Summary: If you have older folks or little ones in your party, this is a great walk that allows you to enjoy the beauty of the Salmon River without much strain. Getting from the parking area to the trail is steep, but the trail is relatively flat the whole way. There are plenty of places to rest, or even camp. You'll pass through one campground near the end of the trail so be prepared to greet the person camped closest to the trail! There are quiet pools, some whitewater, and a pleasant sound as the trail stays close to the river most of the way.The trail goes along a paved road for a few yards twice, so watch the little ones. You'll end at the bridge where the Upper Salmon trail picks up. You could park one vehicle up the trail if you wanted to do a point to point, but the trail is so mild that the walk back is no trouble at all. You'll probably see a fly fisherman or two. Take a lunch and enjoy a stop along the way. Dave (7) gives this one a big double thumbs up.
Trailhead: Head out east on Highway 26 from Portland or Gresham toward Mt. Hood. The turnoff from Highway 26 is about 15-16 miles east of Sandy, just past the Wildwood Recreation area. There is a light at Welches Rd. Take a right here - there is a Thriftway store on your left. Follow Welches Rd. approximately 3 miles to the trail head. There is vehicle parking on the right hand side or west side of the road. There are actually two trailheads approxiamtely 1/4 mile apart. The long./lat. in this report is for the second one in. Getting to the trail is a bit steep right at the start, but that's the worst spot on the whole trail. A Northwest Forest Pass is required for parking - $5/day or $30.00 for an annual pass. (Lat:45.30431 Lon:-121.94085)
Trail Guides for Old Salmon River Trail, near Welches, OR:
Pacific Northwest Hiking 1000 Hikes in OR and WA
by Ron C. Judd and Dan A. Nelsen (Avalon Travel Publishing)
Best Seasons: Year-Round
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes,
Ranger Contact: Zigzag Ranger Station: (503) 622-3191
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Steve Snyder, who has posted 13 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Jen on 6/2/2008
We did this hike today and went on to do the upper Salmon River trail for a total of about 9 miles and were really pleased. It was so beautiful and scenic! Lush green-ness everywhere, made even more enjoyable by the trail paralleling the river for the main part of the hike. I tend to find the hikes with greater elevation gain to be more my style (I love that feeling of accomplishment when I'm looking down at how far I've climbed), but this one had such breathtaking scenery that I didn't even miss the climbing. Also, lots of places to camp if you want to extend the trip and hit Salmon Butte as well.
Reviewed by PJT on 9/23/2007
Lovely autumn hike with easy viewing of spawning wild salmon
Reviewed by Kristi on 6/17/2007
Wonderful day hike. Excellent beginner hike for our young son who is conditioning for overnight trips. Scenery was beautiful! Plan to hike again soon!
Reviewed by Joan on 12/4/2006
Wonderful easy, well-maintained trail. Enjoyed feeling the crunchy snow beneath my feet while listening to the river, and enjoying the beautiful snow covered moss on the trees. Not too crowded given the cold temps but anxious to try again in the spring or summer. However, there has apparently been a recent slide and big trees have covered the trail near the end. It was, however, easy to get back up to the road and go around the mess. Road is closed past the first trail entrance, although the boulders from the slide have been cleared from the road. Would highly recommend, especially right now, as there are fewer hikers.
Reviewed by Scott on 9/11/2006
No forest pass available at the trailhead. Buy it elsewhere first. There is no rhyme or reason to this system, which leads me to HATE the system. Once I drove 8 miles x2 to get a pass before going to a hike on the coast, and when got to trailhead it had a box. Here I decide to pay at the box, it doesn't have one. Your site should say box/no box for all trailheads. Ignore my stars since I skipped it and went elsewhere
Reviewed by ann marie on 9/4/2006
Hiked this solo and had no trouble. safe and great for small children too. swim in river and have fun
Reviewed by Leonard on 6/19/2006
We had a blast this weekend, Alexandra,Viviann, Kate and Lea loved the place, I want to give the reporter a 5 start on all the comments and directions to this site we would be camping there next weekend. Thanks
Reviewed by Peggy on 6/6/2005
Outstanding scenery and a fairly easy walk. Jeremy, Erin, Nick, Cory and Joan hiked this with me in memory of Mark and Cheeny on June 5, 2005.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: Oregon Hiking, Oregon Trails, Oregon Hikes, Clackamas County Hiking, Clackamas County Trails, Clackamas County Hikes