Two and a half miles. That's all it is from the parking lot (elev. 1,650') to the summit of Saddle Mountain (elev. 3,283'). Be prepared to marvel at the sheer volume of natural beauty packed onto the mountain, from a mature forest setting to fields of wildflowers to an open rocky summit. The view from the top of the mountain is one that cannot be described ... it must be experienced. The trip to the top isn't an everyday stroll through the woods, though. Come prepared with water and layer your clothing. The temperature is very different at the summit than in the parking lot. Wear appropriate shoes for rough terrain and be prepared for some steep grades, which make for interesting climbing. A nice walking stick and friend's hand would be helpful in many areas. As you climb, though, remember to look up and out at the landscape before you. Also look down at the wild floral show that may only exist at that elevation. Take frequent breaks and enjoy this unique landscape as well as the beauty of the forest below you. .
Hiked here last summer. Nice blend of intensity, lots of views, nice resting point before turning back. Chain link fence type of trail reinforcements helped keep grip, but I felt awful for the poor dogs on the trail unable to avoid the sharp ends of the wires.
Fabulous views! Ignored the forecast & was rewarded, because they were so wrong! A little bit after the 3rd bridge you'll come to a wooden staircase - just after that, look to your right while continuing towards the summit and if you're as lucky as I was you will see Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams. AND Mt. St. Helens all at once! WOW! Talk about breathtaking views!! The summit was windy & cold, but the Pacific Ocean & The Columbia River could be seen. The only thing that keeps this from being a five-star review is the condition of the trail: small iron rods sticking up to snag your boots or squash a toe (coming down) are prevalent. Lots of scree, too - thank goodness for the mesh. Wear your best boots & watch your step and this will be a five star hike all the way!
I'm sure the view would have been beautiful if I'd been able to see it. I was inside of a cloud for the last half of the climb, nothing but cold damp white all around. Early August, was supposed to be a clear day, I reached the summit around 1pm and was still surrounded by clouds.
The times that I could see the view, I was distracted by the scars on the landscape left by loggers deforestation. I like wood furniture as much as the next girl, but it is unfortunate to the view.
From the open saddle part and upward the trail has chain link fence to help with traction. Definitely necessary, but annoying and unsightly.
I was unimpressed by this hike, won't do it again.
My brother and I did this hike at 8am. The trip up was foggy. It was beautiful but not we envisioned. On the trip down the fog started to burn off. Lots more people on the trail even by 10am though so not peaceful when done later. The camping was great and simple. I would recommend doing the winding drive up to the campsite /trailhead in the daylight. Fun trip!!
Went hiking on a 90 degree day and the lack of shade was a bit of a killer. Definitely don't forget to bring your water. Overall the hike was great. Several viewpoints where people can stop off and take some pics. The view of the coast from that high up is beautiful. Will definitely visit again!
It was alright. The metal fencing/grating on the trail to mitigate erosion was super annoying; very easy to get tripped up by it and trekking poles snagged in it. I feel like there are better ways to prevent erosion. It was raining so I didn't get to see any views though the fog was really cool. Felt like we were at higher elevations. Met a very friendly salamander along our way too which was fun! But I may only do this hike again just to do it when it's not raining so I can see those views but otherwise I wasn't too impressed with the trail management.