Portland, OR: Huckleberry Mountain via Bonanza Trail

Climb to an under-the-radar peak in the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness on this 11.4-mile out-and-back an hour southeast of Portland.
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Climb to an under-the-radar peak in the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness on this 11.4-mile out-and-back an hour southeast of Portland.

Although this 4,378-foot peak is within an hour’s drive of Portland, it sees little foot traffic, which means you’ll get five-star views of Mt. Hood all to yourself. Starting just south of Mt. Hood Village, the 11.4-mile out-and-back follows the fern-lined (and sometimes faint) Bonanza Trail along Cheeney Creek’s riffling cascades, then climbs 2,800 feet in 3.5 miles to the ridgetop. Push past the wooded summit at mile 5.3 to reach a broad saddle less than half a mile later overlooking Mt. Hood.

-Mapped by Claudio Berstein

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 18.3

Waypoints

Parking

Location: 45.320907, -121.954401

Note: You can't park by the trailhead. Hikers can park in a widened area of the road by the bridge, or find a spot on the shoulder of Welches Road.

HCK001

Location: 45.318825, -121.955452

Bonanza trailhead: A small wooden sign marks the Bonanza Trail. Follow it south.

HCK002

Location: 45.317256, -121.954776

Continue straight.

HCK003

Location: 45.317015, -121.954122

The trail swings to the right, heading south along Cheeney Creek, a small tributary of the Salmon River. Ahead: The creek divides and flows around several car-size boulders, creating small riffles and tiny waterfalls. You can see most of this through the trees, but there are a couple of places where the trail opens up for better views.

HCK004

Location: 45.315838, -121.954658

Cross a creek that flows into Cheeney Creek 200 feet to the east. Next, continue south for a gentle climb along Cheeney Creek.

HCK005

Location: 45.305818, -121.960688

Creek crossing

HCK006

Location: 45.30043, -121.964872

Watch as the creek pours around mossy boulders.

HCK007

Location: 45.299826, -121.965902

Cross another creek. From here, the trail begins a switchback climb to the Huckleberry ridgeline. Caution: The trail ahead receives little maintenance and is very faint in places; route-finding skills are essential.

HCK008

Location: 45.295668, -121.971341

First switchback: The trail veers right, heading north.

HCK009

Location: 45.299577, -121.970322

Turn left at the second switchback.

HCK010

Location: 45.2972, -121.977425

As you approach a small tributary to Cheeney Creek, look for the Bonanza Mine (a mine shaft that resembles a dark black spot). Note: You don’t have to leave the trail to see it; it's just off the trail.

HCK011

Location: 45.2948, -121.976352

The trail switchbacks up the ridgeline, passing sporadic (and limited) views of the creek valley bellow.

HCK012

Location: 45.302513, -121.989398

Crest the ridgetop, and turn left (west).

HCK013

Location: 45.300958, -122.006135

Turn right (north) at the T-junction onto the Huckleberry Mountain ridgeline.

HCK014

Location: 45.302407, -122.003925

The views from Huckleberry's 4,378-foot summit are completely blocked by trees. For five-star views of Mt. Hood, continue north along the ridge.

HCK015

Location: 45.307981, -122.00386

This saddle, bordered by rocky outcrops, reveals picture-perfect views of Mt. Hood to the east.

HCK016

Location: 45.308274, -122.004112

Turn around at the 4,300-foot highpoint; retrace your route to the trailhead.

Views of Mt. Hood

Location: 45.307976, -122.003474

Bonanza Trailhead

Location: 45.318837, -121.955371

Trail Sign

Location: 45.316373, -121.95535

Creek Crossing

Location: 45.316126, -121.954953

Second Creek Crossing

Location: 45.305849, -121.960639

Cheeney Creek

Location: 45.300567, -121.964609

Wildflowers

Location: 45.299222, -121.966417

Bonanza Mine

Location: 45.29723, -121.977317

Bonanza Mine

Location: 45.297162, -121.977285