Portland Wilderness

Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness
Salmon-Huckleberry Essentials
Size: 44,560 acres.
Year Designated: 1984.
Location: Northwestern Oregon.
Easiest Access: From Sandy, southeast of Portland, take U.S. 26 east for about 11 miles, then go south on East Wildcat Creek Road for 4.1 miles to the Wildcat Mountain Trailhead.
Season: Spring through fall.
Wilderness Fees/Permits: None.
Maps: A wilderness map is available from the district ranger.
Management: Zigzag Ranger District: Mount Hood National Forest

The main attraction in this Wilderness, the Salmon River dives splendidly over numerous waterfalls, luring fishers hoping to hook steelhead and chinook and coho salmon. The drainages of the South Fork Salmon River and Eagle Creek stand cloaked in a dense rain forest of Douglas fir, true firs, western red cedar, and western hemlock with a thick understory. Volcanic plugs, pinnacles, and cliffs distinguish the area's sharply dissected ridges.

Much of the water in this area runs off of Huckleberry Mountain in the northern portion. To the south is Salmon Butte, a striking 4,877-foot landmark with a fine view from the top that can be reached by trail. Mule deer and black bears find winter range hidden In the area's wild off trail country.

The Salmon River National Recreation Trail cuts through more than 10 miles of this Wilderness, part of a trail system that totals about 70 miles. Maps typically imply that this trail parallels the river, but it actually travels several hundred feet above the banks, except for a couple of miles at the lower end of the gorge. At least five trails begin with long climbs and trace ridges with panoramic views, including the Wildcat Mountain Trail (five miles), which is probably the easiest to access.


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