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Salmon River Trail: Short Option

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Mount Hood National Forest

Salmon River Trail: Short Option is a 7.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Rhododendron, Oregon that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 7.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1,676 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
21 hours ago

What a beautiful area to do engagement photos. It was not a hard trail to do and we had plenty of places to take pictures! I’m coming back and using this area for more pics. We did the shoot on Tuesday and it wasn’t too busy. Still quite a few people but the trail is so big that I didn’t encounter too many people. Check out Stunningportraitphotography.com for more pics.

Lovely Riverwalk.

backpacking
8 days ago

Great trail, lots of campsites for the first 2 miles, very easy quick overnight backing. It got cold over night next to the river so be prepared! We hiked the rest of this after setting up camp, past this trails viewpoint there is a lake as well. Careful not to leave valuables parking at the trail head over night, multiple cars had windows smashed in.

hiking
9 days ago

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 longer version of this trail so if you're looking for a review go find it. I just wanted to let people know about the vandalism.

hiking
12 days ago

You need a NW Forest pass to park at trailhead (we stopped for a day pass at the Bi-Mart off Powell on our way out of town). We did this one June 21. Left trailhead around 12:30 and oncoming traffic was pretty heavy. Nice moderate hike along the river and up above it; views weren’t anything crazy where we stopped but it was a great hike for being such a short drive from Portland. The hike doesn’t have a specific endpoint because it connects with a larger trail at some point, but the canyon view lookout around 3.6 miles up makes for a good turnaround spot. There is a porta-potty at the trailhead; bring your own hand sanitizer!

hiking
13 days ago

Great trail. Pretty rocky, muddy, and narrow at some points. Short backpack (~1.5 miles) to great campsites right on the river. Trails are not marked well after the trailheads. Beautiful waterfalls if you know where/ how to get to them. About half of the people on the trail were wearing masks.

hiking
great!
15 days ago

FOUND GEAR on tues 6/23. we went in from trailhead to the split up the hill towards the lake and fire lookout... about 1/4 mile below the lake (Kinzell? Kindell? i've forgotten the name of the lake) my buddy sees some gear in the brush about a foot off the trail. this is a nice piece and i won't describe it here. call me if you lost something, describe it, and i'll get it right back to you. not looking for reward, just want to get it back to owner. someone had this bounce out of their pack and is probably pretty bummed. cheers! 503 720-8412

hiking
muddy
16 days ago

Went to goat creek. Overgrown past the end of where all trails stops. Not many bugs. Muddy, but I’m sure will dry up with all of this sunshine we’re supposed to get!

We stopped at the top of the ridge before turning back. It was muddy when we hiked. We saw the most people within the first 2 miles of the hike where most of the camp sites near the river are.

18 days ago

I love this trail. Beautiful forest with lots of logs to climb and streams to cross. My 6 year old has a blast.

hiking
fee
24 days ago

This was a really nice trail along the river. You do need to have the nw forest pass to park at the trailhead. It looked like a lot of people didn’t but still parked... we were one of those but purchasing mine today! I’d like to come back and run the full out and back which is 15m. Several folks camping and through hiking. Lot’s of dogs!

hiking
fee
30 days ago

We left the house at 7 am and headed out on a rainy Saturday to avoid crowds with our 8 and 12 year old. Great logs for the kids to explore off trail and there were very few people on the way. There were a few narrow sections but not too bad. We didn’t need to go to the end of the hike on the app but could have stopped after 3.6 miles at the Canyon view. Finally at least 1/3 of the people we passed had masks which was an improvement from previous hikes. Glad that people are starting to bring masks but more hikers need to bring them.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike on a cloudy day. Always close enough to the river to see or hear it. Great look out towards the end and the wild flowers and rhododendrons were just starting to bloom.

camping
1 month ago

Excellent hike! We hiked in about 1.5 miles and camped by the river the first night. There are several campsites within the first couple of miles with river access. The second day, we finished the hike and came back down and camped at another site for a second night. Old-growth forest, absolutely stunning views of the river. Lots of wildflowers in the second part of the hike. Mostly flat, then increases in elevation after about 2.5 miles. We specifically came to camp overnight, but this would be an excellent day hike to do. You could hike up and then eat lunch at the summit with great views, then head back down. It is unclear where this exact hike "ends," as the trail keeps going. This is just a shortened version of what could be a much longer loop that connects to the Hunchback trail via Kinzel.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail! Not too busy for covid season. Up and back in 3hrs. Great for starters or back atters! Was looking for a bit more of a peak but all and all great day.

