21 Responses to About…

  1. Jeff Eriksen says:

    Hi old neighbor. I have been recording older episodes of Oregon Field guide and last week saw your episode on the Pacific Greenway project. I commend you on this. Maybe we can get together sometime and catch up. I assume you can harvest my email address from this site. are you on Facebook?
    Warm regards,

  2. Ryan says:

    Hi Jim,

    I’m a stream ecologist out of Boulder, CO who’s coming out to Portland for a conference next month. I’m an enthusiastic backpacker who is looking to get a solid early season trip in. I have from Friday afternoon through Tuesday to spend, and was hoping to find some sort of trail or trail system where I could spend 3-4 nights out without getting back into a car.

    I’ve got a few friends from Oregon, and all of them respond with blank stares when I ask about the Coast Range. Your website seems to be about the only source I’ve come across for the Coast Range, and I was wondering if you could recommend a trip that would match what I’m seeking? This website is great, but there sure is a lot of stuff up and if you think there’d be something ideal for me to look further into, simply pointing me to the trail or destination would help immensely. I’m just looking to get out into the woods; I’m into botany and fly-fishing (the latter would be a bonus but not necessary).

    Anything immediately come to mind?


    • Jim says:

      I’d recommend going down the Salmonberry River. If you have two cars you can start at Cochran Pond and come out at the Foss Bridge, where the Salmonberry enters the Nehalem. Just follow the railroad.

      One car? Walk down “Ridge Runner’s Delight” described in the Saddle Mountain section. Follow the trail down to the Lewis & Clark Highway and then turn back and walk up the road heading SE at the bottom of the valley. Eventually you will cross the paved road that leads to Saddle Mountain itself. Walk south, or away from Saddle Mountain ascending the peak (Humbug Mtn) to the south of Saddle Mountain. Near the top is where you will have left your car, if you followed the beginning instructions for Ridge Runner’s delight.

      There’s lot’s more, like King’s and Elk Mountains – but you’ve got real peaks in Colorado. The Coast range is good for really getting back into the country far away from anyone, with huge vistas and forested mountains everywhere. Lot’s of elk, some bear and cougars, but none are really dangerous.

      Jim Thayer

  3. Celeste Thompson says:

    This is a great site! I’m going to bookmark it for my local hiking resource.

  4. Great interpretation of the story of the wreck of No 104 near Camp Olsen. I have been studying the Oregon-American Lumber story for about 3 years now. I am an Interpretive Host here at L. L. Stub Stewart State Park again this year for the month of May, 2016. I intend to do a presentation on this event the evening of May 27, 2016. I will perhaps be able to show a “Train Simulator” simulation of the United Railway branch of the SP&S with a “Prairie” Locomotive standing in for the 104 a Baldwin 2-6-2T.
    From the area Topo map it looks like Camp Olsen is only 3 to 4 miles in from the rest area. I might try a visit.

  5. Rich Meyer says:

    Hi Jim. I came across your site as I was looking for some trail running routes near Rocky Point Road. As I read through it, I got interested in whether it would be possible to do a group multi-day trail run from Portland to the coast. Do you think this could be done? If so, I’d love to meet with you to explore how. Thanks!

    • Jim says:

      Rich you can reach me by phone at 503-860-3297. It’s possible, but will require permits from Weyerhaeuser and some private land owners along Peterson Road and again near Vinemaple. Some of the connections are more walkable than runnable…


      • Rich Meyer says:

        Hi Jim. Sorry, I just saw your reply (I didn’t think about checking the page again to look for it), so I haven’t yet called you. Expect a call this week, as I am still interested in meeting with you. I love this web site!

  6. Pat Jewett says:

    Hi Jim,
    I have a photo of what I believe is a trail tree. It is just past the intersection of Germantown Rd and Keizer near the edge of the road.
    I believe Germantown was a route used by Native Americans so I think it could be a trail tree. I could send the photo if you’d like to see it.

  7. Thanks so much for this site Jim. I am spreading the word around about it to my some hiking groups i belong to on MeetUp, and have ordered your books off of Amazon. It makes a hike 1000 times more interesting if you know some of the local history of the trail and places you pass, the handed down story telling like this is unfortunately a lost art in the modern daze. I look forward to hitting these trails and trying to do them justice with my hobby of photography and videography and you may see some productions out there under my youtube channel Adventure OR. I would love to include more history of these places in my work. Tho the more I publish out on a venue such as youtube the more I realize I really just want people to appreciate and have a conservationist attitude toward the Northwest -then to actually go out and tromp all over it so now im learning not to always identify exactly where im going!

    • Jim says:

      Thanks for the kudos! I’m now working on a collection of oregon folklore (stories) about this region. I’m hoping that people will enjoy a good yarn as much as they like hiking, besides reading yarns and old stories is something that the rain cannot interrupt.

  8. Jason Wells says:

    Jim Thayer, long time no see. Drop me an email, I’d like to catch up. You took me to Rome, Florence, Deruta, Todi, and a few other places in the 90s. We just returned from retracing some of those steps.

    Jason Wells

  9. Brett Stern says:

    Thanks for explaining that you’re allowed to hike on roads/trails behind blue gates. Was wondering if there’s a gate color guide? This weekend saw green, red and yellow gates.

    • Jim says:

      Some of the areas now have additional restrictions – mainly Weyerhaeuser lands. It’s sad, but you can only get access to these lands if you sign up on their website in mid-April. So far I have seen little sign of enforcement.

  10. Joe Gulley says:

    Hi Jim,
    Is there a way you could send me or I could purchase a GPX file of the route?

  11. Jerry says:


    My name is Jerry Herrmann. I am President of Rivers of Life Center. We integrate youth into tourism and landscaping. We are looking to submit a grant that would involve youth interpreters and professional interpreters for 2018. You and I met at the 2017 Trails Fair in Portland. You gave me one of your books. We are looking to have you come out and speak at one of our history events for Fall 2018. Can you please email historyminstrels@gmail.com and provide us your phone number so we can list you? We are trying to submit this grant asap.

    Let us know,

    Thanks, Jim

    -Jerry Herrmann

  12. Cristen Lincoln says:

    Hello! I love your book Hiking from Portland to the Coast. We will be heading west from portland this weekend, and I thought it would be fun to do an overnight backpacking stop on the way. Considering Gales Creek, and taking the loop back down Roger’s road to to the parking area. I have not done this hike. Does this sound reasonable? IS there a good place to camp over night along the way? I was thinking we’d make camp along the last portion of Gales creek, and had out the next day to intersect Bell Camp road then head back via Roger’s Road. Also, we have a dog, so hoping for very little traffic on Roger’s road? Thanks so much! Your insights have been so helpful when exploring the amazing forests of the coast range!

    • Jim says:

      I would recommend getting to the top of the steep slope (near the top of the Gales Creek hike) and then proceed along the trail (rail-bed?) northwards following option 3 (instructions in the book). At the 3 way intersection turn east and then take the leftmost trail (the book recommends the right hand option). This option climbs to the summit of Round Top, but it’s not that far. Doing this will reward you with a fabulous view of Washington County. This would be an ideal place to camp. But be careful with any fire you light this time of the year!!!

      The next day you can retrace your steps back down to the split in the road and then take the right hand option which circles around the summit and eventually connects (passing through a screen of alders) to the a logging road that descends all the way to the gales Creek Campground (this is often referred to as “Rogers Road”.

      Have fun.

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