Explore July 14 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

July 14 Map
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Very pretty. Little slippery at parts. Good trail for this time of year.

****THERE IS NO LOOP AT THE END POINT OF THE SHORT OPTION AS THIS TRAIL RECORDING SHOWS, don't waste your time trying to find it. Just turn around****

With that being said this trail was beautiful! Rocky and icy at points. There was snow when we reached certain areas of higher elevation, about an inch. Follows the river for quite some time, passing over many small streams that get bigger as you go on. Very green. Lots of dogs (which I love). We only went about 5 miles (10 total) in and didn't see any signs of any animals. Well saw some coyote prints at the end of our almost 5 mile inward trek, knew they were coyote because no other human footprints anywhere close. I recommend!

Just finished hiking this trail with my bf and his dog! lovely atmosphere even in the cold winter months. Awesome river spots to stop and take pictures and very calm and quiet paths into the deeper forested area. Love that its dog friendly and didn't have that many people if you go before 10am!

Absolutely beautiful PNW easy hike. The trail is so green and magical looking following along the Salmon River. The road is good and the forest keeps this hike more protected from the weather.

Hiked this trail yesterday (Sunday). It was a beautiful hike! Lots of fall colors, saw a couple salmon, some amazing views.

Just be sure to have solid hiking shoes as it’s a pretty rocky trail in some parts. I could be hyper sensitive since I rolled my ankle earlier in the year, but if you went with just tennis shoes, you could really hurt yourself.

We started around 9:30 in the morning and saw only a couple people on the way up, lots more people on the way back.

Great hike! Fall colors, light rain, mushrooms everywhere, salmon running. No one at the trail head at 9:30 busy by 3:30.

Perfect fall hike. Pleasant even in the rain. Make sure you pick up a Forest Pass before driving to the trailhead.

We were amazed by the clear blue waters of the river not to mention the beauty of Sahalie Falls. We absolutely loved it!! We definitely would hike it again next time we are in the area. :)

4 months ago

Hiked this trail today without my Sunflower and with the threat of rain for the afternoon.. Low cloud levels prevented good clear views.
Was on the trail looking for the U.S. Capital Christmas tree ornaments but didn’t find any. SweetHome ranger district lists 3 ornaments on the trail with one being close to Gale creek trail head but found no such trail head or marker. Turned around and headed back down at the 5 miles in.

This trail is currently closed for a month because of a deadly cougar attack until they find the cougar that killed the hiker on the nearby Hunchback Trail.

"The Forest Service closed more than 29,000 acres in the Hunchback Mountain area to public use as officials continue to search for the cougar suspected of causing the death of a Gresham hiker.
The area will be closed for at least 30 days, though the order could end early or be extended depending on the progress of the operation."

backpacking
4 months ago

Did a 1 night backpacking trip on Sept 4. Started counter clockwise, so at Green Canyon. It was steep pretty much the whole way, but also forested the entire time so it wasn’t bad at all. You don’t get the fallen trees until you meet Hunchback trail, and it’s not too bad. We reached Devils tower and wished we could have slept there: it’s a lookout tower that you can sleep inside with a view of Mt Hood. If you stay here, you could see sunset and sunrise which is a huge perk! there are also plenty of campsites around but you will need to bring all your water as you really only have water access on the Salmon River which the trail only follows the first three miles going clockwise. We camped at Kinzel Lake which wasn’t hard to find and there are established sites with tables which was nice. The next day we descended all the way the end. We didn’t run into people until the last 2 miles of the Salmon River trail where you will find plenty of camp spots. The best scenery in my opinion were the last 3 miles on the salmon river. Enjoy!

backpacking
4 months ago

Gorgeous hike. Gradual climb. Lots and lots of campsites. Good Eagle Creek substitute.

I highly recommend this hike. tree tunnel w river almost the whole time. 2 hours in the trail will open to a ridge with the river down below. gorgeous. this is the best Oregon hiking in my opinion.

