Two Mountains on a Sunny Day

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Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness

An early June day began with blue skies and sunshine, a fine time to climb to the top of Wildcat and Huckleberry Mountains in the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness.

I drove in the early morning to the Douglas Trailhead (a long-abandoned rock quarry) on the west side of the Wilderness. The Trail began by climbing to the top of a ridge, providing nice views of the upper Eagle Creek drainage to the south. Almost every step of the way rhododendrons and beargrass crowded the Trail with a few in bloom.

Soon I was on a short steep path leading to the top of 4,500-foot Wildcat Mountain, an old overgrown fire lookout site.

After hiking downhill for awhile, I turned east on the Plaza Trail, an historic route constructed in the late 1800’s by miners and hunters as a pathway between the Clackamas River drainage and Barlow Pass over the Cascades.

After several miles I reached the turnoff to 4,300-foot Huckleberry Mountain. At a nice meadow near the summit I took off the daypack, got out a snack and took a well-deserved break.

Mt. Hood dominated the scene. This is one of the best views of the large volcano. I took my time soaking up the sun before beginning the long trip to the trailhead.

Mt. Hood above the summit of Huckleberry Mountain

Wild Rhody

One of many rock gardens along the trail

Dark-eyed Junco singing a song



Mt. Hood from the overgrown summit of Wildcat Mountain


Many decades old trail sign (Plaza Trail and Douglas Trail intersection)

Nice stretch of lower trail






Categories: Mt. Hood Natural Forest Hikes, Oregon Cascades HikesTags: , ,


  1. Such vibrant colors in these photographs! I love the pathway through the trees and seeing Mt Hood peeking through the trees of Wildcat Mountain. Love the detail and clarity!

  2. A true pleasure to share these trails with you, John. Mount Hood is such a bright star on this planet, and your photos of it are excellent. Great to see all the wild flowers joining us along the trail, cool old trail sign too. I guess what struck me most were all the rhododendrons tucked into the greenery, and then that spectacular blooming one you featured too. Classic NW hike, thank you.

    • Thanks Jet. It’s a classic, but tough wilderness hike. I didn’t see one other person.
      The following day I was talking with a ranger at the nearby USFS Ranger Station. He said it was one of his favorite hikes too because of the views and the primitive nature of the old Plaza Trail.

  3. What a gorgeous hike. Thank you for taking us along!

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