About 40 miles west of Portland, OR.
From Portland, take Highway 26 west for about 20 miles. Take the left exit for Hwy 6 towards Banks, Tillamook, and Forest Grove. This road is also known as the Wilson River Highway.
Continue on Highway 6 for 26.5 miles from the junction Hwy 26 and Hwy 6 and make a right into the parking lot for King’s Mountain Trail.
No permits are required.
There is an outhouse at this trailhead.
King’s Mountain Trail with connections to Elk Mountain Trail and Wilson River Trail.
There is a geocache along trail at Geocaching.com but it is only available to premium members.
Length and Elevation:
5 miles round trip. Elevation gain of 2,826 feet and loss of 50 feet to the summit of King’s Mountain. Elevation gain of 2,826 feet and loss of 2,826 feet roundtrip. Elevation at the trailhead is 450 feet, highest point is at 3,226 feet. Lowest elevation is 450 feet.
Review: November 24, 2008.
The trail climbs steadily from the trailhead and crosses the Wilson River Trail after .2 mile. The understory along the first part of the trail is almost all sword ferns and the trees are a mixture of tall, thin, and closely spaced alder and fir trees. The trail is a bit rocky but fairly wide, well maintained, and easy to negotiate. The trail keeps climbs above small, mostly hidden streams on either side of the trail, adding a pleasant sound and drowning out most of the highway noise. Dog Creek is to the right and an unnamed creek is on the left.
After about a mile the trail has climbed above the source of the stream on the right and comes to the first very steep trail section. After this section, the grade of the trail varies from being fairly level to pretty steep for about the next .5 mile. A small trail junction is reached after about 1.5 miles from the trailhead where a user trail to the left descends a short distance through the brush. There is a trail sign marking the next section as Coronary Ridge.
It is a steep walk to the summit of Kings Mountain. There is even a place where you may need to use your hands to help you climb up one very rocky section of the trail. A short distance before the summit is reached is a small clearing with a picnic table. It looks like an inviting spot to rest and have a snack.
At the summit of Kings Mountain there are wonderful views to the west, east, and north of the mostly forested mountains and valleys of the Tillamook State Forest. On foggy days you will be above the clouds watching the wind blow wisps of fog in and out of the valleys. On clear days you can see to the Pacific Ocean, 20 miles away.
Off to the east you can see Mt. Hood and to the west you can see towards the ocean. The sign on the summit notes the elevation of 3,226 feet and the trail continues to Elk Mountain, which you can see in the distance, about 2 miles to the east. There are numerous viewpoints near the summit of Kings Mountain. If you continue, the trail drops down about 75 feet, crosses a saddle, and climbs a bit to the next knoll to the north there are more panoramic views of the mountains and valleys.
At the summit is a plastic pipe that holds a summit register so take a few minutes to read the entries and sign the log to show that you have been to the summit of Kings Mountain.
From the summit, retrace your path back down to the trailhead, making sure to cut left off the logging road at JCCR at N 45° 36.520’ W 123° 31.219’ is a user trail with a small sign off to the side that says “Kings Mountain Jr.” This user trail goes about .1 mile through the brush to a viewpoint of Kings Mountain and a knoll to the west of it.
On the way down, if you want to cut off a short section of the trail, make a right at JCDC, N 45° 56.456’ W 123° 31.005’. This is a short but steep trail about .1 mile long that rejoins the main trail. Once back at the main trail, turn right to head back to the trailhead.
Turn left at JCLR N 45° 36.265’ W 123° 30.990’ and head downhill. This junction is where the trail leaves the abandoned logging road and the junction should be apparent.
This is a pleasant but steep trail through the woods. This is a stairmaster of a hike with a few sections that can get slippery in the rain or snow. Plenty of spring wildflowers in the upper meadows make this an excellent hike.
As with any hike, caution and good judgment must be exercised. During icy conditions a hiker on this trail was declared missing in 2002 and his body was found several days later.
Enjoy the Photos!