Located in the Willamette Valley, Baskett Slough is a hidden gem many people don’t know exactly how to get to! It may not be allowable for runners, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a rest day and get some simple hiking trail miles in complete with great views of Wine Country.
This National Wildlife Refuge is just ten miles west of Salem off Highway 22 and is viewable just off this main road via a viewing platform. You may have passed by it without even knowing that there is a navigable hill with some tucked away trails along the way. We recommend parking in the lot that will lead you right out to the trails, but there are a few other options as well for your starting point.
As you venture into the trail area, we will repeat that it is not made for runners. It’s is a wonderful area for walking, bird watching, hiking and very family-friendly. You can walk straight up the Rich Guadagno Trail (stay to the left) to quickly “summit” Mount Baldy in the span of .33 mile. The Observation Platform is a great view and you can capture some great photos up top.
If you take the trail to the right instead, there are a few additional options. The second left will have you climbing and circling through a wooded area that is about a mile in length.
Or you can continue past this fork and head deeper into the Refuge for a longer option. While the short hike to the summit can sometimes get busy-ish with families, this longer backcountry option is generally always a quiet jaunt. Check out the trails on Google Maps for a general idea of this area.
Hope you find this area as enjoyable as we have. Afterwards, head on over to Van Duzer to relax with a glass of great wine. The Van Duzer Winds are real, making this cool down location ideal for those warm days!