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Salmon River, West Canyon Trail

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon

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Salmon River, West Canyon Trail

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  • - Salmon River, West Canyon Trail
  • False Solomon's seal (Smilacina racemosa).- Salmon River, West Canyon Trail
  • View of the canyon's old-growth forest.- Salmon River, West Canyon Trail
  • One of the trail's numerous backcountry campsites.- Salmon River, West Canyon Trail
  • Dull Oregon grape (Mahonia nervosa).- Salmon River, West Canyon Trail
  • Swimming hole just off the trail.- Salmon River, West Canyon Trail
  • Swimming hole just off the trail.- Salmon River, West Canyon Trail
  • Cascade aster (Aster ledophullus).- Salmon River, West Canyon Trail
  • Forest of Douglas fir, western red cedar and western hemlock.- Salmon River, West Canyon Trail
  • Old-growth canopy.- Salmon River, West Canyon Trail
  • Salmon River.- Salmon River, West Canyon Trail
  • Wild Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawutscha) spawning in late summer.- Salmon River, West Canyon Trail
  • Wild Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawutscha) spawning in late summer.- Salmon River, West Canyon Trail
  • One of the many macroinvertebrates that the salmon feed on.  Species unidentified (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Salmon River, West Canyon Trail
  • - Salmon River, West Canyon Trail
  • One of the trail's numerous backcountry campsites.- Salmon River, West Canyon Trail
  • Salmon River.- Salmon River, West Canyon Trail
  • Unidentified mushroom species (help us identify it by providing feedback).- Salmon River, West Canyon Trail
  • - Salmon River, West Canyon Trail
  • - Salmon River, West Canyon Trail
  • View east of Salmon River Canyon.- Salmon River, West Canyon Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Salmon spawning in late September. Old-growth forest. Numerous backcountry campsites.
Cons: 
Few vistas until the end of trail.
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Region:
Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, OR
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
850.00 ft (259.08 m)
Parking Pass: 
NW Forest Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
6.40 mi (10.30 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,600.00 ft (487.68 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

The Salmon River Canyon Trail, also known as the West Trail, is a natural extension of the Salmon River Old Trail.  It starts at the Welches Road Bridge and follows the Salmon River through an old-growth forest of Douglas fir, western hemlock and western red cedar into the 62,455-acre Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness.  Unlike the Old Trail, the Canyon Trail provides views that are closer to the riverbank and higher in elevation for unique perspectives on this scenic and pristine watershed.

A tributary of the Sandy River, the Salmon River is named for the Steelhead, Chinook and Coho Salmon that spawn in the river's clear and healthy waters every year.  Because the Sandy River is one of the few remaining undammed Wild and Scenic Rivers, it is also one of the best places in northwestern Oregon to view wild salmon making their upriver pilgrimage (the lower portion of Eagle Creek in the Columbia River Gorge is another).

Attention!: Because the US Forest Service does not have sufficient funds or staff they are considering closing the Salmon River to all camping outside the Green Canyon Campground due to excessive tree cutting for firewood, trampled plants, and large amounts of garbage, human waste and toilet paper left at the backcountry campsites.  If you want to continue camping alongside the river, pack out all garbage and toilet paper and dispose of it properly, bury your feces 6” down and greater than 100’ from river, bring in your own firewood, and stay on established paths.  Using the area responsibly will increase the chance that visitors will be allowed to continue enjoying the land.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(62 within a 30 mile radius)

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(148 within a 30 mile radius)

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