About describes the purpose of this site and includes some trail related District history.
Trails contains information about hiking trails in the Clackamas River Ranger District of the Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon. If you go to the index be sure to read ABOUT TRAIL INDEX if it’s your first visit.
Get Involved has suggestions for those who would like to advocate for trails in the District.
Hikes describes a series of hikes we have guided in the past.
Maps is a listing of current and historical maps of the district.
Forums is a place to post trip reports, talk about abandoned or lost trails, or just chat about trail topics.
Historical Items are stories and items of historical interest, including some old documents.
Weather is a page with links to weather reports around the district.
Winter has come to the Clackamas District – Snow was down to under 3000′ recently although much of that has melted. It will not be long until winter closes our higher elevation trails. Get out and enjoy them while you can!
See the most recent fire update for more information, but road 45 from Hillockburn has been re-opened. Road 46, which had been opened all the way thru to Detroit for the summer has been closed again at the border of the forest to allow Willamette National Forest to work on hazard tree removal. Road 4220 to Breitenbush has also been reopened which restores access to Horseshoe Lake. Roads 45 and 4220 will get hazard trees removed next year. The work to clear Road 57 of hazard trees has been started, however the road is still closed. It does not appear it will reopen this year. Road 54 is expected to reopen next year sometime. The 3 miles of road 45 from 224/Memaloose does not appear to be on the schedule to re-open unfortunately. The first few miles of that have been closed since the 36 pit fire in 2014. You can view the project site here. You can also view the list of roads that will be closed or decommissioned and the list of roads that will be kept open as well as a map of the affected roads.
All campgrounds and trailheads along the Clackamas are currently closed. Some may reopen next summer but some will most likely be closed for a few years while they are rebuilt and the Forest Service looks for a new concessionaire to run them. The only sites that are open are Moore Creek, Hole in the Wall, Carter Falls Overlook, and Big Eddy. The good news is that the work to clear the campgrounds of debris from the fires has begun.
Here is a link to that map with the current trails overlaid on it so you can see what trails have been affected and how intense the burning was. More intense burning my indicate trail damage, although there have been reports that affected trails have had work done on them to repair fire damage. The Trails page has been updated to include a * after the trail if it is has been affected by the fires. There are 64 Trails listed on that page and 42 of them have been affected by the fires. The Clackamas River Trail and the Riverside trail are officially closed and the Double Peaks trail has been obliterated by the fire and will need to be rebuilt. The fire boundaries are now displayed under the historical fire perimeters overlay.
This is the FAQ about rebuilding activities in the Clackamas that the Forest Service will periodically update. (last update was September 2023)
Note: page header is a view on the 4635 road to the Rimrock trail near Trail 703 crossing
The casual hiker going through an area doesn’t have the recognition of those who have worked on a particular trail through the seasons, or a 100 yard stretch of trail that took 3 workers all day to correct. Find a trail and make a difference. That is what a Trail Advocate does.
Make a difference! EVERYONE can be a Trail Advocate!
Trail maintenance doesn’t have to be complicated or difficult. Here are some simple ways everyone can help maintain and improve our trails:
- Throwing limbs, rocks, etc off the trail tread while you are hiking.
- Bringing hand pruners or loppers and clearing brushy areas.
- Flagging obscure sections of trail so others can follow easier.
- Reporting conditions to the Forest Service at Estacada.
- For more ways you can help, see this page.
if everyone does just a little bit, it will make a HUGE difference in the condition of our trails.
If you want to be able to access some of the more obscure trails in our district, please make sure your voice is heard!
Please report ATV use of hiking trails to the Forest Service to help make them aware of the growing illegal abuse of our trails.
Environmental groups will not protect your trails. They often work against them and do pitiful little to mitigate the negative impact on trails their agenda wreaks. Even Oregon’s leading and otherwise venerable hiking club is not protecting your trails. It’s up to you.
Expect sudden changes in weather up high. High evening winds in the Clackamas Gorge. Watch for rocks on Hwy 224 in the mornings.
PLEASE don’t remove plastic flagging, it is probably important. Don’t be a hero. You could ruin someone’s years of research or get someone lost.
It is possible that we may lose the roads leading to our more obscure trails. An environmental organization, BARK, is pushing hard to close roads and restrict access. They want us to walk miles of ripped up roads to get to our trails. Anyone who thinks walking ripped up roads is neat needs to spend a day doing so. Trail lovers need to pay attention and have their voices heard.
