Blue River 1500

Total Miles
21.7

Elevation

1,304.33 ft

Duration

1.25 Hours

Technical Rating

4

Moderate

Best Time

Spring, Summer, Fall

Trail Overview

Nestled in the 1.7-million-acre Willamette National Forest, Blue River Road 1500 leads you on an almost 22-mile journey through this 100-mile-long forest. Centrally located in Oregon, it provides an endless opportunity for many different forms of recreation. This road is well-maintained and is gravel with some minor potholes. There are steep ledges and several hundred-foot drop-offs right at the edge of the road. Use extreme caution as some of this forest was burned in the Riverside Fire of 2020. Rocks, boulders, landslides, and fallen trees are all hazards on this route. Once you turn off of Highway 20, there is a large space to air down. From there you start your climb skirting the edge of the mountain. You will come to the Browder Ridge Trailhead which is a 3.6-mile trail. From there you continue for several miles where you will find dispersed camping which is primitive with no running water or restrooms but beautiful views of Three Sisters and Mount Bachelor. Wolf Mountain is Oregon's largest Monolith which was the plug to an ancient volcano that eroded away over time. It peaks at an elevation of 4,535 feet. This hidden gem of a climb is only touched by 5-20 climbers a year. This forest is lined with douglas-fir which is a viable resource for this community. Black bears, deer, spotted owls, woodpeckers, wolverines, and cougars are just some of the 300 different species of wildlife in the WNF. Pack it in and pack it out rules apply here along with tread lightly principles.

Difficulty

Some of this route has had fire damage and signs are posted that there could be fallen trees, debris, landslides, rockslides, and flash flooding. Use extreme caution during windy and heavy rainfall. Due to heavy snowfall, this area isn't accessible to vehicles during late fall to early spring.

History

Migrating all the way from Tennessee, Samuel Christopher Sparks came to the Willamette Valley, bought some land, and made the town of Blue River, Oregon. Rich in logging history which supported this community for years, Blue River experienced a recent fire that destroyed almost 72,000 acres. Here is some more history on Blue River and the community who logged these forests: https://mckenziehistoryhwy.org/settlements/blue-river/.

Technical Rating

4

Status Reports

There are no status reports yet for this trail.

Access Description

From Salem, Oregon, take Highway 20 east to Blue River Road 1500.

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