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked on Aug 29: easy road access to TH. U need a permit. Well-marked trail, nice incline to get warmed up and then it gets steep for about 4 miles. Kinzel Lake was crystal clear, sunny day so lots of beautiful scenic views and majestic view of Mt Hood. No bugs. Blowdown gives you a challenging workout on the way down. Heard there were car break ins so I emptied everything I didn’t want but we didn’t have any trouble. It was quite tranquil listening to the Salmon River on the way up!

Do not overnight here! I overnighted with friends on 8/24-8/25. The trail is great, no question there. All three of our cars were broken into and things stolen. The main trailhead parking area is not safe to keep your car overnight. Ten, yes 10 cars were broken into last week. Not going back until these people are caught. The trail is great!

Backpacked to about the 2 mile mark and set up camp. Super easy hike but THE MOST BEAUTIFUL FOREST. There were many lovely camping spots as well before you reach the Salmon Huckleberry wilderness area, but they taper off quickly after you reach the wilderness area. I got stung a few times but other than that, the bugs were minimal. The next morning I hiked to the view points. Not really sure what the end goal was supposed to be so I stopped there. Just before the wilderness area there is a bridge over the sweetest creek. I had a great time hiking up this creek to find the loveliest quit little views. I totally recommend it.

backpacking
4 months ago

This trail is pretty brutal up to Cast Lake, with 6 switchbacks and only about 100 feet of flat ground over 4 miles. I took 3 friends that had never been backpacking and they handled it like champs. The lake is very pretty!

We camped at ice cap campground, from there it was a short hike to koosha falls about ten mins, easy to moderate hike to Sahalie Falls about twenty- thirty minutes. The trail is well maintained and the views are picturesque, but only from a distance. It’s not designed to get you right up to the water, but if you’re semi skilled you can scramble down some slick side trails for a closer look. Just use your head. This water is cold. Not swimmable.
From there we decided to go to Blue Pool. We turned around and headed down and South along the river. It pops out at a reservoir. Beautiful blue, exposed and you can see the fish it’s so clear. The correct way is to bear right, go across the bridge along the gravel road you’ll pass a trailhead sign on the right, but keep going towards the bathrooms that’s where the trail picks backup and you head back into the woods. If you go left, you end up going around the whole lake and the only way to cross is a water crossing, freezing above knee fast moving water. Then bushwhacking for about ten minutes bearing slightly left, slightly up hill. You’ll hit the trail, but keep a close eye out for it. From there it is shady forest with a few quick views of the river. The trail is downhill mostly for about 2 1/2-3 hours with breaks and no rushing. You pass people but in general it’s quite and beautiful. Five wooden log bridges, single rail. Give space between people crossing you can feel the logs bounce with too many people. When you arrive at blue pool be prepared for people. Lots of people in swimsuits, not swimming. I felt bad for them because it looks so good, you want to, but you’re going to freeze your butt off. Every once in awhile you’ll hear or see a person get in and immediately start to suffer. This water is 37 degrees, it’s hypothermia heart stopping cold. Don’t be a fool. There are better places to swim. This is for looking. And there is no easy way down to the water.
Be advised the return trip is uphill somewhat and about 3 hours back. There are other ways to hike to blue pool that are much shorter, that’s why so many people.
So our total trip was about 8 miles with the side trips to the falls. I would have given it 5 stars, but the trail signage was extremely lacking. There were a lot of people who gave bad advice on which way to go. So trust the map you bring. Happy trails!

great trail for families to go together. young children not so much, junior high and up. some pretty steep places. the stars were incredibly bright. was not many campers at Santiam lake. quiet.

Good out and back hike. Did on a Saturday starting around 1:00 pm. With lunch and some river time we were back to the car at about 5:15 pm. The hike up until the trailhead is pretty easy and although the ascent to the bluffs is a bit steep, it's not so bad. The bluffs are a great lunch spot, and we didn't go much further than that. The best spots to go down to the river are early in the trail and it was great to dip our toes into on the way back. There were no bugs except a few bees around the bluffs, but they didn't bother us much. Heads up though - there were apparently a few break-ins today so make sure to not leave any valuables in your car!

awesome trail and well maintained

backpacking
5 months ago

Because of a late start, we went in and out Burnt Lake Trail. Steady uphill climb the entire way, but nicely shaded with some groves of awesome wildflowers and butterflies.

