Saddle Mountain – in the Coastal Range – has more wildflowers than any trail in the Gorge. Huge variety too.
The day was foggy in areas, sunny in areas, and windy. The trail is crowded like Dog Mountain – but way more worth it is you are a wildflower fan. There has been extensive trail work done by adding wire over the trail in steep places – this provided stability and traction. Without the wire this would be a dangerous trail.
Near the bottom the forest is covers in Oxalis – and I mean carpeted. I have never seen a forest covered in ground covering like this one. It was almost like a fantasy setting (see image).
This hike has everything except a waterfall. Well worth the drive to the coast!
Driving Directions to Saddle Mountain Trailhead
From Portland, take Highway 26 west for 60 miles, and turn north just before milepost 10 onto Saddle Mountain Road. Go 7 miles on this paved, but bumpy road where it ends at the trailhead.