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Firelane 15 Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

(Redirected from Firelane 15 Hike)
View from Firelane 15 (cfm)
The upper end of Firelane 15, Forest Park (bobcat)
Serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia) on the BPA Road (cfm)
Old sign at Kielhorn Meadow, Forest Park (bobcat)
The route down Firelane 15 in Forest Park (bobcat) Courtesy: Portland Parks & Recreation


Hike Description

Located at the northwest end of Forest Park, this loop will give you a good steep hike with a chance for some solitude. Like most hikes in this park, the route is predominately in the shade of a secondary Douglas-fir forest, but the short sections along the powerline access roads provide views to the northeast. On clear days, Mount Saint Helens, Mount Rainier, the Columbia River, and Sauvie Island can been seen on this route. Since you're beginning the hike on Skyline Boulevard, you have several hundred feet of ascent on the way back, so be prepared to sweat at the end!

Go around the green gate on Skyline Road, and hike along a powerline corridor. The road soon ducks into a mixed slope forest of Douglas-fir, western hemlock, western red-cedar, big-leaf maple, and red alder. Sword fern dominates in the understory. Head up to an open view to Sauvie Island, Mount Saint Helens, and Mount Rainier. Then descend again past sprawling, mossy maples to rise from a gully up to the power lines, which again offer wide-ranging views on a clear day. The road then takes a sharp right at what used to be the old trailhead and passes an open gate to enter deeper woods. At a junction, you can head up past a large Douglas-fir to Kielhorn Meadow, where there used to be a house. This also used to be an access point to Forest Park, but the current landowner has built a fence across the access road at the end of the meadow.

Return to Firelane 15, and drop steeply down a sword fern/Oregon grape slope to the four-way Wildwood Trail-Firelane 15 Junction. Make a right here, and rise gradually above a salmonberry gully. You'll cross three footbridges and pass a memorial bench. The rising traverse takes you to the Wildwood Trail-BPA Road Junction, where you should turn left on the powerline maintenance road. After 40 yards, the Wildwood Trail resumes, but keep to the BPA Road. Enter the open powerline corridor, which supports dense thickets of salal, sword fern, thimbleberry, and Oregon grape. At the junction with Firelane 12, you'll see plaques which commemorate the purchase in 1999 of 73 acres here, a parcel known as the Hole in the Park, to prevent a subdivision from going up in the middle of Forest Park.

Go left on Firelane 12, and drop down under a canopy of alders. The firelane swings right to descend above the deep gully of Miller Creek's south fork. At the Firelane 12-Firelane 15 Junction, make a sharp left to ascend Firelane 15. Look down to your right to see a small Buddhist shrine that has been there for years. Cross the creek, and make a sharp bend to head steeply up. Swing left to cross the powerline corridor in a thicket of young alders, salal, and bracken. The trail levels on a ridge crest and arrives at the Wildwood Trail-Firelane 15 Junction. Keep straight to return to your vehicle.


Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A


  • Take a Walk: Portland by Brian Barker
  • One City's Wilderness: Portland's Forest Park by Marcy Cottrell Houle
  • Portland Forest Hikes by James D. Thayer

More Links


  • CFM (creator)
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.

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