Birding Washington County | Site Guides | Saddle Mountain
Site Guide: Saddle Mountain, Washington County, Oregon

Submitted by: Greg Gillson on Thursday, March 25, 2004

Site: South Saddle Mountain

Site ownership: Tillamook State Forest

County: Washington

General directions: From Banks, 15 miles west on Hwy 6 to mile post 33 at the summit of the Coast Range. From there south 9 miles on gravel roads.

Turn off Hwy 6 on Saddlemountain Road/Beaver Dam Road. (You now enter Tillamook County). There are mileage markers posted every 0.5 miles. Each intersection is marked with a stake with road names. Some maps call the entrance Beaver Dam, some call it Saddlemountain. It is marked as Beaver Dam. Follow this well graded main road 8.5 miles to the intersection where Beaver Dam ends at the Saddlemountain/C-Line road. (You are now back in Washington County.) Turn right, then immediately left up Saddlemountain Road 1/2 mile to a wide parking area.

Walk the final 1/2 mile up the gated access road to the microwave towers on top.

Habitats: Douglas-fir and western hemlock forests, turning to a few noble fir at the top of Saddle Mountain (3500 feet elevation).

Season: Late spring and summer

Comments: This highest point in Washington County has forest birds similar to other lower forests. Nesting birds include Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped (Audubon's) Warbler, Hermit Warbler, Dark-eyed Junco, Blue Grouse, Steller's Jay, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Western Tanager, Band-tailed Pigeon, Hutton's Vireo. Other birds possible (including anywhere on the drive in) include Gray Jay, Hammond's Flycatcher, Western Bluebird, Olive-sided Flycatcher.

Hazards: Roads can be rough, though usually fine for most low-clearance passenger vehicles. Carry cell phone and maps. Carry water.

This is a popular motorcycle and off-highway vehicle recreation area. Do not come on a holiday. Watch for racing motorcycles. The last half mile of road is usually quiet, as is the walk up the hill.

Facilities: No rest rooms. No food or water. Nearest gasoline 25 miles in Banks, also towards Tillamook about equal distance.