Best Wintertime Hike in Northwest Oregon?

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Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness

Lush old-growth forest along the banks of the Salmon River. Bright green licorice ferns hanging on the sides of wet cliffs. The lush aroma of wet earth under my feet. Many huge, old-growth Douglas firs scattered along the trail, along with a few old-growth cedars.

A side trail looking over the Salmon River Canyon toward Salmon Butte

The Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness southwest of Mt. Hood draws me to its beautiful area several times a year. Wildcat Mountain, Huckleberry Mountain, Devils Peak and Salmon Butte are typical destinations.

This day I hiked 3 1/2 miles to an overlook of the deep Salmon River Canyon, enjoying the sights and smells of the rain forest.

The hike made for a fine outing on a sunny but cold day. And, since I started early, no other hikers were seen on the hike to the overlook.

However, this is a very well-known and popular trail. Amazingly enough, I passed over 90 hikers on the way out. Thankfully, most were wearing masks and stepping off the trail for fellow hikers.

Huge Doug Fir making the backpacker’s tent look like something for a Hobbit

Two tributaries to the Salmon River, and the River near the Trailhead

Trail cutting through the cliffs near the River

Large old-growth Doug Firs scattered along the trail

Side trail to an overlook of the Salmon River Canyon

Into the Wilderness


Categories: Oregon Cascades HikesTags:


  1. 90 hikers! It’s a wonder you didn’t lose count. 🙂

  2. What a spectacular hike, John. Great that you got out early, because that’s a lot of hikers on the way out. I loved looking at these photos, the PNW and it’s mossy velvety trees and huge old-growth Doug firs are so rich. That side trail (first photo) overlooking the Salmon River Canyon looks a little scary. And that photo of the magnificent old-growth tree beside the tiny tent is wonderful. Thanks for taking us along.

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