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Mount Pisgah Arboretum Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Barn, Mount Pisgah Arboretum (bobcat)
Oregon flag (Iris tenax), Mount Pisgah Arboretum (bobcat)
Season tree, Oak Woodlands Exhibit, Mount Pisgah Arboretum (bobcat)
South Boundary-Incense Cedar Trail Junction, Mount Pisgah Arboretum (bobcat)
Sessile trillium (Trillium albidum), Mount Pisgah Arboretum (bobcat)
The outer loop at Mt. Pisgah Arboretum traced on the Arboretum map (bobcat) Courtesy: Mt. Pisgah Arboretum



The Mount Pisgah Arboretum encompasses 209 acres on the west slope of Mount Pisgah with its west boundary as the Coast Fork Willamette River south of the latter’s confluence with the Middle Fork Willamette. The Arboretum, which was established in 1973, was originally conceived to be international in its displays, but soon evolved to focus on local species. A network of seven miles of trails traverses open slopes, forest, wetlands, and the east bank of the Coast Fork. This outer loop takes you to all of these habitats. Note that poison oak is abundant here in the oak savannas and dense mixed woodland.

Walk up to top (east side) of the parking area, and pass a brown gate and kiosk to reach the junction of Trails #1 and #17. Keep right on Trail #1, which leads eventually to the summit of Mount Pisgah (see the Mount Pisgah West Loop Hike). Pass a planting of ponderosa pines as you rise rather steeply on the wide gravel tread and enter oak/maple woods. You’ll see the Arboretum’s picnic area below near a creek. Pass one junction, and keep ascending steeply past spring-blooming irises. A picturesque oak savanna bowl opens up before you. Reach another unsigned junction under the powerlines, and head down the slope to your right.

Switchback down twice, and cross two footbridges over small creeks flowing through the oaks. At a four-way junction, keep straight on the Boundary Trail past a bench, and hike along an old road bed. Step over a lush camas-lined creek at a colorful slope of spring gold desert parsley and rosy plectritis. Reach a wide trail, and make a left into a maple/Douglas-fir forest. At an open meadow, go left at another junction to take the Upper Plateau Trail up around the eastern rim of the meadow. You’ll see more irises blooming here in spring. At a junction, head down to the right, and switchback to a four-way junction.

For a small detour from the loop, go straight on the Buford Trail to an interactive installation celebrating the natural history of the place (Turn the key in the silver tree to learn of seasonal changes). Then return to the junction, and go right on the Boundary Trail. The path crosses a wide boardwalk and, just past a large Douglas-fir, you’ll come to a junction and, fittingly, the David Douglas Monument, which memorializes the Scottish botanist who traveled through the Willamette Valley in 1826.

Head downhill from the junction, and switchback in an oak woodland to reach the junction with the Incense Cedar Trail. Make a left here, and drop down another switchback at a bench. Reach Quarry Road, and cross it to find the Pond Lily Trail, which descends through a dense snowberry thicket under lichen-draped oaks. At a junction, go left over the Vern Adkison Bridge. The lily-covered slough here is part of an old channel of the Coast Fork Willamette River. Go left after the bridge, and follow the path as it burrows through a thicket of Indian plum, snowberry, meadow-rue, and western snakeroot. At another junction, turn left into a grassy expanse, and follow the trail indentation to reach Meadow Road under powerlines. Turn right on the road, with the Coast Fork flowing to your left. Pass the junction with the Pond Lily Trail, and arrive at Quarry Road near a barn.

Turn left on Quarry Road, and take the wood chip Riverbank Trail leading left. Hike under incense cedar, spruce, Douglas-fir and Oregon ash, and get glimpses of the Coast Fork. You’ll notice a few small labels identifying some of the plants. Keep left at the Patricia Baker Wildflower Garden, and pass two more junctions before turning left to cross a footbridge. To your right, under large oaks, is the White Oak Pavilion. Reach Quarry Road, pass some restrooms, and arrive back at the parking area.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • $5 parking fee or Annual Pass for Lane County Parks
  • Dogs on leash
  • Park open dawn to dusk
  • Maps available at kiosks
  • Port-a-potty, information kiosks at trailhead; picnic area on the Creek Trail
  • Do NOT leave belongings in your vehicle


Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Urban Hikes Oregon by Adam Sawyer
  • Best Easy Day Hikes: Salem and Eugene by Adam Sawyer
  • Best Easy Day Hikes: Eugene, Oregon by Art Bernstein & Lynn Bernstein
  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range by William L. Sullivan
  • Oregon’s Best Wildflower Hikes: Northwest Region by George Wuerthner
  • Best Short Hikes in Northwest Oregon by Rhonda & George Ostertag
  • Best Hikes With Kids: Oregon by Bonnie Henderson & Zach Urness
  • Oregon Hiking by Sean Patrick Hill
  • Pacific Northwest Hiking by Scott Leonard & Sean Patrick Hill
  • Canine Oregon by Lizann Dunegan

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.

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