IT IS TIME TO COMMEND the Forest Service for a hundred years of managing the Roaring River drainage. Before the Forest Service establishment, the Roaring River country was severely burned out. Extensive trails were built. It was planted and seeded and protected. Now it is cherished by wilderness fans. The thinning projects elsewhere in the District have also been quite a boon letting in just enough light to liven things up while making it easier to get around and appreciate the new settings.
ATV DAMAGE to trails, theft of signs, car theft, car burning, and damage to vegetation — particularly around water — can be reported to the Forest Service. Doing so helps them document the dimensions of various problems which is the first step towards addressing them.
Hiking in the Clackamas District is generally not like taking a walk in the Gorge or on Mount Hood. Our District is rough, steep, remote, and unforgiving. The trails are often faint, there are few signs, and help is far away. It’s wilder than wilderness. Don’t underestimate it. Be prepared. Cell phones cannot be relied upon.
DO NOT rely on internet trip planners to navigate the woods. DO NOT try to cross the District during the Winter, late Fall, or early Spring unless you know exactly what you are doing and have your Common Sense pulled up tight. Use Highway 26 or 22. That’s what they’re for.
There have been more unusual COUGAR ENCOUNTERS in the region so please be careful. Cougars have not been hunted with help from dogs for some time and are becoming impudent. Their habits are changing with respect to humans. Watch behind you from time to time. Cougars do not like to think you know they are following. When sitting, oppose one another and watch each others back. Cougars are attracted to sitting figures because they appear to them to be manageable prey. When a cougar advances on you, DO NOT RUN, assault the cougar with anything you’ve got. They are averse to being injured. A side arm is a prudent companion in the woods. Young cougars can work in pairs and are particularly stupid. Cougars like thick cover with a thin tree canopy.
You can call 503 261 9246, then 3-2, to hear the mountain WEATHER FORECAST (National Weather Service), or view the pinpoint forecast on any of the trail information pages. There is also a page dedicated to weather information, including links to weather stations around the district. The maps have also had weather and Snotel stations added to them, where current conditions and forecasts can be easily accessed.
Please encourage your ATV riding friends to respect our hiking trails by staying off of them. Point out to them that ATV damage to trails, vegetation, and water quality will likely lead to more restrictions.
- WATCH FOR LOG TRUCKS! There are thinning projects active in the Forest.
- Headlights are always a good idea in the woods.
- Keep right on outside curves.
- Please be very cautious driving our forest roads. There have been some serious accidents.
- Bad curve on Road 57 at the new bridge between the end of 224 and the Oak Grove Fork crossing.
- Road 7010 has a SLUMP difficult for cars to traverse about seven miles up.
- 4610 Road (the Abbot Road) has been improved after the Riverside fire to be used as a firebreak – the old washout between the old 790 trailhead and the 791 Salmon Butte trailhead has been repaired, although this should still be treated as a 4WD, high clearance route only.
It is surprising how many people leave valuables in their cars. Break-ins are common along the highway. Security at Bagby Hot Springs has improved greatly due to the new on site presence. Note: Bagby Hot Springs is currently closed. It is scheduled to re-open in 2023 once the new concessionaire has completed staffing.
Enjoy the woods. Be safe and prepared.
- Most loggers and equipment operators have radios for emergencies. PGE staff are very present along the Oak Grove Fork of the Clackamas River and have radios. Most Forest Service staff also have radios.
- Cell phones may work between SiSi and Olallie Butte. (Verizon).
- Cell phones may work at milepost 36 on Highway 224. (Verizon?)
- Cell phones may work at about milepost 2 (from Memaloose) on Road 45 at the corner with the guard rail. (Verizon? ATT?)
- Cell phones work at the dam at Timothy Lake. There is also reception at the powerlines on the 42 Road.
- In general Cell service in the district is improving and Cell phones may work in some of the higher elevations where you are on ridges, etc, but reception is still very spotty and cannot be relied upon for emergencies.
- In general Cell service will be non existent in river canyons and at lakes where you are in a bowl.
- Remember that even if you don’t have cell service, you may be able to send a text message. Text messages don’t require as much of a signal.
- Write us: firstname.lastname@example.org if interested in helping with adding or correcting content.
- An interpreter of celestial observation data from 1855 to determine points on the ground today.
- A bridge over the Roaring River at the Trail 517 crossing.
- A replacement of the shelter burned at Cache Meadow.