Browder Ridge

The long hike to the top of Browder Ridge is well worth it. The varied habitat supports many species of flowers, and the large elevation gain allows one to see the same species at many different stages. If you have time and energy to make it to the top, the view is superb. The trail from Gate Creek begins by climbing steeply through beautiful old-growth forest. Look here for many non-chlorophyll species such as candystick (Allotropa virgata), fringed pinesap (Pleuricospora fimbriata), and coralroots (Corallorhiza spp.). Eventually, it passes through numerous meadows before reaching an intersection. Turn right at this intersection to head to the ridge. A bushwhack will take you to the rocky top. Coming from the west trailhead, the trail passes through many meadows and past rocky areas before reaching the intersection. 


Trail: Gate Creek trail, 4.2 miles round trip (3650–5760′)
Location: Linn County; Willamette National Forest, Sweet Home Ranger District
USGS Map: Tamolitch Falls, Echo Mtn; T14S.R6E.S10, 11
Habitats: forest, meadow, rocks, creek, wet meadow
Bloom: June to late August


Browder Ridge has 2 trailheads. To get to the Gate Creek trailhead from Springfield, head east on the McKenzie Hwy 126. Continue to a well-marked sign for Ikenick SnoPark just north of Clear Lake. Turn left here onto Hackleman Creek Rd 2672. After 1.1 miles, veer right (north) at an intersection. After another 1.9 miles, take your first left onto Rd 1598. Follow this gravel road for almost 2.8 miles to a marked trailhead on the right. Parking is across the road. If you are coming from Sweethome you can get onto Hackleman Creek Rd. from Hwy 20. Near milepost 68, turn south on Hackleman Creek Rd. This is just 2.7 miles west of the junction of Hwy 126. Follow this south for 1.7 miles and turn right onto Rd 1598. Again the trail is 2.8 miles up this road.

To get to the second, lesser-used trailhead that starts at the west end, take Hwy 20 to Rd 15 (by Iron Mtn), follow this 2.6 miles, and take a left onto gravel road 080. The trailhead will be just up the road on the left.

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