hiking
snow
4 months ago

hiking
muddy
off trail
6 months ago

Great trail along the river. Quite a few down trees, so you will have to hop over them, and toss the dog(s) over as well. Had to stop and turn around due to a heavily flowing creek we were unable to cross at this time.

hiking
6 months ago

Just gorgeous! I’d hiked this trail before starting at the first trailhead you come to once you turn off 26, and that section is lovely with lots of swarths or old growth forest, you barely notice you’re following parallel not far from the forest road. This time we started at the trailhead farther down the road. It was a gorgeous day and the trail provided stunning views and sections of green tunnel thru the forest. Would like to go back again and hike out even farther! Trail gets popular so the earlier you go the better, though since there’s so many trail head options to hop on the trail you should be able to find parking whenever!

hiking
muddy
rocky
6 months ago

Muddy in some spots, but overall trail in good condition. My puppy and I only went from the parking lot to the wilderness permit checkpoint (about 2.5 mi in) and had no issues. Fortunately did not see any traces of wild life though there was a poster for a recent cougar sighting at the trailhead. Surprisingly decent amount of hikers for it being Christmas Day. Great hike that we’ll be back to do many times.

hiking
fee
muddy
over grown
rocky
7 months ago

I recently did this hike Solo. I started at 12 but missed the fee sign and had to hike back out and drive back down to get service to buy the forest discovery pass. (TIP: buy the yearly pass. $30 over the day pass $5. It’ll pay for itself) ** again this is a fee area. ** This is a beautiful hike at anytime. However, I preferred early morning and watching the dew defrost and the sun shine through the trees. I would not recommend: taking kids on this hike, having pets off leash or doing this hike after 3pm during this time of the year. I came across fresh cougar and bear tracks. Really fresh. As well as the noises. This is an in and out trail. Within an hour passing this part of the trail prior... deer, a cougar and bear walked the same path I had just walked. I let the ODFW know they said this time of the year it is very common esp at that time in the day. This personally scared the shit out of me. So solo hikes have been postponed in this part of Oregon. Also if you’re afraid of heights this is on the side of the cliff and can be very windy. I rated this a 4 bc the end of the trail is just a stream. Really you could end this hike at the view point after rounding the corner and crossing the narrow path on the ridge. I found this to be a great workout. Gradual incline but a variety of different terrain and narrow paths. Start: 12 End: 5pm Pace: lollygagging and taking too many photo ops. Miles: 9 not including the first 2 miles I did before paying my fee.

I took my dog and had a great time! Saw a few people not too crowded but you don’t feel alone. I recommend it!

hiking
8 months ago

Nothing technical or difficult about this trail, except for traversing a few fallen logs over the trails. But this trail makes for a peaceful, zenful walk in the woods. Mostly flat with a few incline changes, the Salmon River always in view or within earshot, & lovely trees & birdsong the whole way. I enjoy solo hikes, but do not like the feeling of being totally alone, so I was pleased to see fellow hikers & their dogs coming & going every few minutes (but by no means a "busy" trail). If you go early in the morning, you'll enjoy watching the dew/frost melt & trip off the pines in the rising sun, & mist all around you, it really is a lovely hike.

hiking
8 months ago

Walk up through a temperate rain forest along a stream to an excellent viewpoint. Some stream crossings and steep drop-offs. moderate.

hiking
9 months ago

Relatively flat start along the river for the first two miles. Steady climb till the turnaround provides a great workout. Picturesque views throughout but a special treat at the top. Took us about 3 hours with a good rest at the top.

camping
9 months ago

Beautiful trail. Did part of this after doing the Old Salmon River Trail, then camped overnight. 1st day was raining, but tree cover was decent so you didn't get too rained on. Signs were posted about a cougar spotted in the area, but never saw it. Salon were running though, and got to see them trying to get up the rapids. Trail was in great condition. Absolutely gorgeous views.

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