Salmon River Trail

HARD 91 reviews
#24 of 156 trails in

Salmon River Trail is a 25.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Welches, Oregon that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 25.7 miles Elevation Gain: 4,261 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

running

forest

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

scramble

Directions from Sandy: Travel east on Highway 26 for 17.9 miles. Turn south on Salmon River Road and follow it for five miles to the trailhead.

hiking
20 days ago

Great trail. The river sounds were along the trail and the salmon were a plenty. Portion my family did was quite flat for some time and then we met significant elevation gain.

hiking
over grown
2 months ago

The first 5 miles of the trail are absolutely beautiful and that section of trail is well maintained. As you get further in, it becomes more overgrown. When you leave Salmon Trail and get on to Dry Fir to do the loop, it’s incredibly overgrown, almost like a bushwhack. I would definitely avoid Dry Fir again. There was enough water in the streams to be able to refill and filter water at least every 4 miles. There isn’t enough water to worry about wet feet.

hiking
2 months ago

Great trail, one of my favorites as a local. Plenty of parking at the trailhead. A bit of an up-n-down scramble the first 250 yards. Then flattens out w a very well maintained trail through old growth cedar and fits right along the river. Many places to sit by the river in shade and rest/eat. Once you reach FS registration box you’ve hit the end of the short trail. If you continue on, you soon start a significant elevation gain up to the overlook and butte. There are a few creek crossings-dry during the summer. But in the spring you’d need waterproof boots. Took me 1 hour to the registration box. 1:45 hr to the butte.

hiking
over grown
3 months ago

hiking
over grown
4 months ago

Lovely trail, if a little overgrown in spots...

blowdown
4 months ago

went out this weekend for an overnighter. Most of the spots were open, probably owing to rain, and there were no bugs! the mosquitoes had just hatched down by the water, still too small to bite. Watch out, they're a-coming.

hiking
off trail
over grown
5 months ago

6 months ago

I think it will be awhile before you can hike this without boots. There is a tiny bit of snow at the trailhead and the river us over full today. We didn't go far,hiked through some snow, water crossings and turned around. I would do my research for this trail. just because it's close to Portland doesn't mean it's not dangerous. I can see why people run into animals.

hiking
6 months ago

Such a beautiful trail! The river is amazing! Good hike for dogs. The intensity of the trail is almost intermediate. Right now majority of the trail is covered in packed snow. Definitely wear boots instead of sneakers.

hiking
blowdown
8 months ago

This is just a heads up that there is a tree down blocking the trail 1.5 miles in from the trailhead. It appears to be stable and you can scramble over it. Someone with limited mobility might be challenged.

backpacking
9 months ago

We backpacked in this weekend from the Salmon River TH on Welches Road. We had a late start, about 11:30am by the time we were on the trail. By 3:30 we were to the Linney Creek junction about 9 miles in. The bridge there washed out years ago and there was no way across to we set up camp in the only flat-ish spot we could find in that area just before the trail headed back up to higher elevations. It was raining lightly on the way in, with a dozen or so water crossings that were above shoe depth. At 5pm it turned to heavy rain which lasted through the night and changed to snow about 4am. Hiking out in the morning was through 2-3 inches of snow above 2500 feet, and back to rain in the last 5 miles to the trailhead. We spotted a family with 4 small kids about 3 miles from the TH and a father and son camping for New Years near the permit box. Seemed like there was some wildlife around the trail. We saw a lot of small to very large paw prints in the snow both on the way in and the way out along with poops of various size and composition. We never saw or heard anything from the trail though. Overall, a beautiful way to finish out 2018, camping right on the edge of the roaring Salmon River. On the way out, there were almost 30 water crossings, some had risen to mid-calf and we hiked with wet socks and shoes for the last several miles. We did the last 6 miles of trail into Welches for a sandwichm, completing 25 miles roundtrip. We had planned to continue past Linney Creek the next morning, but due to the sub-freezing temps, snow overnight, and the added 1400 feet of elevation, we likely could not have made the loop without snowshoes and more time than what we had left for the adventure. We'll be back in late Spring to do the 25 mile loop and also check out Kinzel Lake trail and maybe over to PCT connection.

