Went up here with my family back in the late 50's or early 60's and many times since. Always a great little hike and good views if you are lucky enough to have a clear day in this rainy corner of the state.
One of the most interesting hikes in the Coast Range - such a range of terrain and views. We encountered waterfalls on the trail itself and a decent padding of snow on the mountain top - it gave the hike a really alpine flair.
I started at 7:30am and topped at 8:15, socked in fog for most of the way up. The wild flowers are still out. I saw an elk on the seven mile drive from highway 26 (scared out of it's gourd by my little truck), chipmunks, and birds up the wazzu (one of these days I'm gonna learn to identify them).
I also hiked the little point just south of of Saddle Mt. and it afforded better views due to the cloud cover above... neat rock too. Back at the car by 10:30.
I heard an unidentified "ooomb ooomb" sound in the wooded area. Weird. I heard it on Mt. Defiance too.
After climbing Neah-kah-nie Mountain in the morning, we ate some lunch and headed up 53 to Saddle.
Beautiful day, lots of people coming down, we got to the top and no one was there. that's always a good feeling.
Great visibility. Good hike to break in the new boots.
Easy hike to the top. Sullivan's book classifies it as difficult......I have difficulty in seeing where/how he makes that assumption. Anyway, we had a full parking lot and saw lots of people on the trail. The high clouds didn't prohibit our views by any means. We could see the mouth of the Columbia, Nehalem Bay, Rainier, Helens, Adams, Hood, and just the base of Jefferson. The most interesting part of the trip were the three guys from Singapore that summitted with us, basically. One of them made an interesting comment: that we Oregonians seem to use our land poorly. Hmmm...yes, it looks like its clear-cut all the way to Rainier from the summit of Saddle Mtn, but I don't think thats what he meant. Being from Singapore, I think he thinks we should build on it all, that by not using it then we must be using it poorly. ooooh....Deep thoughts. :-) Happy hiking!
Easy walk to the top. Great view of the Columbia River.
Fun day trip to do in the AM before it gets crowded, then head to the beach! Very straightforward, have had great weather and views 3 out of 4 times I've been up there; the 4th time, we could barely see our feet! Otherwise, despite the clearcutting that dominates a lot of the views, it's a pretty fantastic peak.
Nice early morning weekday hike on a 100° day in the Willamette Valley. Nobody else on the trail and view stretched from the Pacific to Mt. Rainier, St. Helens, Adams, and Hood.
Crowded trail. Some areas of loose rock near the top. Great view of Pacific and mouth of the Columbia river. Cascade mountains are also nice for viewing on a rain and cloud free day. My wife and I had a sunny, nice and warm day. Sometimes hard to come by.
A great little hike so I used it for a conditioner using a full pack. The weather was not all that great but it wasn't raining. I understand there is quite a nice view from the summit. This is also the county highpoint for Clatsop county but you have to go a little beyond the railing to tag it.
Shirley and I hiked up in miserable conditions - visibility above the trees was about 50-100 feet due to fog; pounding wind; rain (in all directions - sideways, upside down) - all the good stuff. Needless to say that with the warm weather we've been having here in PNW, not a trace of snow was seen. Good quick work out.
On a Saturday afternoon I was trying for two Oregon county highpoints, Columbia and Clatsop. The Columbia HP took longer than I had anticipated, so time was running short by the time I headed for Saddle Mountain. Having not read about getting there, I was dismayed to discover how far it was on the slow, bouncy, narrow road to the trailhead. By the time I got to the TH it was a little more than an hour until sunset, and clouds were rolling in all around. I was determined to get some photos of the cloudtops while the sun was above them, so I hit the trail hard. Even with the stops for photos, I hauled the old body up that trail in 1:02. The sunset was fantastic, but right in the middle of the best color I ran out of film. I went for another roll, only to discover that I had forgotten to put any film into the camera bag. :-( The hike down was dark and wet because the fog had risen much higher, but for only the last mile did I use my headlamp. I'll be back.
This was the first time I climbed the mountain, and the hike that the picture I posted is from. We had the most unbelievabe views. I remember the wind being strong and hiding out in the old army boxes that were there.
Got some great pics of all the peaks.
I have climbed it quite a few times since then in all different weather conditions. Now that I live at the coast I try to pick nice days but the weather changes so fast here.
I think it was 1990. It might have been 1989. Anyway, this is a very nice hike. We encountered another hiker on the way to the summit who was taking her cat for a walk!
3/3/02-What an awesome day. I had no idea the views could be this incredible here. The last time I was here it was crappy. Today, I could see a huge expanse of the Pacific and awesome views of Rainier, St. Helens and Adams in a nice little close group from this angle. Also could see Hood and Jefferson. Way in the north we also could see the Olympics. Amazing day. Went with a buddy of mine to start his conditioning for Hood in June. Had greasy fries and a mushroom burger at Oney's Cafe at "Milepost 19 and 1/2 on Highway 26" on the way back to Portland. (That was taken from their menu, hope it's not a copyright violation. Is Everest.com going to claim that is theirs too?)
2/29/04-light rain at the base changed to huge snowflakes about half way up. The flakes were so big you could hear them landing on the ferns with a small "splat". By the time I got to the saddle, it was a driving snow but it was whipping up from below so the wind went up my jacket and the snow was little needles blowing up into my face. Hit the top, had no views and came back down. Back at the saddle I ran into a couple and the guy had on shorts in a 25 degree snowstorm. I just looked at him and said "Good thinking." As usual, this is always a good little hike you can do about anytime.
3/12/06 With Anette. Tons of snow from the start. Did this one after hiking up Tillamook Head on the Coast.
1/1/08 Ignored the Road Closed sign, made it easily to the trailhead. Lots of snow and blowdowns. Went pretty much straight up to Nipple Rock from the dike. Icy but my new Yaktrax worked well. Very windy up in the saddle. Back home in time to watch my Illini get crushed in the Rose Bowl.
Killer day, not much wind, only 1 section with a little snow, very little ice. Took 2 panoramics of the Columbia rivermouth clear down to seaside, flipped around and took a picture of Ranier, St. Helens, and Hood(?). Sunny day without a cloud in the sky.
My suggestion: Hit it early in the AM like we did so you can avoid the traffic! There were 2 cars in the lot when we arrived, and 26 when we left!