Salmon River Trail

HARD 86 reviews
#16 of 145 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.

25.7 miles
4,261 feet

dogs on leash




trail running


wild flowers




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.

2 days ago

So calm,so cozy

4 days 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.

1 month ago

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."

1 month ago

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!

2 months ago

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.

3 months ago

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.

4 months ago

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.

4 months ago

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.

5 months ago

A favorite!

6 months ago

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.

9 months ago

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

trail 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.

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.

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.

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


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.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

This trail is gorgeous! It winds along the Salmon river so you get to listen to the lovely sounds of the river the whole time. There are camping spots along the trail. This is a great trail for dogs. It does require a Northwest Forest Pass. You can get a day pass at the Thriftway in Welches, 15 minutes away.

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Amazingly gorgeous viewpoints, plentiful campsites near the river and tributaries, dogs allowed, not too many people, old growth trees, berries, mushrooms, occasional challenges... everything great about a trail!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Beautiful place. Wish I could backpack... lots of places to camp overnight.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Beautiful trail, easy for all skill and fitness levels. You can stop and turn around whenever you feel you've reached your limit. There is no mountain lookout or waterfall, but it is truly one of the most beautiful hikes I've been on.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Look forward to doing this one again. Really nice. There are two areas. A lower trail, which is a quick 2 or 3 miles, and an upper trail which is much longer. Both are a great taste of the North West.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

great place for a day hike or an overnight backpacking trip.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Gorgeous trail!! Absolutely loved it

Friday, March 04, 2016

Not my cup of tea. Most of the short section I did was right along the road. This would be a great hike for walking the dog or taking your kids out though.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Great hike for dogs. Easy trail to walk, with several small streams to cross for water. If you are looking for an overnight, you can continue up to the Kinzel Trail, and then up the hill to Kinzel Lake. Add a little adventure by stopping over at Devil's Lookout Tower (about a mile away).
You start the hike by going through an Old Growth area. Then head to a wonderful bluff overlook area with a meadow filled with flower and butterfly's at the 4.5 mile mark. Yes the trial is not well marked. Just keep walking along the river, you will mostly be just fine.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Magical old-growth woods near the start. Worth the price of admission. The natural meadow/clearing around mile 3.6 is a good turn around point, there is a falling hazard there but no worse than any other trail in Oregon.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Beautiful trail, poorly marked.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Good trail. Bit on the crowded side, but good overall. After a easy amble up the trail it climbs steeply up to an amazing viewpoint.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

We only did the upper trail to the viewpoint and the went back down. It was steep and challenging in places but still worth it at the top! The view was so beautiful! We ate lunch at the top (or at least where we chose to turn around) before heading back. Other hikers kept going but said the trail went all the way to Trillium and where we stopped was the best view.

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