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Saddle Mountain Hike Oregon

Saddle Mountain Trail - Oregon Seaside

Saddle Mountain is a solid hike with spectacular views, off highway 26 on the way from Portland to the Oregon Coast. It is one of the highest peaks in the northern half of Oregon's Coast Range and the highest northwest of Portland. It is a very distinct landmark as you come over the pass on Highway 26 heading towards the coast with its "Y"-shaped peaks of lumpy, pillow-shaped basalt. This apparently is typical of lava cooled quickly by water. This mountain was actually formed from lava erupted near Idaho that flowed into the ocean and was later pushed up when the Coast Range rose.  
Hike to Saddle Mountain
Oregon Saddle Mountain
Oregon Saddle Mountain Natural Area
Saddle Mountain Hike Oregon
Saddle Mountain is the tallest mountain (Elevation 3,288 ft ) in Clatsop County in the U.S. state of Oregon. Part of the Oregon Coast Range, Saddle Mountain is in Saddle Mountain State Natural Area in the northwest corner of Oregon. The peak is listed on Oregon’s Register of Natural Heritage Resources.

Hike Description
Mountaintop views that reach from the Pacific Ocean to Mt. Hood await you on this steep climb to the top of a double-peaked summit of basalt. The upper part of the mountain is decorated with vast steep wildflower meadows in summer.

From the parking area, the trail begins in the campsite area. Get on the paved trail, and for left, passing several walk-in campsites. The pavement soon ends, and you will enter a lush forest of red alder, with salmonberry lining the path. At a quarter mile, the trail flattens amidst a carpet of oxalis. You have an option to take a short spur trail to the right for the Humbug Mountain viewpoint, but it is not necessary, you will see it from the summit as well.

·        Start point: Saddle Mountain Trail head
·        End point: Saddle Mountain Summit
·        Distance: 5 miles round trip
·        Elevation gain: 1900 feet
·        Difficulty: Moderate
·        Seasons: April–November

Soon the alders will be replaced with Douglas-firs and spruces as you switchback up the hillside. The trail skirts around sedum-covered house sized boulders, a preview for the upper portion of the hike. Nearing the one mile mark the woods are periodically opened for steep meadows-which are in bloom from May through July. The top 500 feet of the mountain is made up of huge basalt dikes. There is very little topsoil. The trail is loose gravel, and recently the tread has been completely covered with a chain link fence material to aid in traction. By a mile and half, you will be traveling mostly through the steep rocky meadows that make this hike famous. Admire the flora and the expansive views, but please watch your step. After a short descent through the saddle area, you will make the final steep climb up to the summit—a triangular cement pad that is the former site of a lookout tower.
Saddle Mountain Natural Area Oregon
Saddle Mountain Oregon Seaside
Saddle Mountain Seaside
Saddle Mountain State Natural Area
Saddle Mountain Hiking
Saddle Mountain Trail
Saddle Mountain Submit
On a clear day you can see the sweep of the Columbia River as it enters the sea, miles of Pacific shoreline- and on the eastern horizon, the Cascade Mountains in Oregon and Washington, and five major mountain peaks - Mt Rainier, Mt St Helen’s, Mt Adams, Mt Hood, and Mt Jefferson.

How To Reach: Saddle Mountain is 7 miles (11 km) off U.S. Route 26 about 65 miles (105 km) west of Portland. The access road to the mountain and state park is paved. The area contains dense forests of spruce and hemlock, and some ancient lava flows.

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