Hike to the Summit of King's Mountain, Oregon

Kings Mountain Trailhead

Located about an hour from Portland in the Tillamook State Forest (towards the Oregon Coast), King's Mountain is a fun, moderate hike through the forest that ends with a great view of the surrounding hills, far from any signs of civilization and with smaller crowds than similar "gorge" hikes.

King's Mountain may be one of the most consistent hikes in the greater Portland area gaining 2,500 vertical-feet over 2.5 miles almost evenly the entire time.

The trail starts out at a marked trailhead just west of the Elk Mountain campground (stop there for water and more restrooms in summer & fall), and has room for a couple dozen cars with one vault toilet. The initial minutes of the trail are the only flat stretch as you head into the forest passing through spectacular, wooded scenery until you reach the base of the mountain.

From there it's all up to the top as you wind your way towards the peak switchback by switchback. At around 2,000' of gain, the trail begins to open up and the switchbacks are replaced with a consistent uphill path that stops off at "boyscout table" (an actual picnic table placed on the mountain). The crux of the climb starts just a few hundred feet from the summit as the trail steepens to make up for the flat start even introducing a few semi-scramble spots depending on conditions.

In winter and early season, expect snow or ice at the top as you'll be exposed walking out for the last hundred or two feet until you reach the summit ridge which is partially tree covered.

A signpost and summit register marks the top though the trail continues on to Elk Mountain and other points.

Pack List

Expect a 2-4 hour hike depending on your speed and experience level.

  • 2+ liters of water / person.
  • Snacks to cover 2-3 breaks and lunch
  • Light to heavy jackets and gloves for the summit
  • Trekking poles to save your knees on the descent
  • Footwear traction for winter / muddy season
  • The rest of the 10 essentials

There are no fees or permits required for the trailhead but be aware, while the road is a major byway, the trail is fairly remote. The nearest water is at the Elk Mountain Trailhead, open seasonally and there's a forest building a few miles down the road. Little to no cell coverage on the trail.

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RT Distance 5 Miles
Elevation Gain 2500 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Steep!

Beautiful views, but would have been better on a clear day.

Worth The Climb

This hike was a bit steeper than expected when we got near the top and the mountain does not give you much rest on the way up. However, only being 2.5 miles up the views from the top are totally worth the climb. Would recommend doing.


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