Little North Santiam Trail

MODERATE 50 reviews
#17 of 116 trails in

Little North Santiam Trail is a 7.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Lyons, Oregon that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1496 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

trail running

walking

forest

river

wildlife

Directions from Mehama: Turn onto Little North /fork Road #2209 from Hwy. 22 near Mehama. To access first trailhead, follow Road 2209 to Elkhorn. Turn right onto Road 201 and follow to trailhead. To access second trailhead, stay on Road 2209 to fork in road. Veer right onto Road 2207. Follow Road 2207 to western end of the closed Shady Cove Bridge. Park and walk across bridge to trailhead.

hiking
12 days ago

I'm not sure how the trails get their rating and I am not an expert, but I really think that this is not a moderate trail.
We shuttled from the trail head to Shady Cove campground. The hike from that end starts out very pleasant and pretty easy. Around a mile and a half to two mile in that all changes. You climb up out of the river bed in switch backs that become more and more rocky as you go. When you reach the top you have to go back down. The trail becomes very narrow and very rocky. When you get to the river you turn around and start back up again.
We went after a heavy rain. This made the river amazing and beautiful but it also made the creeks feeding into the river very fast and deep. There were three crossings that did not have a bridge. Two had logs laid across. One of those was very smooth and very slippery. The last crossing did not have any logs. We had to cross up stream, off the trail, on a tree that was laying across and on the far side was about 6 feet off the ground. I understand that the heavy rain was the cause of the full creeks but something should be said about that lack of safe crossings.
It is a wonderful hike with so much to look at. I just think people should be made aware that it is not moderate. It is a very difficult hike if you are not prepared.

hiking
28 days ago

hiked this trail on 3/25/18. Most of the trail was covered in Snow and slush which made the high elevation trek uphill way more challenging. It was a good work out and our two dogs loved it. I wish there was a better view of the waterfall along the way. There is no signage on the trail besides the sign at the start of the trailhead.

1 month ago

love this trail! Gorgeous views and a great hike for my older children (11&15)

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike. Found trailhead pretty easy, friendly neighbors pointed me in direction where to park. Keep going past wooden bridge, go up hill and large parking area. Compared to like silvercreek falls this hike is much narrower trails, on Clifford areas, roots and many rocks that have to be navigated around...a bit more challenging in my newbe opinion. Love the challenge and beautiful river and and high falls.

hiking
1 month ago

First time we hiked it there was none but us. The place is miraculous and a panacea for sure.
Now after returning several times we have found far too many others.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great trail, well maintained. We hit snow on the road and couldn't drop off our second vehicle at Shady Cove Bridge. We parked both vehicles at the Elkhorn Rd trailhead. The trail was well marked, even with small patches of snow. Excellent, beautiful views, quiet, plenty of opportunities to sit, eat lunch, relax.

3 months ago

Did this hike for the first time today! Loved it! The view towards the end, is amazing!

hiking
3 months ago

I make it a ritual to visit and enjoy the beauty of the opal creek wilderness many times throughout the year. The forest is lush and green and the creek water is transparent turquoise blue. There is some incline and length to this hike. Respect the beauty of the forest and leave no trace.

hiking
5 months ago

Tough hike with good elevation climb. Most of the hike is set off in the woods with no view of the creek or canyon.

9 months ago

I was not a big fan of this trail. I have done several moderate hikes, this hike was much more difficult. My skill level definitely not up to par. This was a hike was pretty technically difficult, loose rocks while going up/ down small steep trails. I would liked to have seen a little more for the effort that went into it. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone who isn't a little more advanced.

10 months ago

I love this trail. Gorgeous water, forestry, lots of little spots to step off the trail near the river.

10 months ago

This one is steep and has slim trails. Great view and awesome creek.

11 months ago

Beautiful hike along the river. Trail is moderately challenging, but well worth it with all the lush greenery and sound of water the whole way. Beautiful waterfall around Mile and half in. Dog friendly but steep at times so leash is must. Well shaded and multiple of areas to go swimming if you wanted to stop.

hiking
11 months ago

Great hike with beautiful views of the river. The last 1/2 of the trail has many large downed logs that cross the trail. You can scramble over or crawl under them. The very wet winter has taken its toll uprooting several trees.

11 months ago

Love the trails once you get past the pastures!

hiking
Monday, April 03, 2017

Cool things to stop at on the way

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Definitely difficult hike but beautiful scenery along the way!!
If you have the means- park one car (or bike) and the end of the trail so you only have to hike 4mi there and take the car/bike back to the beginning of the trail.

hiking
Monday, August 22, 2016

I an going to call bunk on the EASY rating. Distance and elevation gain alone take it to MODERATE. Add several spots where balance and coordination tests and moderate hazards present themselves, I think it would be better to not deceive newer hikers with unrealistic ratings.
That said, I had a great time. One activity not listed is swimming. There are several cool and clear pools that offer a fun swimming experience, at least on a warm summer day. I wish I had the foresight to wear a suit under my hiking garb.
I wore tennis shoe style hiking boots. Bad choice. My heavier hiking boots would have been a better choice, owing to the need for ankle support and stiffer soles.
I brought my trekking poles. Good choice.
I brought my point and shoot camera. I should have brought the DSLR for some really top cabin scenery.

hiking
Tuesday, August 02, 2016

This was a very rough trail. A lot of steep inclines and switch backs. The trail was very rocky. My sister and I are new to hiking and we are a bit chubby and this was way more than we could handle. There was some beautiful spots though. Just wish the trail description here and other spots had been a bit more realistic.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Beautiful hike! I want to go back so badly!

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