SADDLE MOUNTAIN STATE PARK
SADDLE MOUNTAIN STATE PARK
Two and a half miles. That's all it is from the parking lot (elev. 1,650') to the summit of Saddle Mountain (elev. 3,283'). Be prepared to marvel at the sheer volume of natural beauty packed onto the mountain, from a mature forest setting to fields of wildflowers to an open rocky summit. The view from the top of the mountain is one that cannot be described ... it must be experienced.
The trip to the top isn't an everyday stroll through the woods, though. Come prepared with water and layer your clothing. The temperature is very different at the summit than in the parking lot. Wear appropriate shoes for rough terrain and be prepared for some steep grades, which make for interesting climbing. A nice walking stick and friend's hand would be helpful in many areas. As you climb, though, remember to look up and out at the landscape before you. Also look down at the wild floral show that may only exist at that elevation. Take frequent breaks and enjoy this unique landscape as well as the beauty of the forest below you.
Located in the northwest region of Oregon, this natural reserve is named after its highest peak that resembles a saddle. The area was initially inhabited by Native American tribes who used it for hunting and gathering resources.
In 1935, the land became recognized as an official state park when Clatsop County donated around 120 acres to the State Highway Commission (now known as Oregon Department of Transportation). This donation marked one of many efforts during President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal era aimed at preserving nature while providing jobs through public works projects such as building trails and campgrounds.
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), established under FDR's administration, played a significant role in developing infrastructure within these lands between 1933-1942. They constructed roads leading up to Saddle Mountain along with picnic areas and hiking paths which are still utilized today.
Over time additional parcels were added increasing its size significantly; currently spanning over three thousand acres making it one of largest parks managed by Oregon Parks & Recreation Department.
Saddle Mountain State Park in Oregon offers a campground for those who wish to stay overnight. Here are the details:
1. Saddle Mountain Campground: This is the only camping option within the park itself, located at its base and offering 10 walk-in tent sites (no RVs or trailers). Each site has a picnic table and fire pit with grill.
2. Amenities include drinking water, restrooms, showers, trash/recycling collection points but no electrical hookups.
3. The main attraction of this campsite is access to hiking trails leading up Saddle Mountain which provides panoramic views from its peak on clear days.
4. The campsites do not have vehicle access so you will need to carry your gear about 100 yards down an incline from parking area.
5. may be restricted during summer months due to wildfire risk; check current conditions before planning any open fires.
6. Reservations can't be made as it's first-come-first-served basis.
Please note that there aren't many amenities nearby - make sure you bring all necessary supplies with you!