Little North Santiam Trail

HARD 62 reviews
#14 of 120 trails in

Little North Santiam Trail is a 8.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Lyons, Oregon that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
8.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,420 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

river

waterfall

wildlife

rocky

Little North Santiam Trail starting from Elkhorn. Trail can also be started from the Shady Cove Campround.

15 days ago

I loved this trail! I started at Opal Creek Campground which provides you with a couple easy miles before the incline starts. So much beauty! Like being in a fairy land! Lush forest and crystal clear green/blue waters. Plenty of side paths to go down to the river and swim. The incline is a great workout. Bringing a friend back here to do it again

hiking
27 days ago

Rocks, roots and river, Oh my!
Beautiful swimming spots. Few places packed with people but the trail on other side river.
Good training hike and carried full packs. 9 miles.
One couple reported seeing a small black bear. Few people stung by black bee. No mosquitoes.

hiking
1 month ago

Narrow trail, full of roots and rocks, steep in sections, but really lush & green and beautiful views of the river. Take a dip to cool off at Three Pools before you turn around to return to the TH.

hiking
2 months ago

Wow! This trail was a bit rough! Lots of rocks and roots to keep it interesting with some intense elevation gain. We started at the lower end hiked to Shady Cove camp ground and walked the road back.

hiking
2 months ago

This is not 7.9 miles out and back. The OR state website says 9 miles total, 4.5 miles from one end to the other. The inaccurate info on this app really threw us off to determine where we were and how much to go because I didn’t realize the map on the app showed incomplete hiking log starting from the Elkhorn side of the trailhead. We started from the Shady Cove cg side. I recommend starting from the Shady Cove side trailhead if you’d like to avoid steep parts that start around 2 miles or so in after a beautiful riverside trail that is easy and has accesses to the river including the Three Pools. The official info is https://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guide/Little_North_Santiam_Hike

hiking
2 months ago

A good out and back if you’re looking for a nice little workout. Our small dog did fine on the trails. Much of the trail has a beautiful view of the river below, plenty of access points, and a couple good camping spots if you wanted to backpack in. The trail isn’t marked once you get on it, but it’s pretty easy to identify if you follow the most traveled looking trail.

3 months ago

Surprisingly great hike! Lots of different scenery. Waterfall a mile or so in. Finished up at Three Pools. Trails are fun.

hiking
3 months ago

Great Hike! Went on Saturday! Was challenging at moments. Lots of up and downs. Not for your first hike of the season.

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing views and great hike! The water is the most incredible shade of bluish green I have seen. The hike is challenging at some parts, but it makes it fun and exciting. Definitely not a boring trail. We were probably the only people who camped there overnight, but there was some decent traffic during the days. Overall, I definitely recommend it!

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike. Not moderate, definitely challenging. Trail is rough and very, very steep areas. Hiking with children or puppies not advisable due to falling hazards. Absolutely worth the effort.

hiking
4 months 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
4 months 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.

4 months ago

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

hiking
5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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.

hiking
7 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
9 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.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

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.

Monday, May 29, 2017

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

Monday, May 29, 2017

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

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

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
Sunday, May 07, 2017

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.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

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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