An Ascent to the Highest Point in Northwest Oregon


Continuing my hiking adventure in late April, I left the Sandstone Lake Trailhead and drove to Saddle Mountain.

This is a very popular hike, especially in the spring and early summer when the wildflowers are in bloom. Many of the flowers are very rare due to the isolated alpine environment.

And, the remains of old lava flows, petrified wood and basalt dikes are very evident along the Trail. This is one of the most unusual and interesting locations in the Pacific Northwest.

It is not a very long hike at 5 1/2 miles roundtrip, but it is steep, rocky and somewhat exposed in places. The cumulative elevation gain is 1,940 feet, but the Oregon State Park Service has done a good job of providing stair steps, mesh over rocky stretches, cables on the steep climbs and a few picnic tables along the way for the weary.

The summit has the best views in Northwest Oregon. The Oregon Coastal beaches stretch for miles, the City of Astoria seems to be only a short walk away, and the large, snow-capped jewels of the Cascades loom to East.

A day made for memories.

 

Coastal Fawn Lilly

Coastal Fawn Lilly

A two-foot chuck of petrified wood in sedimentary rock

A two-foot chuck of petrified wood in sedimentary rock

Hikers heading toward the summit

Hikers heading toward the summit

Glacier Lily

Glacier Lily

Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams from the summit area

Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams from the summit area

The Pacific Ocean from the summit area

The Pacific Ocean from the summit area

Heading up to the false summit

Heading up to the lower summit

Looking up the steep cliffs of Saddle Mountain

Looking up the steep cliffs of Saddle Mountain

Shooting Stars

Shooting Stars

The summit block

The summit block

Pillowy basalt

Pillowy basalt formations

 

Categories: Oregon Coastal Mountain HikingTags: , ,

2 comments

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed taking this hike with you here, John. Your writing engages and the photos are exquisite. Thanks from a neighbor to your north.

    Like

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