Northwest Red Head: Climbing Saddle Mountain

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Climbing Saddle Mountain

This is a hike that has been on the "list" since we started hiking last year.  Based on my struggles with some of the "easy" trails we've held off, but the weather looked like it may cooperate so just over a year from our first hike we decided it was time.

The trail was steep from the start, I cried a little

The trail started steep and didn't let me forget it was tougher than most trails I'd climbed.  After this initial steep section the grade improved on the switchbacks but I could still be found stopping every few to catch my breath.

Views like this never get old

This was the first point on the trail we got a view, a beautiful look south/south east.  We had intermittent views of this landscape as we went along until we started the transition across the saddle  and got our first view of the ocean in the distance.


The waves looked as still as they are in the photo, so much so that I really questioned if I was looking at the ocean or an illusion.  I finally resorted to using the zoom on the camera to be sure.


This was the final leg of the climb, yes it really is that steep. There was such an issue with the trail erosion in this area that they resorted to wrapping the trail with chain link to hold the rocks together which then holds the smaller gravel and dirt so there is a trail but the grade made that stretch at the beginning look like a cake walk.  If you look just above the trees at the bottom of the photo you can see 2  people heading up the trail ahead of us. This was a slow climb but being on an exposed trail, there was plenty to look at which on its own is cause for stopping right?

Astoria in the distance

This is the view from the top looking north-ish  The water extending south is Young's Bay in Astoria where it reaches the Columbia river and had I used a bit of zoom the Astoria-Megler bridge is visible to right of the bay, the mouth of the Columbia leading to the sea,  faintly visible on the far left.  Next time I hope for a clear day, should be able to see all the way to Mt Hood. Thanks for reading!

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