Oregon Coast between Elsie and Seaside
Saddle Mountain viewed from parking lot by the trailhead. Pacific Ocean is visible from the top at the end of the hiking trail.
Saddle Mountain is one of the highest peaks in Oregon's Coast Range with an elevation of 3,283 feet. That's fairly short for a mountain, but significant in the Oregon Coast Range. This is one trail of several listed on my Oregon Hiking favorites. The trail is about 2.5 miles to the lookout at the top. Marvelous view. GPS: 45.906485, -123.745553 where road x Hy. 26 45.962906, -123.689838 for parking, trailhead which is visible from satellite image, and 45.968799, -123.685535 is the high point of saddle mountain
| Click these to view trailhead with Google Map or Google Earth.
Saddle Mountain is near Necanicum Junction, 12 miles east of Seaside, Oregon. Take Hy. 26 and look for the sign. Turn on a paved road that leads 8 miles to the Saddle Mountain parking. Lewis and Clark saw Saddle Mountain in 1805, but didn't name it. They viewed it from their camp near Pillar Rock ... "... here the high mountainious Countrey approaches the river on the Lard Side, a high mountn. to the S W. about 20 miles ... " [Clark, November 7, 1805]
Saddle Mountain is also a significant botanical area with over 300 species of flora, including rare crucifer, Saddle Mountain saxifrage and Saddle Mountain bittercress, which grow only in this vicinity. On clear days, the vista includes views of not just the Pacific Ocean, but Astoria, the Columbia River, Mt. Ranier, Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens. The drive to the entrance road off Hy. 26 is about 1 hour from Beaverton, Oregon; maybe 70 minutes from downtown Portland.
This is not a trail for small children. Not unless you only go half way up only. Its not dangerous, but its almost an experienced hiker trail. But beginning hikers in good physical condition should be fine. Just brace yourself and take your time. Bring water. There are no streams along the trail. Maybe some trickles in winter.
Especially in the autumn, there are many edible mushrooms in the coastal region near Saddle Mountain. Contact the Oregon State parks about regulations for mushroom harvesting in state parks. Online, you can find mushroom picking forums to locate picking experts in the area. If you need a good meal, Elsie, Oregon, a few miles away, has a restaurant called Camp 18. It's a logging museum and restaurant combination with a gift shop. Its a very large log building near a small river that runs all year.
Contact Oregon State Parks if you want to camp in the autumn to winter season, to make sure the campsites are available to use. Hiking is generally all year.