Ascent of Saddle Mountain on 2015-01-19

Climber: James Barlow

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Monday, January 19, 2015
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Saddle Mountain
    Elevation:3283 ft / 1000 m

Ascent Trip Report

After West Onion Pk, I traveled along Hwy 101, taking in the views in the afternoon sunshine. The morning had been cloudy and rainy (along with the last few days), so it was a nice change of pace. I headed to Saddle Mtn for a second P2k for the day. Like Marys Pk the day before this one promised a paved road to the TH and a maintained trail to the top! There are signs on the (open) gates that say that the park is closed during the winter season. It was not closed (or particularly wintry) this day. There were half a dozen vehicles in the parking lot when I arrived. I set out from the trailhead in my last set of dry shoes and last pair of dry pants. I made quick time up the trail, with the goal of topping out in 1 hour. It is 1,600 ft of gain, so on trail that should take 1 hour. As I ascended, the views were great with the clouds intermittently parting and revealing the peaks around Saddle Mtn. The rock formations on Saddle reminded me of Iceland quite a bit. It is pretty unique to this area of Oregon from what I can tell. I am glad to see that Oregon had the foresight to protect this area as a state park. It is surrounded by some pretty ugly slash-and-burn logging areas.

The summit was enshrouded in clouds when I arrived, limiting the views. I took the obligatory summit photos and headed down. The trail for the upper portion of the mountain is covered with chain link fence-like material to prevent erosion. This makes descending more of a challenge than I expected. I didn't slip at all, but had to slow down a bit to avoid a spill here and there. As I descended the sun was setting, making for picturesque sights to the southwest. I was the last person to leave the trailhead for the day and reached Hwy 101 around 5:30 to make my drive around to Astoria for an early dinner and then across to Longview and home to Seattle. While I was driving past Sea-Tac, I was passed first by a speeding silver car, then by the 4 police cars chasing him. A few miles up the road I was stopped by about a dozen police cars that had I-5 blocked across all the lanes. I was 1 car back from the action. Apparently they stopped the guy and arrested him. Good riddance, he could have killed another driver with his reckless police chase.


Stats (ascent only - GPS track is 1 way):
2.2 mi
56 min TH to summit
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1643 ft / 500 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1643 ft / 500 m
    Route:Saddle Mtn Trail
    Start Trailhead:1640 ft / 499 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by James Barlow
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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