A Discriminate Selection of Hiking Trails:
Over the River & through the Woods Scenic Byway

the south santiam river on the over the river and through the woods scenic byway.

The south fork of the Santiam River on Hwy 20 in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon

The following list of hiking trails off Hwy 20 in the Willamette National Forest is not exhaustive by any means. If you are interested in pursuing more of the wilderness hikes, you should certainly check at a ranger station for the Willamette National Forest. A brochure featuring a full-color map of the McKenzie Pass - Santiam Pass National Scenic Byway is available for purchase at any of these ranger stations. Also, check the trip planner online.

Hiking Trails off the Over the River and through the Woods Scenic Byway
 
  • Trout Creek Hiking Trail

    Trout Creek hiking trail is available year round and is 2.8 miles long. It climbs from an elevation of 1300 to 3567 feet and is rated moderate to difficult. It's a somewhat popular trail; the usage is medium to high. The trail is accessed across Hwy 20 from the east entrance to Trout Creek Campground, located on the South Santiam River. There is no water on the trail, but water can be obtained at Trout Creek Campground during the summer. The hiking trail is located in the Menagerie Wilderness.

    Travel Directions: Begin in Sweet Home, Oregon. Travel 19.8 miles on Hwy 20. The trailhead is located across the road from the east entrance to Trout Creek Campground.

    The hiking trail is smoothly graded, taking you through a 100 year old fire generated forest. The enormous pillar of andesite and basalt, known as Rooster Rock, comes into view as you climb. Trout Creek Hiking Trail joins Rooster Rock Trail one half mile from the top and continues to the base of Rooster Rock. If you're feeling adventurous, Rooster Rock is popular with rock climbers. Give it a try.

    A NW Forest Service Pass is required, as well as, a Wilderness Self Issue permit.

  • Chimney Peak Hiking Trail

    Chimney Peak hiking trail is 12.7 miles long, although you have the option of connecting with it by car 3 miles into the hike. In doing so, you won't need to ford the middle Santiam River or Pyramid Creek.

    The hiking trail is rated difficult, spanning an elevation of 2,300' to 4,965'. Bring water with you, for there is none on the trail. The trail is accessible from June to October barring any unforeseen complications.

    Directions: Begin in Sweet Home, Oregon off of I - 5. Travel east on Hwy 20 for 23.3 miles; turn left on forest road 2041, Soda Fork. Stay on 2041 for 12 miles to the spur road 646 and turn right; the trail is at the end of the spur.

    To cut off an additional three miles: Don't take spur 646, stay on 2041 until the road closure. Travel by foot along the closed road an additional 2 miles until you reach the original trailhead.

    Hiking Trail Description: Starting from the trailhead on spur 646, the trail steeply descends 3/4 of a mile to the middle Santiam River. Cool off in the swimming hole if you like. Explore Shedd Camp Shelter. Ford the middle Santiam River and travel north through old growth forests. Ford Pyramid Creek and the trail begins climbing. Cross FS road 2041 and enter the middle Santiam Wilderness, reaching Donaca Lake in less than 3 miles. Keep going, the trail gradually gains elevation until it reaches the base of Chimney Rock. It's possible to climb Chimney Rock if you've a mind to.

    A Wilderness Self Issue permit is needed.

  • Iron Mountain Hiking Trail

    Iron Mountain Hiking Trail is 1.7 miles and rated moderate to difficult. It spans an elevation 4,000' to 5,455'. Available from late June to October, this is a very popular trail. Once again, bring water with you for there is none on the trail.

    Directions: Begin in Sweet Home, Oregon, off of I - 5. Take Hwy 20 east for 34 miles to FS Road 15 and turn right. The parking area is 0.5 mile down the road to your right. A second trailhead can be accessed by traveling approximately 32 miles from Sweet Home, then turning left on 035. Travel 2.6 miles on 035 to the trailhead. A restroom is available at this trailhead. Not at the other.

    Iron Mountain is habitat for more than 300 species of flowering plants sharing their beauty throughout the summer season. The trail passes through several meadows before reaching the bare volcanic rock at the top. A Forest Service Lookout is staffed there in the summer. An interpretive brochure is available at the trailhead.

    A NW Forest Service Pass is required.

  • Hackleman Old Growth Trail

    Hackleman Old Growth Trail is an easy hike. It's a loop of 0.8 mile long at elevation 3,500', and available from late June to October. No water is available, so bring your own.

    Directions: Begin in Sweet Home, Oregon off I - 5. Travel east on Hwy 20 for 37 miles. Parking and the trailhead are right off the scenic byway.

    Two short loop trails: one CAN be wheelchair accessible, although it is difficult because the terrain is steep. The other winds along Hackleman Creek, home to Hackleman Trout, a subspecies Cutthroat Throat. The trails pass through old growth forests of Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar and Mountain Hemlock. Several of the trees are more than 500 years old. An interpretive brochure is available at the trailhead.

    No passes are required.

  • Gate Creek Hiking Trail

    This hiking trail is rated as moderately difficult, it's 3.1 miles long, climbing from an elevation of 3,600' to 4,850'. It's available late June to October and, as at other trailheads, there is no water, so bring your own. :-)

    Directions: Begin in Sweet Home, Oregon off I - 5. Travel east 39.8 miles to FS road 2672, Hackleman Road, and turn right. Drive 1.8 miles to FS road 1598. Travel 2.8 miles to the trailhead.

