Jul 14, 2013 · 8:00 AM
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TOTAL MILES: 5.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN: 1602 ft
DIFFICULTY RATING: Moderate to difficult due to fairly quick elevation gain and some exposure
ESTIMATED HIKING TIME: 4 hours
It is the wild flower and berry season on Saddle Mountain. Let's go!!
This will be Avinash's first qualifier to become a Hike Leader in the PHMG and as such I will just be along for the ride- I know you'll do a great job out there, Avinash!
CARPOOLING: RT mileage is 110 miles, give or take; we suggest a mileage donation of 10 cents/mile/person, or $11.00. Exact change makes it easier to divide among our drivers. Thanks!
Saddle Mountain is one of very popular hikes up a rather steep rocky outcropping located in the coastal mountain range. 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 trail begins in a lush forest of red alder, with salmonberry lining the path. At a quarter mile, the trail flattens amidst a carpet of oxalis. 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. 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.
Please note that there is a MANUAL waiting list for this hike. What this means is that if a spot opens up everyone on the waiting list will automatically receive an e-mail notifying them of the opening. The first person (whether on the waiting list or not) to RSVP gets the spot.
NO DOGS, please.
What to bring:
• Sturdy hiking boots/shoes with at least one change of socks
• Three to Five light layers of clothing that can be adjusted or removed as necessary (NO COTTON!!!)
• Rain gear
• Safety whistle, preferably on a cord around your neck (highly recommended)
• The 10 essentials*
• Trekking poles (never a bad idea)
• Lunch, snacks and plenty of water
*Navigation, Sun protection, Insulation, Illumination, First Aid, Fire, Repair Kit/Tools, Nutrition, Hydration, Emergency Shelter. For a more detailed description, check out “The Ten Essentials” on the Portland Hiking Meetup Group’s FILES page.