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Sheepshead Rock Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Mt. Hood from Sheepshead Rock (bobcat)
Pinesap emerging on the Plaza Trail (bobcat)
Remains of the fireplace at the Plaza Guard Station (bobcat)
Map showing the route to Sheepshead Rock (not a GPS track) bobcat Courtesy: National Geographic Topo
  • Start point: Twin Springs TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Sheepshead Rock
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Out and Back
  • Distance: 3.2 miles round-trip
  • Elevation gain: 840 feet
  • High Point: 4,484 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: Summer through Fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: Yes - connects to network of Salmon-Huckleberry trails via the Plaza Trail
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Description

Sheepshead Rock is a volcanic prominence in the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness offering vistas to Cascade volcanoes and the pristine valleys of the South Fork Salmon River and Eagle Creek. While the access road to the trailhead is rough, this short hike is worth the trouble not only for the views but the wildflowers that bloom in the rock gardens. Try to find the remains of the historic Plaza Guard Station as you hike in or out.

From the Old Baldy (Twin Springs) Trailhead on FR 4610 (Abbott Road), enter the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness and take a right on the Plaza Trail #783. The path heads along a relatively level tread across The Plaza, a flat area on the high ridge where the Eagle Creek, Roaring River, and Salmon River drainages meet. Keep your eyes open for the stone fireplace of the old Plaza Guard Station, erected c. 1910 soon after the establishment of the national forest (It's where the trail makes an abrupt left turn when it meets the end of the old guard station access road). The trail drops in silver fir, noble fir and mountain hemlock forest and begins to traverse along a steep-sided ridge. Look to the right for a spur leading up to Sheepshead Rock (If you begin to switchback down the slope, you have gone too far). It's a short scramble up the rock, which has steep dropoffs on its north and east faces. Vistas from here extend to Mount Saint Helens, Mount Adams, and Mount Hood.

Maps

  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Green Trails Maps: Fish Creek Mtn, OR #492
  • Adventure Maps: Mt. Hood Area
  • Geo-Graphics: Mt. Hood Wilderness Map
  • Discover Your Northwest: Mt. Hood National Forest North: Trail Map & Hiking Guide
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Bull of the Woods Wilderness and Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Hood National Forest
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Zigzag Ranger District
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Mount Hood

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • 100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon (2nd edition) by William L. Sullivan
  • Afoot and Afield: Portland/Vancouver (2nd edition) by Douglas Lorain
  • Oregon Hiking by Sean Patrick Hill
  • Oregon's Columbia River Gorge: Camping & Hiking by Tom Stienstra & Sean Patrick Hill

More Links

Page 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.