Trek: Saddle Mountain Wildflower Survey
Dates: May 29, 30, 31, 2008
Depart: May 29 at 3pm from Salem
Vehicle and Gas Contribution: $10 each for 3 person
Directions: (110 miles on-way) From Salem take 1-5 N (approx. 32 miles), Take exit 292A for Hwy 217 toward
Tigard/Beaverton. Merge onto Hwy 217 N (7 miles). Take exit US 26 W toward Astoria Tillamook (59 miles).
Destination on left. Eight miles NE of Necanicum Junction.
Campsite: Saddle Mountain State Natural Area (First come first serve)
Trail: 5.5 miles roundtrip from parking lot.
Permit: No pass required but $9 to camp at the primitive campsite. Extra vehicle $5.
Flora and Fauna: 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.
Geology: Saddle Mountain was created around 15 million years ago when lava flows poured down the old
Columbia River valley. When the lava encountered the water at the Astoria Sea, great steam explosions and
thermal shocks occurred to create a large pile of basalt rocks. The mountain consists of this volcanic breccia,
which is a rock made up of broken basalt fragments that are fused together in a fine-grained matrix.
Features: Here is a real gem of a hike that you will not regret. The trailhead is a few miles off US 26 east of the
junction of Oregon Hwy 53 and US 26. The hike is an awesome little stroll up a rather steep rocky outcropping
located in the northwestern corner of the state. In the spring, usually during the month of May, the wildflowers
along this hike are just spectacular. The trail is excellent and well maintained. Even though the trail is rather
steep at times, for the most part it is well switch backed and offers good footing. As you climb to the top of
Saddle Mountain, the views just get better and better. From the summit you get a fabulous 360-degree view
ranging from the Pacific Ocean to the west to Mt Rainier, Mt St Helens, Mt Hood, and Mt Jefferson. Spend all
day up the mountain. Pack lunch.
Elevation Gain: 1603
Managing Agency: State