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Weldon Wagon Road Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Balsamroot on the Weldon Wagon Road (Cheryl Hill)
Great hound's tongue (Cynoglossum grande), Weldon Wagon Road (bobcat)
View looking up at the route of the trail (Cheryl Hill)
NRCA Sign (Cheryl Hill)
Sketch of the route (bobcat)
  • Start point: Indian Cemetery Road TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Sanborn Road Trailhead
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Out-and-back
  • Distance: 5.2 miles
  • High point: 1,845 feet
  • Elevation gain: 1,240 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Year-round, but spring is best
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No
Poison Oak
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Contents

Hike Description

Settlers living on the heights above Husum used to employ sleds to ferry their produce down to "town." Apples were the prime product at that time, and they had to get to market. In the early 1900s, Elwin Weldon and Henry Hyndman built a wagon trail to lead down the slope to the White Salmon River. The road has now been converted to a hiking trail that offers expansive white oak woodland at its beginning and end as well as wide-ranging vistas in between on open slopes that bloom with balsamroot, paintbrush, and other wildflowers in the spring. Beginning on private land, the trail then accesses the White Salmon Oak Natural Resources Conservation Area.

NOTE: The best time to hike this trail is in the spring, when the wildflowers put on a show. In late summer/early fall, because the trail crosses some private land, the landowners reserve the right to block access when there is high fire danger.

Walk up an abandoned road under oaks, Douglas-fir, big-leaf maples and hazel. Hound’s tongue blooms here and there in mid-spring. A sign points out the trail leading off the road bed when you get into deeper woods. The trail rises gradually under oaks and Douglas-fir. Poison oak is proliferous here. Exit the woods at a grassy slope shaded by oaks, which are just budding out. A ponderosa pine stands sentinel. Hike up under oaks, and cross two small seeps below a flower meadow. At an open slope, get a view up the Indian Creek valley. Head into oak woods and then back out. You can see the trail heading up the open hillside opposite. There are great views back to the White Salmon valley. Hike on balsamroot slopes and pass a sign saying you’re entering the White Salmon Natural Resources Conservation Area. Look for views south to Mount Hood. Keep up the open slope and get views down to the valley and across to the Monte Carlo Ridge. Keeping ever upward, enter Douglas-fir/oak woods and hook left past several No Trespassing signs on both sides of the trail. There are a couple of private trails that cross the main trail. Pass below a dwelling: shortly thereafter the trail levels at an interpretive sign about Oregon white oak. Just before this, a scratch of a trail heads left into the White Salmon NRCA. The wagon trail leaves the woods and heads along a Douglas-fir/ponderosa plantation and down a grassy track past rusting farm equipment to the Sanborn Road Trailhead.

Maps

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this destination

  • Day Hiking: Columbia River Gorge by Craig Romano
  • Afoot & Afield: Portland/Vancouver by Douglas Lorain
  • 100 Hikes in Northwest Oregon & Southwest Washington (2006-2007 edition) by William L. Sullivan
  • Columbia Gorge Hikes: 42 Scenic Hikes by Don & Roberta Lowe

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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.