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Palomino Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Trillium Creek from the Hidden Springs Trail (bobcat)
Trilliums, Palomino Loop (bobcat)
Hollow cedar, Hidden Springs Trail (bobcat)
Large Douglas-fir, Palomino Loop (bobcat)
The Palomino Loop with Hidden Springs extension (not a GPS track) (bobcat) Courtesy: Google Maps
  • Start point: Palomino Park TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End Point: Three Mountains Viewpoint
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Loop
  • Distance: 1.9 miles
  • Elevation gain: 495 feet
  • High Point: 615 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: All year
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No



This little pocket of native forest in West Linn is surprising in many ways. First, there are the big trees, several large Douglas-firs, as big as any you’ll see in the Metro area, and also a couple of impressive cedars. Also, Trillium Creek splashes down a steep-sided gully that is mostly cleared of invasive weeds, so forest floor plants like trillium, toothwort, and violet bloom abundantly in the spring. In addition, there’s a viewpoint that affords a vista to Mount Hood, Mount Saint Helens, and Mount Adams and, on a spur trail, a decaying gazebo that offers a view to the east side of Portland and its array of Boring volcanoes.

Walk across the lawn at Palomino Park and find the map board for the Palomino Loop Trail, which proceeds downhill from here. At a junction, go right down some steps. From here on, the trail might be slippery and downright muddy in places during the wet seasons. Soon notice Trillium Creek running below in an understory of elderberry, Indian plum, Oregon grape, Pacific waterleaf, and sword fern. Large Douglas-firs tower overhead, with a few grand fir, western hemlock, big-leaf maple, sour cherry, and western red-cedar mixed in. As the creek, drops, the trail rises. Notice the numerous cherry trees blooming in the spring. At a junction with a spur trail, keep left. At the next junction, with the unsigned Hidden Springs Trail, go left.

This trail switchbacks down five times into the Hidden Springs Open Space, passing a huge Douglas-fir and then a large cedar. Make a traverse and switchback twice more to a footbridge over Trillium Creek. Wind up and then make a traverse to a mossy gazebo with its own eco-roof. This structure once had electricity and affords a vista to Mt. Scott and the Clackamas area. Continue from here on an old road bed past an antique picnic table to Hidden Springs Road. Then return on the same trail to the junction where you branched off.

Continue the Palomino Loop by keeping left. Walk up a few steps through a thicket of young maples. Reach a grassy opening which affords views to three Cascade volcanoes (on a clear day) as well as a few Boring volcanoes closer at hand: Mt. Scott, Mt. Talbert, and Scouters Mountain among them. Continue into Douglas-fir forest; ivy is more prevalent in this section of woodland. Cross a footbridge over little Heron Creek and head up to a trail junction. Keep right past two picnic tables and then pass under the drooping vines of traveler’s joy before taking a series of steps. The trail runs between back yards and a condo complex and reaches a sidewalk along Pimlico Drive.

Go right here for 30 yards and cross Pimlico to resume the trail. The path heads up a wide, grassy corridor between fenced back yards. Pass a spur to Apollo Road and reach Appaloosa Way. Go right for 35 yards to Palomino Way. Then go left and walk the sidewalk back to your car.

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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.