“McIntyre Ridge Trail provides outstanding views of Mt. Hood and wildflower meadows.
— Kathleen Walker
Fall Colors · Spring · Views · Wildflowers
This trail has a short climb on the Douglas Trail #781 section, but the first 1.5 miles of McIntyre Ridge is relatively flat with stunning views and great wildflowers.
Older guidebooks or maps may not show the gates that have been installed along SE Wildcat Creek Road on the north end or along Wildcat Mountain Road (Forest Road 3636) near the intersection with 3626-105.
McIntyre Trail can be accessed from the north end or the south end of the trail. Trail access on the north end is off of Highway 26 on SE Wildcat Creek Road, that has been gated, requiring a 3+ mile hike past the gate to the trail.
Most hikers access the trail from the south end by parking at the Douglas Trailhead on Wildcat Mountain. At the intersection with Firwood Road and Wildcat Mountain Road, drive east on Wildcat Mountain Road which becomes Forest Road 36 and then 3626 for 9.4 miles. Then turn right (south) on Forest Road 3626-105 and follow that to the trailhead.
Hikers need to hike the 1/3 mile Douglas Tie Trail
that parallels a decommissioned road and then skirts an old rock quarry. The trail then hits the Douglas Trail intersection where you head east for 1.4 miles towards the peak of Wildcat Mountain and the intersection with McIntyre Trail. Stop to admire views of Eagle Creek canyon to the south and the rest of the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness. After hiking the 1.7 miles to the McIntyre Ridge intersection, hikers can hike the entire 6.6 miles of the northern trailhead for McIntyre Ridge, but most hike just a few miles along the ridge line and then return the way they came.
From the Douglas Trail #781
, turn left (north) onto McIntyre Ridge Trail #782 and follow the ridgeline trail. After about 3/4 off a mile you come to a large opening with a talus slope below and a bench to sit and admire the stunning view of Mt. Hood. If it is spring or summer, there are likely oodles of bear grass and rhododendron in bloom. Several other openings and wildflower meadows can be found along this trail. The trail varies from thick forest, to peek-a-boo views, to openings with stunning vistas. The trail is relatively level for the first 1.5 miles and then drops over 1,200 feet for the next 2.7 miles to the northern trail terminus. However, it drops another 1700 feet while hiking the gated road 3 miles to the north end trailhead off of Hwy 26.
The McIntyre Ridge Trail was named after Winifred and John McIntyre who settled near the junction of the Sandy and Salmon River in the 1880’s.
Flora & Fauna
McIntyre Ridge offers a wide variety of gorgeous wildflowers - beargrass, rhododendrons, Indian paintbrush, penstemons, avalanche lilies, bunch berry, and huckleberry. Best bloomings are in June through August.