There are a considerable number of campsites, I think we scored one of the best on the "island" of the lake because it's shaded and has easy access to the lake right off the campsite.

Be prepared to spend 45 min to an hour on the CRAZY bumpy road in. We didn't get over 10 mph the entire drive. Also, don't follow the directions on this app to the trailhead, you'll end up dead ending in an entirely wrong trailhead.

Flies were really bad, but they left in the evening.

backpacking
5 months ago

(Aug 12) Did it clockwise, camping one night on the lake. The first 6.5 miles from the entrance to the lake are pretty hard - it's very steep all the way to the top even with the switchbacks. On the lake we camped at the small peninsula - didn't see any mosquitoes or angry flies as mentioned in other reviews. A few annoying flies in the morning, but we were leaving anyway. The lake is pretty clean and very warm - very good for swimming!

Such a beautiful trail. Only saw a few people on a Sunday. Listening to the river made up for my dogs pulling! Not technical. A little rolly. Be back soon!

fishing
5 months ago

Trail was steep as avertised but very short. The road was kind of sketchy so i had to park 3 miles from the trailhead. The walk was not bad though with some great views. I caught 5 very small trout. The only draw back was that many had left their garbage behind. I packed it out for them as much as I could. In all a great hike with not a lot of traffic.

Happy to park a car at both ends without a permit. Not too many hikers between the falls and Blue Pool. Not many bikers either. Love the log bridges along the way. Hiked it again this year. A real treat!

5 months ago

A great overnight backpacking trip with incredible views of Three fingered jack from the west side of Duffy lake, as well as major payoff when summiting Red Butte - views of three fingered jack, Three sisters, and Mt. Jefferson. Plenty of site to set up camp at Duffy and Mowich, but Duffy is quite popular so get there early or go over to Mowich which will have less people set up. The entire lake basin is incredible! One ask to all folks spending time up there: respect fire bans and all LNT principles!

This was a lovely hike. This hike is super easy to access and starts right off US-20, no long dirt roads or high clearance vehicles needed. First three miles are through beautiful blooming wildflower meadows. The trail is a bit dusty and exposed as you are hiking through a previous burn zone. Vegetation is growing but most of the new trees are under 10 feet tall. Our intention was to camp around Duffy lake but once we reached Santiam Lake (about 5-5.5 miles in) we saw that there were only a handful of campsite still open. We opted to snatch one up versus betting that Duffy would still have some. We are SO GLAD we camped at Santiam Lake as the next morning we continued the hiked to Duffy. We found Santiam to be so much more serene and easier to access the lake. Both lakes were warm and great spots to fish (literally tons of fish jumping out of the water). The Rangers were very active in this area and visited our campsite 3 times, which we found slightly excessive, especially since we were abiding by all regulations. They would just stop to check in. There are a TON of mosquitoes in the area so make sure to pack good bug spray.

backpacking
5 months ago

For the HARD work you will do (over 4k ft of climbing going up ZigZag Mtn Trail from the beginning of the trail near Hwy 26) there is little payoff. Overgrown, mostly under canopy, with one less than exhilarating view. We went all the way Cast Lake which was equally disappointing (everything was soggy and the mosquitoes and biting flies were NEXT LEVEL). The next day we summitted ZigZag Mtn for a breathtaking view, with more views on Burnt Lake trail, but it’s short lived and you’re back in overgrown forest trails under canopy with no views.

If you’re trying to train for something, this is a good trail, it’s close to PDX, and it’s got a LOT of elevation (7,500k ft in 2 days), but if you’re looking to connect with nature in a spiritual way and have a good trip... this ain’t the trail for you.

Great trail! Just make sure to pick up a Day recreational pass from the store before the salmon river turn-off. Well worth the drive!

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