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

Length25.7 miElevation gain4,261 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingHikingRunningForestRiverViewsWildflowersWildlifeScramble
Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

Travel Oregon, 670 Hawthorne St, Suite 240 , Salem, OR, 97301, Phone: 800-547-7842

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.

Weather
UV Index
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Reviews (125)
Photos (530)
Activities (70)
Completed (327)
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Mikio Kameta
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarApril 17, 2021
BackpackingGreat!MuddySnow

Backpacked 4/12-13. Plan was to spend three days but we just camped at 11 miles in and returned next day because of snow. There were still snow and still very cold in the morning where we camped. Also there were a few places that the trail hasn’t been maintained after storms and it was rough. But It was very stunning trail.

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Megan Andersen
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Hiking

Awesome

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Janet Ruzich
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 12, 2020
Hiking

This was a beautiful hike after a recent snowfall. The river views with snow on the trees and rocks was stunning. The view at 3.7 miles in is worth the trip. No need for snow spikes or shoes.

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Kelly Dodd
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 15, 2020
HikingGreat!

Fantastic hike

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holly curan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarNovember 9, 2020
HikingGreat!

Gorgeous today: sun then a little snow. Not too many people and all friendly and most with masks

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Brittany Allen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 5, 2020
Hiking

Did a small out-and-back hike of this trail on 9/4/2020. It was moderately trafficked while we were there mid-day. in some areas it was harder to distance and let people by (since we're living through the COVID-19 pandemic right now) but it was overall a scenic and serene trek. There are some fairly steep and rocky parts and areas where it gets quite muddy or narrow, but it's a good moderate-hard hike depending on your experience. This time of year the forest offers ample shaded areas and there are several spots to pull off the path along the river and enjoy some lunch.

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Kathy deBoer
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Hiking
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Michelle Green
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Hiking
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Ron Miller
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BackpackingFeeGreat!

We wanted to do a short backpacking test run before going on a larger trip, and this was perfect. It is only an hour from Portland, the trail was gorgeous, and it was a short trip in and out. The first two miles are especially beautiful with many gorgeous stream views, beautiful forest, cute bridges to cross, and beautiful camp sites. We camped at Rolling Rifle, and did the approximately 4-mile round-trip hike up to the viewpoint. The viewpoint was nice at sunset, but was not spectacular. We much preferred the hike through the woods. We went mid-week, and there were still quite a few campers, but there was no problem finding a nice spot to set up camp. There were a lot of biting flies which weren't too bothersome, and an occasional mosquito or horsefly. We were a little concerned about our car being broken into, and there was broken glass everywhere at the trailhead, but we were lucky and no cars were broken into the night that we went. There is a $5 per day fee for parking (or $30 for a 12-month pass). The backpacking permits were available on the trail, but while I expected to find them at the trailhead, you had to hike to Rolling Rifle to find them (about 2 miles in). There were pens in the box to fill out the permit, but you might want to bring one of your own to be sure. The sign says there is a $100 fee for not having a permit.

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Katerina Mikula
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 19, 2020

I day-hiked last week and returned this week to sit at the river. It looks like several cars had been broken into recently - a lot of glass in the parking lot which I did not notice last week. Unfortunately the trailhead is easily accessible by a paved road - beware of overnight vandalism/car break-ins. :-(

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Stephanie Lux
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 28, 2020
Backpacking

Moderate, scenic backpacking trip. Well-maintained and easy to navigate trail. Tons of camping the first ~5 miles then more difficult to find campsites after that. Plentiful water sources. First few miles were extremely crowded on the way out on a Saturday morning.

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Chris Perry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 27, 2020
HikingBlowdownGreat!Over grown

SAFETY ALERT - 6/28/2020 - Multiple car break-ins at the Salmon River West trailhead. I counted four cars with broken windows (including my own) and had to get a jump start since the vandals left the glovebox open and the light inside drained the battery. Luckily there was nothing valuable in my car... I did the first 9.2 miles of the Salmon River trail on 6/27-6/28/2020 as an overnight backpack. I had to stop partially due to time but also because there are a few huge blowdowns across the trail. The trail is great but needs some TLC, which is understandable given the partial shutdown of the Forest Service due to covid-19. There are also a lot of overgrown bushes through miles 5-7ish. Looking forward to doing this one again once it's been maintained.

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Amy Lowitz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 26, 2020
BackpackingOver grown

Lovely and varied trail. I started Thursday afternoon, spent one night, and hiked out Friday evening. More varied terrain and scenic vignettes than sweeping vistas (though you get a couple of those). A few slightly muddy spots. Steep sections are few and pretty brief. Around mile 6, the trail gets pretty overgrown. I ended up turning around at about mile 7 or 8. Tons of established dispersed camping sites from mile 1-3 and then more scattered options at least up through mile 5.5. Trail is mostly shaded, so it's a good option for hotter days. Currently there's good water sources (either easy river access, or good running creeks) at least every couple miles up through my turnaround point. There are a couple trees down in the first 7 miles of trail, but they're all pretty easy to get over or around. Only one required taking my pack off to get past. Few people around on Thursday, but was getting pretty packed by Friday evening as I was hiking out.

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lucas huddleston
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 22, 2020
Over grown

wonderful trail but beyond about mile 8-10 there is a disaster of downed trees. every 20 yards you have to scramble around them, some of which are fairly unsafe. would definitely not recommend this full loop for solo or casual hikers until the trees are cleaned up. same with jackpot meadows trail. 6/21

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Chris Richardson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 25, 2020
Hiking

Fun hike.

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Hannah Urrutia
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 10, 2020
Hiking

So beautiful! Definitely coming back to backpack this trail!! Only went about 4 min to viewpoint trying to do a few hikes in a day. If you stop short go at least 4 mi in!

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Vincent Ferraris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMarch 7, 2020
Hiking

Great trail! Amazing views and you parallel the water during your journey. There are makeshift campsites all throughout the trailhead and flat areas to pitch a tent (must be 1/4 mile away from main road, not on trail and 100ft from the water). The only negative I have to say is the parking lot has piles of glass from smash and grabs; keep all valuables locked up or out of vehicle at this location.

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Kathy Jaco
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 24, 2019
Hiking

Beautiful walk along the Salmon River on Christmas Eve. UNFORTUNATELY, we left our backpack at the trailhead parking around 4:00 PM. We didn't realize we had left it there till we got back to Portland. Drove back up there and searched in the dark, but backpack was gone. We are hoping a fellow lover of the outdoors has found it and are trying to get it back to us. My husband's wallet is either in the backpack or his coat pocket in the backpack. PLEASE, if you know anyone that hiked here on Christmas EVE late afternoon, please share this with them. Much appreciated!

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Melissa Ramirez
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarNovember 24, 2019
HikingMuddyRocky

Always a beautiful walk through a mossy forest .

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Mary Ann Pastene
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarOctober 15, 2019
Hiking

Nice trail. Generally very crowded.

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Bradly Bain
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 23, 2019
Hiking

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.

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Meagan Hanifee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 4, 2019
HikingOver grown

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.

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Jeff Disney
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 28, 2019
Hiking

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.

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Brett Babir
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 6, 2019
HikingOver grown
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