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Saddle Mountain State Natural Area reopens following lengthy repairs

The popular hiking trail in between Portland and the Oregon Coast has been closed since 2021.

Oregon State Parks crews dump gravel at two new pit toilets at Saddle Mountain State Natural Area.

Two pit toilets will replace a flush restroom that failed.

Photo by Oregon Parks and Recreation

Giddyup. The 2.7-mile trail at Saddle Mountain State Natural Area has reopened to the public.

Concerns stemming from a damaged footbridge and a failed restroom forced authorities to close it in 2021. Since then, crews have worked more than 1,000 hours to implement safety upgrades. They rerouted a portion of the path, took down dangerous trees, improved picnic areas, and installed two vault toilets.

All the materials — including heavy lumber, rebar, cable, and pipe — had to be carried by hand up the 3,290-ft summit. Due to vandalism and a lack of infrastructure, the primitive 10-site campground has been removed.

Saddle Mountain in the fog

Fog can sock in the area, making for an otherworldly adventure.

Photo by Ben McBee, PDXtoday

The 5.4-mile roundtrip hike offers views of rare wildflowers and vistas stretching from the Cascades to the ocean (if it’s not too foggy). To get there, drive west on Highway 26 about 1.5 hours from Portland. And don’t forget to bring plenty of water and proper footwear.

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