“This trail connects Salmon River Tr. #742 with the Pacific Crest Trail #2000 through large meadows.”
— Kathleen Walker
River/Creek · Views · Wildlife
The trail is generally snowed out from mid-November through June or mid-July, depending on snow levels. The part of the trail between FR 58 and the PCT has had some logging and little trail maintenance with down logs frequent.
The Jackpot Meadow Trailhead is south of Trillium Lake along NF Road 2656-309. The trailhead also serves as the eastern (upper) end of the Salmon River Trail. The Jackpot Meadow Trail starts about 100 ft down the road from the trailhead board whereas the Salmon River Trail starts closer to the trailhead board (to the right of the board). The Jackpot Meadows Trail parallels Mud Creek downhill about 1 mile to a small footbridge that crosses Salmon River. The trail is rocky and exposed for about 0.7 mile climbing out of the river canyon. The next 1.9 miles to Forest Road 58 are gentle. Cross Forest Road 58 and continue 0.9 mile to the intersection with the Pacific Crest Trail #2000 north of Timothy Lake.
After climbing out of the Salmon River Canyon, you follow a small creek and then cross Forest Road 58-240, then the trail skirts the east side of Jackpot Meadow. It then crosses Forest Road 58-241 and goes along the west side of Dry Meadow north of Forest Road 58. South of Forest Road 58 (aka Abbott Road), the Jackpot Meadow Trail connects with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) #2000 north of Little Crater Lake.
This trail receives light use, maybe because it gives you only peekaboo views of Mt. Hood. It may have downed logs across the trail as trail maintenance crews focus on high-use trails first. The trail is great for those looking to get away from crowds and enjoy a day run. Mosquitoes are terrible in early summer. Fall is the best time to run the trail. Runners should use topographic quad map 450712145 Wolf Peak or the Salmon Huckleberry Wilderness Map, as sometimes route finding will be necessary.
Flora & Fauna
Typical mid-elevation Douglas Fir, mountain hemlock, large western red cedars, some noble fir, Alaskan yellow cedar, Pacific yew, and an occasional larch tree are found along the trail. Rhododendron thickets bloom in early summer. Wildlife may be seen in the large dry meadows along the trail. Down logs may be present. Mosquitoes can be thick and thirsty in early summer. Fall colors are awesome in September and October.