Santiam Wagon Road Trail System
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Santiam Wagon Road Trail System

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Photos above (top) and to the right, courtesy of Thomas De Keyser.
Photo above (bottom) courtesy of Ricardo Small.

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This page covers several trails or trail sections, all a part of the old Santiam Wagon Road. The beginning and the end of this group of trails are outside the boundaries of the proposed National Monument, but portions of all the segments are within the area of the National Monument.
The Santiam Wagon Road was one of the original paths across the Cascades developed for non-Native Americans. The road is perhaps unique because it was built and used to transport stock and goods from the Willamette Valley across the Cascades to the mine towns of Central Oregon.
The abandoned road (now the trail) runs along the South Santiam River, with several access points off Highway 20.

Along the trail, especially near the river, you can see big leaf maples and other moss encrusted trees.
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Some segments have been restored for hiking and biking. The restored segment runs for over 19 miles. It is accessible at several places in addition to those listed below, including Forest Road 2000-245 (Burnside Road) 32 miles east of Sweet Home off Highway 20, turn right and travel on spur 245 for 1.3 miles; and the Lost Prairie Picnic Area: 38 miles east of Sweet Home off Highway 20.
The Forest Service site Santiam Wagon Road lists several segments reproduced here.
The segments have been renamed and somewhat restructured, but the trail remains the same; an enjoyable and mostly easy hike through a diverse forest experience. There are several campgrounds along the South Santiam River. In several of these campgrounds there will be a bridge or other opportunity to cross the River and intersect the Wagon Road Trail.

The Santiam Wagon Road ran all along the Southern Fork of the Santiam River. There are portions of the Wagon Road that can be visited before the official trail starts at Mountain House.
You can access this unofficial segment from the road marked for the Yukwah Campground. Turn south off Highway 20 onto this road. Shortly after the turn there is a fork in the road, with the left fork going into the campground. The right fork of the road crosses a bridge and turns left. At the point of the turn, a trail entrance is marked for a road that goes west. The east bound road runs up along the Santiam River across from the Yukwah Campground. The westbound segment goes up and down along the river, through typical riparian habitat of ferns, moss covered maples and mixed age trees.
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Mountain House Segment
Mountain House to Latiwi Creek Road
Length: 3.3 miles
The western trailhead is just east of the Mountain House former restaurant (now a private residence) east of Sweethome on Highway 20. This trail travels along what is probably the most intact piece of the original wagon road. Most of the trail passes through relatively old second-growth forests, near to the mature river edge of the South Santiam River.
Directions: Turn south off Hwy 20 at mile 53 (from Sweet Home Ranger Station, travel east on Highway 20 for 23.4 miles). Trailhead parking is just east of Soda Fork Creek: look for the Santiam Wagon Road sign. The trailhead is tucked into the trees on the south side of Highway 20 just east of Forest Road 2041.

Sevenmile Segment.
Latiwi Creek Road to Seven Mile Horse Camp Length: 3.3 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
This segment goes east along hillsides of second growth timber, with some patches of old-growth. The eastern segment follows the original route of the Wagon Road. This segment of the Road caused problems in the first transcontinental auto race in 1905, when the cars had to drag tree trunks to slow the cars as they descended Sevenmile Hill.
This trail goes along the Santiam River and then Sevenmile creek to the east (up river) trailhead at the end of spur road 2000-024. About halfway along the trail, this trail is joined by a trail that takes off south of the House Rock campground.
The western trailhead of this segment is on the south side of Highway 20, just past the Menagerie Wilderness area (to the north of Highway 20). The trail segment “ends” at the trailhead just past the Sevenmile campground. For the eastern trailhead from Sweet Home travel east on Highway 20 for 30 miles, then turn right on spur road 2000-024. Sevenmile Campground is part way along the spur. The spur ends at the trail head. Turn right on the trail for this segment.

The map below shows the middle segment of the Santiam Wagon Road Trail.
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Sevenmile Trailhead to Tombstone Pass (FS 3413) Forest Service site
Length: 4.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
This segmentalso referred to as the Snow Creek Section, travels along parts of the old Wagon Road and some on newer logging roads. The trail passes through second and third growth trees.
You may catch views of Iron Mountain and Green Mountain along this segment.
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The Ranger District recommends this segment for bike riders because of the logging roads that branch off to give more riding opportunities.
A segment of this trail is also a part of the Iron Mountain Loop, which can start with this segment and take the marked fork to Iron Mountain, then to Cone Peak and back to the Tombstone Pass Parking area, or go the opposite direction.
Directions: The western trailhead is the same as for the Forest Road to Sevenmile segment. From Sweet Home travel east on Highway 20 for 30 miles, then turn right on spur road 2000-024. Sevenmile Campground is part way along the spur. The spur ends at the trail head. For this segment turn left at the trailhead.
Directions: The eastern segment starts at the Tombstone Pass parking area and then drops quickly down the western side of Tombstone Pass.

Tombstone Pass to Hacklemen Creek Road
Length: 6.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy
This developed route uses existing forest roads to tie back into the original wagon road location east of Lost Prairie Campground. The Forest Service notes that this segment offers the most manageable terrain for vintage vehicles and wagons.
You can catch views of Three Fingered Jack to the south and the Old Cascades to the north.
Directions: From Sweet Home travel east on Highway 20 for 35 miles to the Tombstone Pass SnoPark.

Hackleman Creek Road to Fish Lake
Length: 2.2 miles
Difficulty: Easy
On this segment, you experience an intact portion of the Old Santiam Wagon road that passes through mature forests in the Hacklemen Creek area.
The trail passes through Fish Lake Guard Station. The Guard Station was a major stopover for early travelers on the wagon road. The last part of this trail segment passes outside the area proposed for the National Monument.
From Sweet Home travel east on Highway 20 for 40 miles, then turn right onto Forest Road 2672. Follow the road signs to the trailhead.

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