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Huckleberry Mountain via Bonanza Trail Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Cheeney Creek, Bonanza Trail (bobcat)
Adit, Bonanza Mine (bobcat)
Mossy outcrop, Bonanza Trail (bobcat)
Viewpoint area (No views on this day!), Huckleberry Mountain (bobcat)
Route via the Bonanza Trail to the viewpoint on the Huckleberry Mountain ridge (bobcat)
  • Start point: Bonanza TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Huckleberry Mountain
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 11.8 miles
  • Elevation gain: 3485 feet
  • High Point: 4,378 feet
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Seasons: Summer into Fall
  • Family Friendly: No
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Hike Description

The Chena Mining District was established around 1900 with about 100 claims. Gold was the attraction although copper, lead, and zinc were also found. The Northern Light and Milling Co. had the largest mine near the mouth of the Salmon River at the Sandy River. This was the northernmost gold mining area in the Cascades, but it was played out in about five years. One remnant of this brief period of excavation is the Bonanza Mine, which can be accessed via the trail of the same name. Continue up the trail on a wilderness slope to the high ridge of Huckleberry Mountain, and go right about half a mile for views from the crest. Lower down, Cheeney Creek has regained its pristine nature and is a burbling delight to experience at both the beginning and end of the hike.

From the cable gate at the trailhead, the old road bed heads up to an intersection, where you keep straight and switchback down to an alder-shaded junction. Go right here along a soggy alder avenue (Left is to the old Bonanza Trailhead on private land). This is a fairly lengthy stretch along this road until you come to a wide creek. A cedar to the left bears a sign for the Bonanza. The creek is not such an easy ford because of slippery rocks (poles are recommended). Resume the road bed. Soon you’re on a regular trail above Cheeney Creek. There are a few large Douglas-firs, cedars and hemlocks, as well as views down to mossy boulders and little chutes in the creek. The trail gets to creek level before rising above a campsite and then switchbacking in mossy woods with a carpet of Oregon grape and salal. Switchback again and make a long traverse up, with views to the creek valley, then head into a gully to cross a creek and view the adit to the Bonanza Mine.

The trail traverses and drops. There has been recent repair to the trail bench in various sections. Make two switchbacks and you ascend a narrow ridge among lichen-encrusted Douglas-firs with a salad carpet. There are two more short switchbacks and you head up again, making a traverse to three more switchbacks. The trail traverses up to round the nose of the ridge as you begin a long traverse up. There are openings on this dryer ridge slope which offer views into the valley. The trail is a little more indistinct for the last half mile up to the ridge and the Plaza-Bonanza Trail Junction.

Go right and pass through a rocky, grassy, noble fir-rimmed opening before reentering the woods. The trail heads up steeply, with the true summit of Huckleberry Mountain on your right, and then drops, passing through juniper/pinemat manzanita clearings. Some parts of the trail are overgrown by rhododendrons. Rise up the ridge and come into a large opening with a rocky summit and a view to Mount Hood.

Note: This is a good car shuttle or hike/bike using the Boulder Ridge Trail (See the Boulder Ridge to Huckleberry Mountain Hike). With a car shuttle, be careful where you park one of the cars (See the Bonanza Trailhead). With a hike/bike, tie a bike to an alder above the cable gate at the Bonanza Trailhead and begin the hike from the Wildwood Recreation Area Trailhead.


Maps

  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Green Trails Maps: Government Camp, OR #461 and Cherryville, OR #460
  • Adventure Maps: Mt. Hood Area
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness, Bull of the Woods Wilderness, Opal Creek Wilderness, Opal Creek Scenic Recreation Area
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Zigzag Ranger District
  • Discover Your Northwest: Mt. Hood National Forest North: Trail Map & Hiking Guide
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Hood National Forest
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Mount Hood

Regulations or Restrictions, etc.

  • Trailhead jurisdiction is in dispute. According to the Forest Service you can park at the trailhead, only right next to the cable gate, not anywhere else on the road. To make sure you know where to park without trespassing on private property, stop by or call the Zigzag Ranger Station (70220 E. Highway 26, 503.622.3191).

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • 100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon & Southwest Washington by William L. Sullivan
  • Afoot & Afield: Portland/Vancouver by Douglas Lorain
  • 62 Hiking Trails: Northern Oregon Cascades by Don & Roberta Lowe

More Links


Contributors

Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.