Directions: Take Highway 26 to Old Salmon River Road (just past the Welches shopping center). Follow this road for a few miles until you see the marked trailhead on the right. There are multiple parking areas for this trail- we parked in the first one.
This hike got cut short due to runoff crossing the trail in multiple areas. But it was still a nice hike and it has to be one of the best places to see moss.
Once you get on the trail you will immediately head downhill to river level. From here you follow along closely to the river for a while, crossing a few footbridges along the way. There are a few areas where you can get right next to the water and get good views of the river. Continuing on you will come to a wooden stair case taking you up and away from the river.
You’ll follow along above the river for a while but will still be able to see it. Up here is where we came across the first stream crossing the trail. We were able to go off trail and find a place to cross it without getting wet. Continuing on a short distance later we came across another stream that was much more wide and quite muddy so we decided to stop here. We weren’t far from our turnaround point anyways. If there hasn’t been much rain recently you should be able to cross these areas find but we did this hike after heavy rain and it wasn’t worth the wet feet for us.
If you can keep going you’ll soon head uphill and come to the road. You need to walk along the road a short distance and pick up the trail that takes you back into the woods. Then, you will come to a large camping area. We usually walk through this area to a place next to the river with large rocks and make that our turnaround. Going this far will be a five mile hike. Head back out the way you came in.
This trail is absolutely beautiful- it’s full of old growth trees and a crazy amount of moss. The river is very scenic and it’s usually not very busy which makes for a nice quiet hike.
Distance: We did 2 miles this day but our normal route is 5 miles (easy)
Elevation: 200 feet (easy)
Pet Friendly: Yes
Good For: All ages
Bathrooms: There *may* be a seasonal portable toilet. Sometimes it’s there and sometimes there is nothing.
Parking Fee: NW Forest Pass required
Popular: Not really. It gets a bit busy on summer weekends.
Warnings: Be aware of seasonal runoff crossing the trail after heavy rains. This trail can also get very muddy.