    This trail offers a diversity of sights to please: Old growth forests, younger true fir forests; alpine meadows as you hike this trail to Browder Ridge. The climb is gradual, arriving at a plateau with an expansive vista of Mount Jefferson, Mt Washington and Three Sisters. Follow an unmarked and un-maintained trail to the overlook of pristine Heart Lake. However, there is no trail to the lake: anglers find your own way if you've a mind to.

    No passes are required.

  • Cone Peak Hiking Trail

    Cone Peak Hiking Trail is available from late June to October, this is a popular trail with a moderate rating, 3.5 miles long. Cone Peak Trail can connect with Santiam Old Wagon Road, Iron Mountain Hiking Trail and Tombstone Pass Trail to create a loop. Available to hikers only, Cone Peak Hiking Trail climbs from an elevation 4,130' to 5,000'.

    Directions: From Sweet Home travel 34.6 miles east on Hwy 20 to Tombstone Pass. Travel halfway down Tombstone Prairie Trail before connecting with Cone Peak Trail on the left. Hikers should park at Tombstone Pass SnoPark rather than on the highway.

    Cone Peak Hiking Trail leads through forests onto open hillsides bursting with flowers. Upper portions of this trail offer vistas of the Old Cascades. The trail will connect with Iron Mountain Hiking Trail, at that junction you can decide if you want to hike an additional 0.75 mile to the top of Iron Mountain and return that way. To make the loop: Combine Santiam Old Wagon Road, Iron Mountain, Cone Peak Trail with Tombstone Pass Trails.

    A Northwest Forest Pass is required.

  • Pyramids Hiking Trail

    This trail is available to hikers from late June to October, and is 1.9 miles long. It climbs from an elevation of 4,000' to 5,618' and is rated difficult. It's use varies from medium to high. There is no water, so once again, bring your own. :-)

    Directions: From Sweet Home travel east on Hwy 20 for 41.8 miles and turn left to Lava Lake, FS road 2067. Bear left on spur 560 and continue for 3.6 miles to the trailhead just beyond spur 572. An alternative access is available on.Hwy 22: Follow Hwy 20 to Santiam Junction and turn left on Hwy 22. Drive 4.8 miles to FS road 2067, the turnoff to Lava Lake, and turn left. Drive 1.2 miles and turn right on spur 560 after crossing the bridge. Drive 3.6 miles to the trailhead on the left.

    Pyramids Hiking Trail begins to ascend immediately, climbing wooded slopes, passing through alpine meadows. Rocky Crags are covered with alpine plants near the top, offering spectacular springtime color. Panoramic views of the Cascade Mountains can be had here, as well as, the remains of Pyramid Lookout, built in the 1930's.

    No passes are required.

  • Rooster Rock Hiking Trail

    This trail is available year round and is 2.1 miles long. It climbs from an elevation of 1,300' to 3,567' and is rated moderate to difficult. It's use is medium. There is no water on the trail, but water is available at Fernview Campground at the trailhead during the summer. The trail is located in the Menagerie Wilderness.

    Travel Directions: Travel east from Sweet Home, Oregon 22.3 miles. Park in the area next to the state highway cinder stockpile. The trailhead is located 50 yards back down the highway across from Fernview Campground.

    The trail climbs slowly for 0.9 mile and then rises steeply to Rooster Rock, an enormous pillar of andesite and basalt popular with rock climbers. If you're feeling adventurous, climb Rooster Rock and investigate the remains of the lookout station located at the top.

    A Wilderness Self Issue permit is needed.

 

Protect our National Forests and Wilderness Areas. Leave NO Trace!
Be sure to check out road and fire conditions at the Ranger Station when planning and
before traveling, hiking or camping in the forest.

Forward ~ Campgrounds on the Over the River and through the Woods Scenic Byway.

Back ~ The Old Santiam Wagon Road accessed from hiking trails on Over the River and through the Woods Scenic Byway.

USFS: The Willamette National Forest.

Campgrounds: Tents and RV Camping in the Willamette Forest off the Over the River and through the Woods Scenic Byway.

Quartz Creek, tributary to the South Santiam River, accessed off the Over the River and through the Woods Oregon Scenic Byway, to the right.

Quartz creek, tributary to the south santiam river in oregon, accessed off the over the river and through the woods oregon scenic byway.

Travel Oregon and northern California while staying at Gathering Light ... a retreat
near Crater Lake National Park in southern Oregon.

Travel on the Willamette Pass, Oregon Hwy 58, to Gathering Light ... a retreat: Travel Directions, Map and Scenery: waterfalls, hiking trails, mountains, lakes, mountain lakes, campgrounds and more.

Directions to and Day Trips of around 100 miles from the retreat.

Little known Scenic Places:: hiking, sightseeing, wildlife viewing, birding, and more, all near the retreat and Crater Lake: Directions Map and Scenery.

wood river wetlands, one of the many klamath basin birding trails near the retreat and crater lake national park.

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Wood River Wetlands, one of the many Klamath Basin birding trails near the retreat and Crater Lake National Park, pictured above to the right.

Contact Brad at Gathering Light ... a retreat.