Camping in the Costal Range

Here’s where we went:

SADDLE MOUNTAIN STATE NATURAL AREA

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.

Since the girls did so well on the hike in the Columbia River Gorge, we thought we’d give Saddle Mountain a try. John didn’t tell us it was the tallest mountain in the costal range until after we had started :). It was some pretty steep terrain, especially for little five year old legs.


Just getting started.

The secret to success… LOTS of breaks!

Oregons forests are amazing!!! So beautiful!

WHAT !?! Only 1 1/4 miles up… we thought we were almost there!

At this point we thought we had made it. Then John told us that we had only reached the first of two peaks. Oh… that’s why they call it saddle mountain! The girls were ready to give up right then and there and go back down to camp. Only the promise of cold rootbeer and swedish fish for whoever made it all the way to the top kept them going.

Beautiful! (And scary for me… there were some steep drop offs and I was a little concerned about kids plunging over the edge. It’s a moms duty to worry about such things.)

Getting closer…

1/4 mile to go…

Yes! We made it!

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