Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
850.00 ft (259.08 m)
Trail type
6.40 mi (10.30 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.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass


Salmon spawning in late September. Old-growth forest. Numerous backcountry campsites.


Few vistas until the end of trail.

Trailhead Elevation

1,600.00 ft (487.68 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Old-growth forest


Nearby Adventures

Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area, Oregon
Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area
Oregon, Mt. Hood + Clackamas River Area


Overnight Use is prohibited at this time... Green Canyon Campground is also closed even though all the notices say that is the only available overnight camping in the area.

[from forest service ]
Camping & Campfires - Salmon River

Temporarily prohibiting camping and campfires in the Salmon River corridor is necessary to promote and provide for natural resource conditions necessary to encourage and promote vegetation restoration and to provide for a functioning riparian ecosystem along the river. Excessive dispersed camping and campfires along the river banks and stream channels has resulted in a significant loss of riparian vegetation in the late-successional forests along the Salmon River. These impacts include loss of shade, an increase in stream temperature, increased sedimentation of streams, and excess nutrients and E. coli bacteria from fecal matter all in designated critical habitat for Chinook salmon, Coho, and winter steelhead, which are listed threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Dispersed camping is an activity that is allowed in many places on the Mt. Hood National Forest. However, the impacts from dispersed camping and campfires in the Salmon River corridor have also contributed to health and safety concerns relative to the accumulation of garbage and human waste.

During the period of this closure, the area will continue to serve as a recreation site for day use activities such as walking and hiking, fishing, rock climbing, picnicking, and other recreational opportunities. Picnickers may prepare food using pressurized liquid or gas fuel stoves, and camping and campfires will continue to be permitted in the developed campground within this corridor, Green Canyon Campground. This Order will be in effect for two years starting May 1, 2017, and ending on April 30, 2019.
Hiked the trail on Feb. 10, 2018. Trail conditions good: damp but not muddy. Busy day, at least 30 vehicles at the trailhead at 11 am. No wildflowers yet.
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