Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
1,630.00 ft (496.82 m)
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
6.00 mi (9.66 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

If you are heading out to the coast from Portland, a hike up Saddle Mountain is an absolute must!  Just 7 miles off of Highway 26, the giant basalt outcropping is the highest peak in the northern portion of the coast range, and on clear days it offers fabulous panoramic views that stretch from the Cascade Range to the Pacific Ocean.

The trail begins climbing immediately from the parking lot, and some portions of the trail can be quite steep, so bring shoes with good traction.  Although the hike is a continuous climb, there are plenty of spots to rest along the way, including picnic tables that are spread out along the trail and vista points that make taking a breather well worth the time.  Hiking through stands of red alder, second-growth Sitka spruce and noble fir, the lower section of the trail is dotted with an incredible variety of wildflowers, including pink fawn lily, Pacific bleeding heart and western trillium.  Once farther up the trail, take a close look at the basalt, as it hosts a coral-like landscape of unique grasses, mosses and sedums.

The Saddle Mountain State Natural Area also offers 10 walk-in campsites sprinkled around the trailhead, with amenities including restrooms (without showers), running water, picnic tables and built-in fire rings.  Camping is only $5 per night.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Views from the Pacific to the Cascades. Wildflowers. Diverse terrain.

Cons

Often blanketed in clouds.

Trailhead Elevation

1,650.00 ft (502.92 m)

Features

Big vistas
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

Comments

07/22/2017
Rewarding hike! It wasn't a completely clear day but I could still make out Mt St Helens, Adams, and Jefferson. At the summit today, there were massive swarms of flies and/or some other flying insects (you can actually see them in one of my photos!)
05/28/2017
Great hike! A little steep in some parts making it harder to come down than go up but definitely worth the views!
03/19/2017
Excellent hike in the sun with amazing views after a long, wet winter. We were able to see to the ocean, Columbia River/Astoria, and Mt. Rainier, St. Helens, Adams, Hood, and (barely) Jefferson. Too early for wildflowers, but leafless trees lower down on the trail allowed for some improved views. No snow on the trail, but some mildly muddy/wet areas from snowmelt. A couple downed trees and small trail washouts, but these were easily passed. Parking lot full by 11am but parking along the road worked for us and a few others. Quite a few people on the trail, probably because of the nice weather on a weekend, but not overly crowded. Highly recommend!
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