hiking
10 months ago

Great for dogs! Hiking next to the river is amazing :) the bridges and trees are quite dreamy

hiking
11 months ago

So calm,so cozy

backpacking
11 months ago

Hiked this trail over this gorgeous weekend in October. Quite a few day hikers up to the viewpoint. No one after that. We stayed at Goat Creek with one other group. Took a day hike the next day well past the Kinzel Lake trail connection. Found MANY piles of semi-fresh cat scat on the trail. Also found evidence of bear activity and a paw print. Definitely had "that feeling" of being watched/followed for much of this part of the trial (from about mile 5.5-8 or so). We made lots of noise. On the way back to camp found a very fresh cat print in the trail. Made more noise :). Stay in groups (please) if you hike past Goat Creek. There definitely is wildlife in abundance past that point.

Friday, September 14, 2018

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."

hiking
Monday, September 10, 2018

Have hiked this trail many times and enjoy it a lot. It's one of those "go to" spots when I just want to get away without having to put a lot of effort into it. The terrain is easy, trail well marked. Lots of places to camp in the first 2 miles, a few after. You can actually link up with other trails and make your way all the way to the PCT. From there there's Timothy Lake to the south and Mt. Hood to the north. Good for dogs!

camping
Saturday, July 21, 2018

Did this trip as our first overnight backpacking trip in mid June. Hiked the little over 8 miles to Linney Creek Trail and camped at the site there right next to the river. The water was great through a filter. The trail never got too steep and had a few beautiful view spots. There were many creeks on the trail as a water source as well.

backpacking
Saturday, July 14, 2018

the first half of the trail is beautiful and we'll maintained. I saw no one after the first five miles or so. however the second half of the loop clearly has not been maintained in the last 10 years or so. you will be pushing through dense brush for a few miles. both of my water bottles were pulled from my pack at different times by branches. there are also very few places to camp after the 9 mile Mark. however there are ample opportunities to refill your water bottles. I likely wouldnt do the full trail as described on this trail.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Excellent and very pretty trail. Plenty of nice camping spots open even on a weekend. Sparsely traversed passed the 3.1 mile mark so much more solitary and foresty but very peaceful and pretty. Not too challenging. Good practice before attempting the mountain hikes.

backpacking
Sunday, May 27, 2018

Took my 8-year old daughter on the first 2 miles of this for her first overnight trip. It was the perfect introduction to backpacking. Not too easy, not too hard. Well-maintained trail. Lots of friendly people everywhere. And some great dispersed sites just after the wilderness trail notice. Highly recommended.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

A favorite!

backpacking
Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Took my six-year-old on his first backpacking trip here. Amazing spot considering how gentle of a hike it is for the little ones. Confusing signage, though, because it says no camping or fires, but what another hiker told me was that it only applied a quarter mile from the trail head.

Monday, January 08, 2018

Only did a fast in and back a few miles but great trail, fantastic scenery. Close to a good introductory spot for rock climbers

running
Sunday, August 20, 2017

Beautiful trail!!! Very runnable for those trail runners out there. A lot of water access if you are not into carrying a large hydration pack (be sure to filter!!) I wouldn't say the views are amazing, but the trail, seclusion and the sound of the river make up for it.

hiking
Wednesday, August 09, 2017

A VERY beautiful hike! A fair amount of incline going in (especially if you have heavier packs), but coming out a few days later was much easier. Ha! Plenty of campsites within the first 2 miles and a few scattered throughout the rest of the trail. Along the river most of the way if you're in need of water.

backpacking
Monday, July 24, 2017

Wanted to do a quick overnight backpacking trip. What a wonderful hike. Great for trail running, too. Lots of good campsites all along the way. Four stars: Few sites, vistas to see.

backpacking
Saturday, July 08, 2017

We backpacked in and stayed at the campsite at the Linney Creek trail right on the river at mile 8. it was a gorgeous spot. That said, the best hike and views were in the first three miles and hiking past the registration station generally isn't worth it. The trail itself is poorly designed along creek crossings with unnecessary descents and ascents. There are four waterfalls along the route with no access points because the sides of the valley are too steep. Keep it a day hike or camp in the first two miles.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Beautiful!

camping
Monday, June 26, 2017

Set camp on snowfield which for Dry Fir is about all that was available in late May. A bit too much bushwhacking required on the descent of Dry Fir, but remainder of hike justifies the 5 stars.

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