Clatsop County Highpoint Trip Report

Saddle Mountain (3,283 ft)

Date: December 24, 2004
Author: Layne Bracy

Trailhead at Saddle Mountain Natural Area (1,650 ft)

Spending the Christmas weekend in southwestern Washington, this hike sounded appealing.

From Highway 26 we took the turnoff signed "Saddle Mountain Natural Area." As we drove the road to the parking area, we noticed moss growing on the paved road, a sure sign we were back in the Pacific Northwest.

The trail quickly leads to large ferns and moss-draped trees, a nice change from Colorado. As we ascended, we found ourselves above the cloud layer and it was sunny and warmer, in the 50s. After a mile on the trail, I found a nice pinnacle to scramble up with sheer drops on three sides.

In the final mile there is much erosion on the path. In places the trail has eroded almost a foot below wooden steps staked in. We summitted in about 70 minutes. The ocean to the west was covered by clouds but to the east we could pick out 5 other current and former county highpoints - Rainier, Saint Helens, Adams, Hood, and Jefferson.

Climb statistic: 5 miles round trip