Rooster Rock Trail

HARD 44 reviews
#2 of 3 trails in

Rooster Rock Trail is a 8.4 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Cascadia, Oregon that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

8.4 miles
2,467 feet

dogs on leash



horseback riding

rock climbing

trail running






This difficult hike to Rooster Rock provides a view of the entire South Santiam Canyon There are two trailheads to this hike. The one to the West is more of a moderate hike, the one to the East is a steeper more difficult hike. The trail climbs slowly, then rises steeply to Rooster Rock. Rooster Rock, an enormous pillar of andesite and basalt, is popular with rock climbers. If you are an adventurous climber, the wooden remains of a Forest Service lookout, abandoned in 1963, can be found by scrambling to the top. From the top of the trail you can see the entire South Santiam Canyon from Iron Mountain to the Willamette Valley. You will also get nice views of other rock pillars such as Rabbit Ears.

9 days ago

I hiked to Rooster Rock in early July, intent on making it a loop at the track on the trail page shows.
I parked at the Trout Creek / west trailhead (room for about 10 cars); the parking area at the Rooster Rock / east trailhead if much larger.
The 2.7 miles walk along OR 20 is too too enjoyable and, in some spots, there is not much of a shoulder to separate you from traffic. Not looking forward to a roadside walk, I scouted the other side of the river but ended at gates with "no trespassing signs".
The 2.3 miles climb up from the Rooster Rock trailhead is steep and relentless (I only spotted a 10 feet flat section the whole way up!). The trail is however well maintained (as of 7/2018) and goes through nice forested slopes. As others have noted, this is likely not a great hike if all you are looking for are the views from the top.
I was actually glad to have chosen to go up the steep side and go down the longest (more gentle) on; while it made for a bit of huffing/puffing on the way up, my knees were thankful for a less extreme pounding returning to the valley floor. The three parties I me on the trail were all doing out-and-backs from the Trout Creek trailhead.

The "summit" is relatively small (not a lot of room to "setup shop" to relax/lunch, especially if you have to share with others. The trail continues to a (higher) second summit just off to the northwest and appears to go further beyond that (possibly due north to the logging roads in that area).

12 days ago

For the work you put in on the hike the views are disappointing. We have done Iron Mountain and loved it! So this view was a let down in comparison. It is a butt kicker so if that's what you are going for its a stead incline the whole 3 miles up. We took our kids and they did complete it. Just watch out for poison oak, lots this spring.

27 days ago

Great hike. Excellent conditions. Pretty steady climb with awesome views at the top!

1 month ago

I give this a 5 because it is hard. It is a challenge & a good one. Definitely worth it, though it’s not a 360 degree view like Iron Mountain. There was a native sedum in bloom with a vivid yellow and what appeared on the SE slope to be Indian paintbrush also flowering bright red. I hiked the trail 2 days ago.

1 month ago

Wonderful hike. Great elevation climb. Scenery was beautiful. There was however a lot of poison ivy blooming, but it looked like it had been sprayed.

1 month ago

Started at Rooster Rock TH. Keep right at the fork.

My Fitbit tracked 2.7 miles to the summit and nearly 2,900ft elevation gain! The incline is relentless, especially towards the end. Which means the walk back down was tough on the knees. The view was nice, especially having it by ourselves.

4 months ago

Good hike for conditioning and to work on elevation gain. Went on a clear day so the view was decent at the top. Took the Trout Creek Trail out and back, did not bother with the road hiking. There are plenty of rhododendrons along the trail which I'm sure will look amazing when they bloom. Snow at the top is melting making it a little tricky in the decent.

5 months ago

great workout! We hiked up Rooster Rock trail & down Trout creek trail (took 2 cars as we hate road hiking). the view was amazing and so was the weather!

5 months ago

Great trail, great workout!! Snow free.

5 months ago

Tough hike due to the steep elevation gain, but you get a great workout and the view from the top is beautiful.

5 months ago

Very good training hike! All uphill.

5 months ago

I started out at RR trailhead, the hike up was pretty much all uphill. I only encountered snow towards the top portion of the hike, but the view from the top was well worth it!

6 months ago

Start at trout creek for a more enjoyable hike. Last push is steep but not overly long.

7 months ago

Great climb starting from the Rooster Rock TH. I recorded 2.3 miles to the top. Small snow patches near the peak, nothing challenging. Took Trout Creek back down and then the road back to Rooster Rock TH just like the given map shows. I would recommend taking Trout Creek as your starting/finish point. Taking the road back was fun for the first couple minutes and then it sucked. Wore summer hiking boots, pants, long sleeve shirt, hat, and gloves. Nothing too cold.

8 months ago

If you’re like Miley Cyrus and are all about the climb this trail is for you as it is basically all uphill till you get to the view. The view is amazing. Careful with the rain as the trail has washed away in some spots

11 months ago

I started at the Trout Creek TH. The first two miles are fairly easy with a steady uphill climb. The third mile starts getting steep, and the last half-mile is very steep. Just go slow! Be careful coming back down; take small steps to keep your center of gravity over your feet. Definitely don't want to fall. Pretty walk through the forest. Shaded. Great panoramic views at the top, although nothing too earth shaking. A good training hike for elevation gain!

11 months ago

An all uphill climb. Great view spot from the top. Getting to the top of Rooster Rock itself would require ropes. Also once you get to higher elevation watch out for lots of poison oak!! Bring some Tecnu with you just in case. Poison oak starts showing up around the rockier terrain.

Monday, June 26, 2017

6/24 Easy to find there is a trail head sign on the road after fair view or fair field campground headed east. Crowded with ferns and cobwebs and very steep when heading straight to Rooster rock but no one else was on the trail. It looks possible to get up to what must be Rooster rock but not without climbing. There is an accessible peak view over the valley beyond the big rock formation. We took the trout creek trail down and it was gradual enough to run down until we ended up on the road and hiked and ran up the road rather than climb up the trail again. On a hot day you can stop by a campsite park and jump in the creek along the road!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Great hike! Lots of wildflowers, ferns and Oregon Grape all along the trail. The scramble to the top of the rock can be a little treacherous - beware.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

Bring water! This is a butt burner!

Friday, May 05, 2017

Steep hike, pretty much no level trail. Great workout though and the view at the top is great if it's clear. Not a crowded hike which is nice. Well defined trail, a few narrow spots though.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Difficult but rewarding hike! Lots of snow the last third (12-12-16) of the trail. Beautiful views. Lots of madrones shedding their bark!!

trail running
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

uphill all the way up, downhill all the way down. plenty sore after doing this as a trail run.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Definitely an up hill climb but worth it!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

nice hike I will do it again..

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

nice hike, combined with Pechuck lookout.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Went for a backpack to Table Rock to watch the Perseid Meteor showers. It did not disappoint! Saw 77 large meteors and not another person for 2 days.

Recommend printing directions as phone lost GPS in the area and had to navigate by site to get to trail head.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Challenging trail to Rooster Rock. Picked the wrong day to go as it was foggy and I didn't get to enjoy the views. Will do it again on a clear day, although maybe will take the Trout Creek Trail instead.

10 days ago

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