“The Boulder Ridge Trail climbs up to wonderful vistas of Mt. Hood and the Salmon River valley.
— Kathleen Walker
Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
A BLM parking pass is required in Wildwood. They do not accept Northwest Forest passes. They usually close and lock the gate to the park in winter, so runners may need to park outside and head in on foot to access this trail. The trail was susceptible to blow down, so consider another trail on a windy day.
Boulder Ridge Trail begins in BLM's Wildwood Recreation Site. Visitors must have a day use pass to park at the site. Proceed past the entrance booth for .5 miles and turn into the first parking area on your left. Once parked, head over the large bridge over Salmon River towards the wetlands trails. Cross over the bridge and pass by the trail fork on your left. Going straight puts you on a loop with the Wetlands Trail on your left and the Foot Trail on your right. Take either one and they both lead to the turnoff for the Boulder Ridge Trail which then crosses a footbridge over Sixes Creek.
Once on the Boulder Ridge Trail, it begins a heart pumping climb up one of many switchbacks, then dipping into another drainage, crossing a couple of creeks and coming to a viewpoint. There was significant blow down on this trail that has been recently cleared. Continue climbing, and recross one of the creeks higher on the hill and soon the trail turns into an old logging road bed.
Follow the old road bed for awhile, and then the trail starts a long, steady climb to the ridge top. There is a short user trail on your left that takes you out to a viewpoint of Mt. Hood. The trail skirts just below the ridge line of Huckleberry Mountain before finally topping out and heading east towards the true summit of Huckleberry Mountain and meeting up with the Plaza Trail #783
that continues on the Huckleberry Mountain ridge top.
Boulder Ridge is a fairly steep trail and there are sections that are narrow with drop offs. The blowdown along the trail has been cut out, but more blow down is possible and that affects trail tread width. For the best views, visitors should continue on past the junction with Plaza Trail #783
to the open areas on the ridgetop. This trail receives relatively little use and those who make it to the top of Huckleberry Mountain are rewarded with awesome views of Mt. Hood, Mt. Adams, Lolo Pass, Hunchback Mountain and the Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness.
Flora & Fauna
The lower part of the trail is through younger second growth Douglas fir and western hemlock conifers with plenty of hardwoods including alder, big leaf maple, and vine maple. Views are more abundant in winter with the leaves fallen.
The understory is typical Oregon grape, salal, rhododendrons (blooming in June), and sword ferns. Down in the drainages and especially at the heads of the drainages, there are remnnant larger trees that survived the fire in the early 1900's.
As you near the ridgeline of Huckleberry Mt, trees transition to mountain hemlock, silver and noble fir. Lower elevations show off Trillium, and false solomon seal. Bear grass, paint brush and other wildflowers are abundant in the higher elevation openings near the ridge tops. The Wildwood site at the trailhead offers a salmon viewing window and wetland boardwalk for additional wildlife viewing.