Saddle Mountain State Natural Area

Park History

Initially, lands for the park were acquired in 1928 by gift from O. W. and Nellie Taylor. In 1935, the State Land Board gave an additional 1,401.96 acres to the park. In 1938, four tracts were purchased from private owners. Some lands were exchanged with the Crown Zellerbach Corporation between 1977 and 1980. In 1985, 40 acres were purchased from the Oregon Board of Forestry and transferred to the Parks and Recreation Division by the Highway Division. After the Highway Commission obtained the access road right-of-way in the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed the 7.25-mile road from the Sunset Highway (U. S. 26) to the base of the Saddle Mountain. They also built the trail to the top of the mountain and did other betterment work. In the early 1950s, primitive camping facilities were added. Saddle Mountain was named by Lt. Charles Wilkes, U. S. Navy, in 1841 because of the saddle between the peaks. According to tradition, the Indians called it "Swallalahoost" for a legendary chief who, upon being killed by his enemies, assumed the form of an eagle and created thunder and lightning on the peak. Lewis and Clark referred to the peak as an area for elk hunting in 1805 but did not name it. The park area lies generally at the boundary of territories claimed by Clatsop and Clatskanie tribal groups.

Acreage: 3,226.14

Annual overnight attendance: 2,363

Annual day-use attendance: 99,110

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