Forest Park – Newton Rd/BPA Rd/Wildwood Trail

Newton/BPA/Wildwood Cheat Sheet

Hiking Distance: 4.3 Miles
Elevation Gain: 1024′
Difficulty: Strenuous
Traffic: Light/Moderate
Trail Type: Loop
Kid-Friendly: No (strenuous)
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Parking Fee: None
Bathrooms: No
Features: Wildlife, Streams, Views
Distance from Burnside Bridge: 10 Miles

Our Reader Score
[Total: 1 Average: 3]

The north end of Forest Park tends to be a little less crowded than the south end. I hiked this loop starting at 8:00 a.m. on a holiday weekend and only ran into 4 other people, which is pretty light traffic for Forest Park.

The solitude is slightly disrupted by the sounds of airplanes and ship horns, but that can be hard to get away from when so close to the city and the river. The second half of this hike will take you a little deeper into the park and is a bit quieter which is why I suggest following the loop in the direction that I do.

BPA road gains some serious elevation for about a full mile, but rewards you with stellar views of the Willamette River that make the climb totally worth it. You’ll have lots to look at while catching your breath.

I hiked this trail in the summer, but noticed a few spots that could cause some very wet feet during the rainy season. Wear waterproof shoes if the weather calls for it.

Trail Directions: Start at the northern gate of the Newton Rd parking lot. Follow Newton Rd for about 1.7 miles to BPA Rd. Turn left up BPA Rd. Follow for about 0.9 miles until you reach Firelane 13. Turn left to stay on BPA road. Follow for about 0.6 miles until you reach Wildwood Trail. Turn left on Wildwood Trail. Follow for 1.15 miles until you reach Newton Rd. Turn right on Newton Rd to head back to the parking lot.

Notes for getting there: Starting downtown, drive NW on Skyline Blvd. At the intersection of Skyline & Cornell, reset your odometer. Once you’ve reached 5.1 miles past that intersection, you’ll reach Newton Rd. Turn right on Newton Rd and follow it 0.3 miles down to the parking lot. Newton Rd is a single lane. Drive slowly and watch for oncoming cars. Here are the GPS coordinates for the Newton Rd parking lot.

Saddle Mountain

Saddle Mountain Cheat Sheet

Hiking Distance: 6 Miles
Elevation Gain: 1700′
Difficulty: Strenuous
Traffic: Heavy
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Kid-Friendly: No
Dogs Allowed: Yes (use extreme caution)
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Parking Fee: None
Bathrooms: Yes
Features: Views, Wildflowers, Dense Forest, Picnic Tables along Trail
Distance from Burnside Bridge: 72 Miles

Our Reader Score
[Total: 1 Average: 5]

Saddle Mountain is a must-do for any avid hiker in the Portland area. The views are spectacular and the changing scenery and rock formations keep things interesting. It’s a tough hike but worth it if you don’t mind (or even enjoy) those dizzying moments as you climb ever upward.

Theres a side trail about 0.2 miles in that you should definitely check out. I think it’s one of the best views on a hike full of amazing views.

If your dog is clumsy, like mine, you may want to leave her home when you hike this one. There is wire fencing on the path in some places to help with erosion which could trip your dog, and other areas that are just generally dicey.

Because this is such an amazing hike, the trail tends to get busy. Try checking it out on a weekday if that’s an option for you.

For more info, check out the Saddle Mountain Trail Guide.

Here’s a link to the Saddle Mountain trailhead location.