“The Bonanza Trail heads up Cheeney Creek and then climbs up to Huckleberry Mountain and Plaza Trail.”
— Kathleen Walker
Cave · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers
The Bonanza Trail is open for most of the year but can be closed due to snow from December to April or May. Be careful parking beyond the small parking area as the trailhead is surrounded by private property.
The Bonanza Trail travels through a thick forest up Cheney Creek, followed by a relatively steep climb up to Huckleberry Mountain and connects to Plaza Trail #783
, the ridge line trail along Huckleberry Mountain in the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness. Wildflowers are found along the trail as well as on the ridge top openings.
Visitors should get to Welches Road in Welches, Oregon and drive for 1.2 miles south on Welches Road to a junction and bear left, still on Welches Road. Drive for 0.7 miles and make a right onto E. Bridge Street. Go for 0.2 miles, as far as a one lane bridge, and drive another 0.2 miles around to the left to park at a cable gate where there are small signs for the Bonanza Trailhead.
From the trailhead, find a cable and cross over it to an old logging road. Follow that straight where it heads down a series of switchbacks to another intersection. Turn right and cross over a wide creek where you'll find a trail sign and continue on the road that gradually becomes a trail above Cheney Creek. The trail generally follows the northwest side of Cheeney Creek for approximately 1.6 miles. The trail then begins a long climb (3.2 miles) to the trail's end at Plaza Trail #783
on the ridgeline of Huckleberry Mountain. On the upper flanks, you pass an old mine from the early 1900's on the upper reaches near a tributary. Once on the ridgeline, you'll find the best views of Mt. Hood, views to the south, and wildflowers.
Visitors can return on the same route or make a shuttled outing by turning right onto Plaza Trail #783
and following it to Boulder Ridge Trail #783A
. Follow #783A to its end within BLM's Wildwood Day Use Area.
The Bonanza Trail is in wilderness and has relatively low use compared to other trails. It is rugged terrain so a map and compass is recommended. The Topo quads are Rhododendron and Wildcat.
Flora & Fauna
There are large trees along Cheney Creek with salmon sightings possible in the creek. The best wildflowers are along the ridgelines of Huckleberry Mountain just past the end of Bonanza on Plaza Trail. The old mine has remnants of rails.