Easy access, close to home, popular with locals, but still out of the way.
It was a consistent 37° and foggy throughout the hike but we hiked up into snow near Wildcat Mountain. We seem to enjoy hiking in the cold, and weather always makes things more interesting. This hike was no exception. The fading light presented challenges with my refusal to carry a tripod, but like they say, the best camera is the one you have on you at the time.
Initially I wanted to find a short, warm, sunny, dry, and flat hike for the day, going up to the mountains probably wasn’t going to fulfill all of that. I chose this spot because the trailhead is one of the closest wilderness access points from Portland. I had read that trash, vandalism, and shooting could be an issue in this area, so I was a little concerned that this might not be fun. On the way up, there are a lot of “no shooting” signs that were all shot up, but gladly there was no one at the trailhead.
The trail starts out parallel to a decommissioned road, goes past a quarry, and then quickly around a corner basically into the wilderness. You’re soon treated to a cliffside view of the (Clackamas) Eagle Creek drainage. Continue up through Pacific silver-fir, salal, beargrass, and rhododendrons to the top of Wildcat Mountain where once stood a fire lookout. The views are now overgrown and we couldn’t see through the clouds anyway.
This trail system is definitely worth visiting in a warmer season.
You will need to create an account and/or login to see the map with hike track and photo locations.
- 2 hrs 29 min
- 17 min
- 2.3 mph
- 2.0 mph
- 981 ft
- 976 ft