Trip Report: Hiking Saddle Mountain Trail
Location: Saddle Mountain Trail, near Seaside off hwy 26
Conditions: Sunny, 29 degrees icy with moderate snow in shady spots
Duration: 3 hours
Difficulty: Moderate (more difficult in icy spots)
Usefull links: oregonstateparks.org
Saddle Mountain is a 4.5 mile out and back trail located in the Oregon Coast Range near Seaside/Cannon Beach. It is a fantastic hike that offers a variety of terrain from lush forest to open hillsides and ending with a steep rocky hill. At the highest peak, you get a 360 panoramic view — the ocean to the West, the Cascade Mountain range to the East and on a clear day — all 5 volcanoes standing proud! The high winds can be very sharp and piercing at the top, so layer up and definitely have a shell.
We started this hike around 8:30 AM. Though the conditions were sunny, the temperature was pretty low. A fair amount of the trail was shaded, icy and treacherous. Sections of the trail are lined with chain link fence material and a horizontal wire to hang on to. This provides great traction for hikers, however, it's not ideal if you're hiking with your four-legged best friend. A good pair of hiking boots are highly recommended. Keep safe through the icy uphill but don't forget to stop and take in the expansive vistas on one side and the beautiful light streaming through the trees on the other. As we made our way back down, temperatures warmed and most of the ice had melted. It's a breeze compared to going up.
I highly recommend this trail to experienced hikers wearing the proper footwear and clothing. If you're concerned about the icy steep sections, do this hike in the summer when you can stop and smell the wildflowers.
Go early — the parking lot fills up pretty quickly. You will also have the rest of the day and the ocean is only a 40 min drive from the trailhead!