Siouxon with a view

Siouxon Creek Trail is one of the best trails for mountain biking in the northwest.  It has incredible flowy singletrack, ripping descents, challenging rocky areas, creek crossings, and some of the most beautiful waterfalls and clear pools around – period.

Bridge over Horseshoe Creek falls at mile 4.9

Bridge over Horseshoe Creek falls at mile 4.9

Falls on Siouxon Creek - Mile 5.5

Falls on Siouxon Creek – Mile 5.5

The only thing missing from this ride has been scenic views.  Thanks to a fellow named Bran, that has all changed.  Bran and some buddies cleared the Huffman Peak trail that allows us to now turn Siouxon into a 22 mile loop.  It’s not an easy loop.  It adds a 2500′ climb from Siouxon Creek up to Siouxon Peak.  The climb is brutally hard and there are sections you will have to walk and sections you will choose to walk.  But what goes up must come down and you are rewarded with a 7 mile thrilling descent that takes you past Huffman Peak and back down to Siouxon Creek.  Unfortunately once there you are immediately slammed again with the hardest climbing on Siouxon Trail as you climb back up to the start, but it’s all worth it.  The total loop is 22 miles, has 5,500′ of climbing and will take between about 4-6 hours to complete.

The Route:

Park at the hairpin corner on the road into Siouxon.  The trail goes off to the left 100 feet after the hairpin.  At 1.2 miles you’ll see the Huffman Peak trail come in from the left that you will return on, but continue straight on Siouxon Trail.  At 3.2 miles you will come to the official Siouxon Trailhead where all the hikers start from.  Soon after that you will drop down to Siouxon Creek that you will follow along for the next 4 miles and be treated to incredible views of stunning waterfalls and beautiful clear pools.

At 7.4 miles you’ll come to an area where a small creek flows across the trail on a wide rocky bed.  Be careful here – this crossing is generally really slick in the spring, but not so slick in the fall for some reason.  There is a bridge crossing Siouxon Creek to the left immediately after crossing the side creek.  Take the bridge/trail (Trail 130A) to the left.  After a half mile, the trail drops down to that creek at beautiful Chinook Falls.  Go directly across the creek (about calf deep in Sept) to the trail on the other side.

Chinook Falls - at mile 7.7

Chinook Falls – at mile 7.7

Continue past the falls a quarter mile to a trail intersection at mile 7.9.  Make a sharp right at the trail intersection to stay on Trail 130A.  This is where the climbing begins in earnest and is especially steep for the first mile.  At mile 11 you come to the end of NFR 6403.  Take a left on the road and it almost immediately turns back into trail.  This is where the incredible views begin as you’re treated to views of Mt St Helens, Mt Rainier, and Mt Adams as you continue to climb up to the 4,000′ Siouxon Peak.  From Siouxon Peak you can climb up the trail a bit for a unique view of Mt Hood.

Mt St Helens and Mt Rainier at mile 13.3

Mt St Helens and Mt Rainier at mile 13.3

Mt Adams at mile 13.3

Mt Adams at mile 13.3

Once you’ve reached Siouxon Peak, the trail is mostly downhill until you get to Siouxon Creek. It drops 3,000′ over the next 7 miles. The first trail you get to is Wildcat Trail that goes to the left at around mile 14.5. This will take you back down close to Chinook falls, but don’t take this trail – I don’t think it’s cleared. Continue on Huffman Peak trail past Huffman Peak. The next trail intersection you get to is at mile 16.1 and you want to go left to stay on the Huffman Peak Trail. Take that about 4 miles downhill until you get to Siouxon Creek. The creek is about knee deep and doable in September, but could be pretty challenging in the spring or late fall when the water is higher. You’re in a bit of a tough spot here though because you NEED to get across the creek here to get back to your car.

Looking back across the Siouxon Creek crossing at mile 20.

Looking back across the Siouxon Creek crossing at mile 20.

The first third of a mile after crossing the creek is a bear of a climb, but once you get back up to Siouxon Creek trail take a right and it’s just a hard 1.2 miles back to your car.

Here are a couple of maps of the route and a click-able Ride With GPS link.

Sioxon Huffman Route Map Sioxon Huffman Map

How to get there:

Here’s the link with a Google Map to the start of Siouxon:

 Travel-time to the start is 75 minutes from downtown Portland.  Direction-wise, here are the instructions.  You won’t have cell coverage at the end so it’s probably best to make sure you have these with you.

  • Take I-5 North from Portland into Washington to the Battleground Exit (exit 11).
  • Take a RIGHT at the exit and go East on 502 (also called 219th Street and turns into Main Street).
  • Go East for 5.5 miles and take a LEFT on 503 (also SW 10th Ave).  Note that this is the first “big” intersection/light you come to with 2 turn lanes to the left.
  • Follow signs to Amboy and stay on this road for about 13 miles until after you pass through Amboy.
  • When you come to a stop sign at a T intersection, take a RIGHT on Cedar Creek Lane.
  • Follow this a few miles until you go past a Mt. St Helens visitor center on your left and see a store/gas station on your right.
  • This is the town/area of Chelatchie.  Take a RIGHT on NE Healy Rd – which is the street immediately before the store/gas station.
  • You’ll stay on this road until you get to the FIRST paved road that splits off to the left – which is about 10 miles after you turned onto Healy Rd.
  • Take this LEFT on NF road 57 (also called Calamity Peak Rd on the map, but there is no sign for it. I think there is a “57” sign)
  • Go about 1 mile up this road to the first paved road on your left.
  • Take a LEFT on this road (5701 on the map, don’t remember there being a sign)
  • Go about a half mile down this road until you get to a hairpin turn to the right.  Park in the gravel area at the outside of the hairpin and get ready here.  This is the destination point on the Google Map link above.
  •  The start of the trail is just 100 yards further down the road on your left.
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2 Responses to Siouxon with a view

  1. weevolved says:

    Really great synopsis. Thanks for posting

  2. BMFE says:

    I did this ride yesterday, 11-26-13, and it still goes. HAB over a few consolidated snow patches near the peak, but generally clear and rideable.

    Anyone try riding the Horseshoe Ridge Tr140 or North Fork Siouxon Tr126? Adding those loops would take this already great trail up another level on the epic scale.

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