Saddle Mountain. | Tillamook, Oregon. 9/12/2014
Sadly, the summer is coming to an end and the fall season is slowly taking its place here in Oregon. For my last summer hike, I wanted to chase the sun and watch it set behind the ocean.
Saddle Mountain in Oregon’s Tillamook Forest is a popular hike because of its 360 degree aerial view of the Pacific Ocean and our beloved Mountain Range. I decided at the last minute to go here straight after work so that I could catch the sun before it set. I picked up my close friend and we rushed to the Trail Head where we started the hike briefly after 6:30 PM.
We were racing time trying to make it to the top of the 2 mile, 1600 elevation gain hike, I even started running to make sure I made it. The first mile of the hike begins inside a forest and has a gradual incline, which is very easy. This part of the hike made me underestimate the next mile that takes you up into basalt dikes, boulders, steep rocky cliffs, and switch backs. This last mile was killer, I was breathing heavily but I didn’t want to stop and take any breaks. I wanted to beat the sun before it set but of course, we made it, I mean…. that’s why I went out there in the first place.
I’m extremely proud of my friend who came along. Not only did she have to climb the steep rock-face but she was able to keep up with me. This made it possible for the two of us to watch the sun set together, which made the moment much more memorable and amazing.
The hike was only two miles to the summit, but the last mile is killer. It is possible to hike as a beginner, but the trails are skinny and the cliff sides are scary, so be prepared to take a lot of moderate breaks. There are a lot of places alongside the trail to stop for a picnic or water and look out at beautiful sites. Although, the best site of all is when you make it to the top of Saddle Mountain and look at the aerial view of North Western Oregon. I swear, I could see the whole corner of the state!
We stayed up there until the sun fully set and we couldn’t stand the cold any more. We put on our head lamps and hiked back down the 2 miles and reached the trail head by 8:30 PM. The whole while climbing down, I couldn’t stop looking at the stars.
Thanks for reading!