Hiking in the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness

On a cloudy, but nice mid-June day, I parked at the 3,500-foot Douglas Trailhead on the west side of the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness.

As I began ascending to the the top of a ridge, there were a few rhododendrons in bloom. Their pink, complex blossoms are one of the treats of hiking on the west side of the Cascade Mountains.

In several miles I reached a short path leading to the top of 4,500-foot Wildcat Mountain, an old fire lookout site. There was still about two feet of snow remaining at the summit.

After leaving the old lookout, I continued on the Douglas Trail another three-quarters mile to what usually is a spectacular rocky viewpoint. But, as a consolation prize, the red, white, lavender, purple and scarlet wildflowers made for colorful rock gardens along the crest of the Eagle Creek Canyon.

I turned around and hiked to the north about two miles to a beargrass meadow with a bench, navigating large mounds of snow along the way. It’s a well-known spot with one of the best up-front views of Mt. Hood, if the cloud cover had lifted. I enjoyed the area anyway, recalling the first time we had hiked there some 22 years ago.

A very pleasant eight-mile, 1,700-foot gain hike.

Eagle Creek Basin

Avalanche Lily

Silvery Blue Butterfly

Spreading Phlox

Yep, that’s the trail (you need good route-finding skills when snow and blowdowns cover the trail)

Cliff Penstemon

My pack and poles on McIntyre Ridge amidst the Indian Paintbrush




Categories: Oregon Cascades HikesTags: , , , ,


  1. Ah, this hike was all about freshness. Wonderful vistas, and incredible wildflowers, so many dew-dropped. Thank you for taking us along on your hike, John, I enjoyed it immensely. Healthy climb and crazy trail…whew!

  2. The Silvery Blue Butterfly rules!!

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