Portland, OR: Sandy River Loop

Enjoy cool, lush forest along and above the banks of the Sandy River on this 5.6-mile double loop trail in Gresham's Oxbow Regional Park.
Avatar:
Author:
Publish date:
Social count:
0
Enjoy cool, lush forest along and above the banks of the Sandy River on this 5.6-mile double loop trail in Gresham's Oxbow Regional Park.

Park at the trailhead at group picnic area A. Instead of heading uphill on wide, gravel trail, cross the road to the picnic shelter and find the trail heading downriver (west) above the crumbling banks. Immediately enter mossy, sun-dappled forest, with the Sandy River below on your right. A couple of steep side trails descend to a wide, sandy beach along the river. Follow the river approximately one mile, keeping right at all forks, until you come to trail post C at a restroom turnaround. Follow the road right (north) for 50 yards to trail post B on the opposite side, where you'll make a U-turn and and head south.

The trail now undulates through ancient forest, sprinkled with bleeding heart and other wildflowers, and makes several creek crossings on rustic wood and earthen bridges. Keep right through two forks, then left at trail post E. Next, at trail post F, the path intersects a gravel road; turn right uphill to trail post G. Here you have the option of continuing a shorter 4-mile loop, or adding an additional 2 miles by heading up the road to the 2-mile loop around Elk Meadow. The meadow loop offers more forest, and occasional views down on the Sandy River, and extending east to Mt. Hood. 

Continuing northeast from post G, the next forested mile passes the campground, then eventually comes to a T-junction. Turn left (north) to a secluded picnic shelter near the river at trail post K. Turn left (west), once again following the Sandy River downstream, keeping right through forks with trail posts L and M. The trail then diverts upland on a newish detour, above a section that has subsided down the riverbank. Use the campground road to continue a short ways, then pick up the riverside trail again just past the amphitheater. Cross the boat ramp, then reenter forest above the river for the last half-mile back to your starting point.

-Mapped by Eli Boschetto, Bosco Mountain Photo

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 9.0

Waypoints

OXB001

Location: 45.490586, -122.296404

Begin the Sandy River Loop left of shelter for Group Picnic Area A.

OXB002

Location: 45.489812, -122.296986

Trail fork: right

OXB003

Location: 45.489729, -122.298171

Steep trail descends right to a wide, sandy beach along the river.

OXB004

Location: 45.490039, -122.298638

Soak up some rays on Sandy River beach.

OXB005

Location: 45.489447, -122.299239

Trail fork: right

OXB006

Location: 45.489409, -122.301148

Trail junction: right

OXB007

Location: 45.489757, -122.301822

Short side trail veers right to the river's edge.

OXB008

Location: 45.490075, -122.303367

Side trail right to riverside.

OXB009

Location: 45.489906, -122.305107

Trail Post C - turn right on road, crossing to Trail Post B.

OXB010

Location: 45.490493, -122.307055

Trail Post B - pick up trail again, heading south through forest, making several small creek crossings.

OXB011

Location: 45.488215, -122.300049

Trail fork: right

OXB012

Location: 45.488082, -122.299003

Trail fork: right

OXB013

Location: 45.488223, -122.298048

Trail Post E: fork right

OXB014

Location: 45.488003, -122.297451

Trail fork: left

OXB015

Location: 45.488236, -122.296439

Trail junction: right

OXB016

Location: 45.490889, -122.294156

Trail Post F - Turn right on gravel road to Trail Post G; or continue up road to Elk Meadow.

OXB017

Location: 45.491359, -122.29282

Trail Post G - Continue loop trail, or visit Elk Meadow loop then return.

OXB018

Location: 45.491923, -122.289741

Trail junction with Elk Meadow loop; turn right for 1.5-mile loop. Upon completion, return to Trail Post G.

OXB019

Location: 45.491772, -122.289106

Elk Meadow

OXB020

Location: 45.487405, -122.294623

Trail Post I - turn left at trail junction, across from wooden railing, to continue Elk Meadow loop.

OXB021

Location: 45.49379, -122.290897

Trail Post O: fork right

OXB022

Location: 45.494838, -122.287214

Trail fork: right

OXB023

Location: 45.495201, -122.284717

Trail junction: right on old road

OXB024

Location: 45.493886, -122.2831

Trail fork: left

OXB025

Location: 45.493432, -122.281843

Picnic Shelter; continue trail left, following river downstream.

OXB026

Location: 45.495661, -122.281566

Trail fork: right

OXB027

Location: 45.496683, -122.281438

Side trail right to river access.

OXB028

Location: 45.49684, -122.281813

Trail Post L: fork right

OXB029

Location: 45.497316, -122.284226

Trail Post M: fork right

OXB030

Location: 45.497108, -122.285338

Detour right on campground road.

OXB031

Location: 45.497076, -122.28692

Restroom

OXB032

Location: 45.497391, -122.28767

Turn right past amphitheater, and pick up trail on left.

OXB033

Location: 45.497871, -122.291524

Cross boat ramp to continue.

OXB034

Location: 45.496255, -122.2934

Trail fork: left

OXB035

Location: 45.491523, -122.295593

End of trail at Group Picnic A.

River Forest

Location: 45.489201, -122.300406

Sandy Beach

Location: 45.489878, -122.298367

Old Growth

Location: 45.487967, -122.296844

Oxbow Trail

Location: 45.494405, -122.288775

Elk Meadow

Location: 45.491773, -122.288904

Sandy River

Location: 45.496601, -122.281179