At just over a one hour drive from Portland, this hike packs a lot into its roughly 1-mile long trail. For such a short trail, it is certainly a rewarding journey and worthwhile destination.
Most of the people who jump onto this trail are seeking the cool and rocky beach that fronts the Alder Flats swimming hole* or one of the roughly five primitive campsites that look over the river. Each of the campsites are well protected by a grove of red alder that flank this section of the Clackamas River, hence the location's name. But, along the way, this short hiking trail rambles through some of the most well preserved old-growth forest in the Clackamas River canyon. Starting with Dry Creek Pond, the hike passes many shaded bogs with numerous species of rushes, skunk cabbage and ferns before reaching Alder Flats.
* For those looking to beat the mid-summer crowds at swimming holes along the Clackamas, Adler Flats is typically far less populated than others due to the 1-mile walk required to reach the pool and cluster of basalt outcroppings.