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Fort Yamhill Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

View to Spirit Mountain from Fort Yamhill (bobcat)
Restored officer quarters, Fort Yamhill (bobcat)
Interpretive sign, Fort Yamhill (bobcat)
On the Killimuck Trail, Fort Yamhill (bobcat)
The short loop trail around the Fort Yamhill site (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Fort Yamhill TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Fort Yamhill Officer's Row
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 0.5 miles
  • Elevation gain: 100 feet
  • High Point: 510 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No



An interpretive trail leads around this state heritage area and details the history of this outpost established in 1856 during the Rogue River War. Native Americans from southern Oregon were relocated to the Grand Ronde Indian Reservation near here and at times there were three companies of troops stationed here to observe Indian movements. The fort also sat near the boundary of the large coastal reservation of that time and policed activity along the Killimuck Trail, the traditional route between the Willamette Valley and the coast. Construction of the fort was begun by Lieutenant William Hazen and future general Philip Sheridan also served here as a 2nd lieutenant until the beginning of the Civil War. The buildings here were decommissioned in 1866 and some were moved to other locations. The state opened the park to the public in July, 2006, but excavations of the site by an Oregon State University team continued well after that date.

There are restrooms, an information kiosk, and picnic tables at the parking area. Get a view over an old barn to Spirit Mountain, a sacred place to members of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde. The land below, which includes the barn, was purchased by the tribes from a Mormon settler with three wives. The longhouse and powwow grounds that you drove past on your way here is part of this parcel.

Walk past the information kiosk and the caretaker's house to an area shaded by big maples. The officer’s quarters have been moved back here and have been restored. The site of the sutler’s store is just below. Take the gravel trail heading gently uphill. There are a few oaks up to the left crowning the knoll. Cross a boardwalk and come to the site of the kitchen. Then pass the sites of the company quarters and the mess hall. Pass by the oaks and their picnic tables and get a view of Spirit Mountain from the top of the knoll. A U.S. flag on a tree trunk flaps in the breeze. A sign says the block house will be moved back here from its current residence in Dayton. Head up past the commissary and the guard house. Then pass along Officer’s Row. The trail switchbacks down into shady woods of big-leaf maple, Douglas-fir, sword fern and candy flower. This is a portion of the Killimuck Indian Trail, an ancient route to the coast. Come out in the open again and walk down to the parking lot.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • Stay on trail
  • Dogs on leash
  • Interpretive signs, picnic area, restrooms


Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Wild in the Willamette edited by Lorraine Anderson with Abby Phillips Metzger
  • Oregon State Parks: A Complete Recreation Guide by Jan Bannan

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.