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Old Salmon River is a perfect trail for kids or folks wanting an easy, river-side hike through old growth forest.

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Point to Point

1,603' 488 m


1,431' 436 m


188' 57 m


92' 28 m



Avg Grade (1°)


Max Grade (8°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers

Family Friendly This trail is fairly wide and pretty flat - ideal for kids. Just keep an eye on them around the river. They will love the old growth trees.

Old Salmon River Trail #742 is open nearly year round as low elevation is mostly snow free. A Northwest Forest Trail Pass or other viable parking pass is required whenever there is a portable toilet installed at the trailhead. They are available at the Zigzag Ranger District and several local vendors.


Old Salmon River Trail is a great hike for kids or folks looking for a short, scenic hike through old growth forest. The trail begins just past the forest boundary at the trailhead. At only 1.9 miles long one-way, the trail parallels the wild and scenic Salmon River and E. Salmon River Road (Forest Road 2618).

Although this trail is near the road, the closeness and constant sound of the river, as well as the old growth features of the forest, make this one of the most outstanding trails in the Zigzag District. If you start at the downstream side, there is a short drop down to the river, before the trail runs at river grade the rest of the way before climbing back up to the road at the other end.

Old Salmon River Trail has several bridges that cross small creeks. The trail pops up on to the road a couple of times where there is little room between the river and the road. The trail passes through the Green Canyon Campground towards the south end of the trail which is a good spot to stop and use a restroom before returning to the trailhead. Or you can spot a vehicle at one end and skip the return trip.

Flora & Fauna

Old Salmon River Trail is typical low elevation old growth forest with huge Douglas fir, western hemlock and even bigger western red cedars. Some of the cedars have fire scarred openings at the base. The openings along the river have vine maple, big leaf maple and alders that are colorful in the fall. The forest floor is carpeted with oxalis, sword fern, deer fern, Oregon grape, salal, salmon-berry, trilliums, false solomon seal, thimble berry, and bunch berry.


Shared By:

Kathleen Walker

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 7 votes


  4.6 from 7 votes
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in Oregon


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Large western red cedars are found along this trail. Some have fallen over in the last few years. Photo by USFS.
Jan 2, 2017 near Mount H…, OR
There are many user trails that lead down to the Salmon River's bank to cool off or enjoy a picnic. Photo by Yunkette.
Jan 2, 2017 near Mount H…, OR
Review of the Salmon River Trail hike with footage of it's features.
Dec 31, 1969 near Mount H…, OR
Moss covering the ground and the many down logs is a key component to old-growth forests.
Jan 2, 2017 near Mount H…, OR
Large western red cedars along the Salmon River are hundreds of years old and often have fire scars. Photo by Gene Blick.
Jan 2, 2017 near Mount H…, OR
The Old Salmon River Trail #742A hosts several bridges over tributaries and a few rock-hopping crossings. Photo by Yunkette.
Jan 2, 2017 near Mount H…, OR



Current Trail Conditions

All Clear 5 days ago
Add Your Check-In


Jun 14, 2019
Robin Stinnett
Jun 10, 2019
Todd Grimm
May 26, 2019
Shannon R
Lots of wildflowers. Nice rapids. Spent lots of time taking pics of flowers and the rapids. 2.8mi
Jul 14, 2018
Matteo Guzi
Jul 12, 2018
Stephen Pfeiffer
May 27, 2018
Stacy J
Apr 18, 2018
Stefani Ryan
Green and beautiful! 2.6mi
Dec 6, 2017
Anetta Simpson

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