Portland on Hwy 26.

Then, it's 7.1 miles (22 mins) up a winding, paved but sometimes potholed road. There are several RV sized campsites and parking for the trailhead only (no overnight).

The Hike 

This trail is only 2.25 miles up to the clearing but it's steep, 1791 feet gain. It's all forest hiking until you get to the old camp.

Then you come out of the trees and you descend to the bottom of the "saddle". It's a steep, somewhat slippery climb up the other side to the clearing, the summit, "a triangular cement pad that is the former site of a lookout tower."1 It's perfect for 360° views.

"The highest point in northwest Oregon, this saddle-shaped peak commands a panorama from the ocean to Mount St. Helens. The climb is especially popular in May and June, when wildflowers fill the mountain's meadows with the richest floral display in the Coast Range. The trail starts at an easy pace and begins to zig-zag after about 1 mile. The trail gets progressively steeper and more arduous as it gains height. Just before the saddle it levels out prior to a descent between the two peaks. A steeper trail then takes you to the summit." 2