Alder Flats

  • Author: dbarentine
  • Created: August 23, 2019
Route type: Out-and-Back
Difficulty grade: Easy
Backpackable: Yes

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  • Distance Instructions
  • Distance 2.46 miles
  • Time 2 h 8 min
  • Speed 1 mph
  • Min altitude 1,283 ft
  • Peak 1,555 ft
  • Climb 269 ft
  • Descent 292 ft

This short hike down to a swimming hole and primitive campground on the Clackamas River is often overlooked by hikers speeding up the Clackamas River Road. It’s an excellent adjunct hike to bigger excursions further east and packs a lot of punch over its short length: some impressive old growth trees, a lush forest understory, an old beaver pond, skunk-cabbage bogs, and a (usually) quiet bend in the river. Steelhead fishermen like this spot in the spring. The trail can be busy on warm summer weekends, and the primitive camping area at Alder Flat has something of a reputation for rowdy partying, but it’s a great first backpack trip for families with young children if you’re willing to take your chances.

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