Battle Ax Trail

Willamette National Forest, Oregon

Elevation Gain2,555ft
Trailhead Elevation4,712ft
Elevation Min/Max4307/5557ft
Elevation Start/End4712/4712ft

Battle Ax Trail

Battle Ax Trail is a hiking trail in Marion County, Oregon. It is within Bull of the Woods Wilderness Area, Opal Creek Wilderness Area, and Willamette National Forest. It is 2.5 miles long and begins at 4,712 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 5.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,555 feet. Mount Beachie (elevation 5,466 feet) and Battle Ax (elevation 5,482 feet) can be seen along the trail. The trail ends near the Beachie Saddle. This trail connects with the following: Battle Axe Creek Trail and Bagby Trail #544.

Battle Ax Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Portland (Menasha Ridge Press)
Paul Gerald
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"Let’s start with the road, because there’s a chance that when you mentioned Battle Ax Mountain or Elk Lake to friends, they told you they had their teeth rattled out of their heads while driving up there. First, the road has been worked on quite a bit in the last few years, and second, I got my 1992 Nissan Sentra up there with no problem. Sure, I was going 5 miles an hour at times, but I made it just fine. While you’re up there, consider spending the night at the campground, which costs only $10 but has a reputation for a little weekend rowdiness. It’s a great base for exploring the whole area."

Battle Ax Trail Trip Reports

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Great trail, right out of the city. We saw owls. However, make sure you start on it and not on the twerliger trail which is left of the parking lot. You want to go behind the parking lot to the shelter. The trail starts next to the shelter.
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This trail is great. The city bus will drop you just a very short distance from the trailhead and once you leave the parking lot at the bottom you ascend a narrow canyon to Council Crest. Council Crest is a great spot for a lunch and the views of the mountains are the best in Portland. It was a great late winter walk on a sunny day. There was still a bit of mud from the rains but nothing my boots couldn't handle. If you have little kids the trail is steep in spots and doesn't have many places where it runs level but older kids should handle it just fine. We followed the trail to the top and then continued on through to the zoo. When I do this trail again though I will probably opt for the alternate route back down to where I started. The path to the zoo is not well marked, very steep in spots and once you get close to Hwy 26 it is very noisy. I do recommend walking to the base of the hill at the park since there are remnants of the old trolly line that ran up the hill.

Battle Ax Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Willamette National Forest
Nearby City
Willamette National Forest
Skill Level
Additional Use
Detroit Ranger District, 503-854-3366,
Local Contacts
USGS Bull of the Woods Wilderness.
Local Maps

Trail Log