Sunday, April 19, 2015

Saddle Mountain

It had come time for Emily and I to take a break for ourselves and do a hike that my mom couldn’t manage with us.  Emily came home early in the morning from Carrie’s bachelorette party at the Edgefield McMenamins and we packed up Leo and headed out to the Coast Range to climb Saddle Mountain again.  The first time we did it was a few years ago in the clouds with Jason, Jenn, Scott and Daniel so we were excited to see the views on a nice crisp, clear day.  Read on…

We left the trailhead for the 4.5 mile hike around 11:30am with Leo happily skipping along with us.  It was a fairly hot day so it didn’t take long for him to assume his usual spot right behind me on the trail.  We quickly made our way up the mountain only stopping a few times to rest Leo or to check out the amazing wildflowers in bloom all over the mountain already.  There were only wispy clouds in the sky and we could see for miles both out to the Pacific Ocean and inland towards Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier.  

The Geology of Saddle Mountain is truly impressive, even more so when you can see it on a clear day and not socked in with clouds like last time.  The whole twin-peaked summit of the mountain is exposed Basalt with hardly any trees and it is covered in wildflowers during this time of year.  It honestly doesn’t look anything like the peaks surrounding it and it stands much taller, clearly visible from Astoria just to the north.  The twin summits are why it is called Saddle Mountain.  

Along the way up you pass ribbons of basalt and pointed towers of rock that you can climb to the top of.  There are also massive cliffs as you near the summit and deep gorges running down between them.  Definitely not a place to take a tumble but a great place for photos of you “on top of the world”.  

From the top we had views of all the volcanoes and a great view out to the Pacific and the Goonies town of Astoria far below.  There were a bunch of people on the summit with us because of the beautiful weather and Leo got to make some friends before leaving.  We made it back to the trailhead just after 2:30pm after a wonderful hike full of views, flowers and beautiful weather.

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