Mount Jefferson West

Morning at Jefferson Park.

Matt Reeder on the Cheat Creek Trail, July 2012. This trail burned in the Whitewater Fire during the summer of 2017 and it is not known what condition the trail is in now, or whether this section of ancient forest survived intact. Photo by Wendy Rodgers.

The moon sets over Red Buttes and Mowich Lake in the Eight Lakes Basin. This area burned during the B+B Fire in 2003 and is now well on its way to recovery. In spite of the damage the basin is still beautiful.

Three-Fingered Jack and Lower Berley Lake. The lake is only a short distance off the trail to Santiam Lake but is not particularly easy to find.

64. Humbug Flats

65. Lower Breitenbush Hot Springs

66. Breitenbush Hot Springs Loop

67. South Breitenbush River Trail

68. Crown and Claggett Lakes

69. Bear Point

70. Jefferson Park via South Breitenbush

71. Triangulation Peak

72. Wild Cheat Meadow and Triangulation Peak

73. Jefferson Park via Whitewater Trail

74. Jefferson Park via Woodpecker Ridge

75. Pamelia Lake and Grizzly Peak

76. Hunts Cove Loop

77. Bingham Ridge

78. Independence Rock

79. Marion Lake

80. Heart of the Jeff Loop

81. Temple Lake and Marion Mountain

82. Pika and Fir Lakes

83. Duffy Lake and the Eight Lakes Basin

84. Maxwell Butte

85. Berley Lakes and Santiam Lake

86. Grand Mount Jefferson Wilderness Loop

Now we’ve arrived at the big snowy mountain at long last. Hikes 64 - 67 follow forks of the beautiful Breitenbush River while Hikes 68 - 78 and 80 - 86 are found in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness. The hikes are as varied as the terrain; while some follow rushing rivers in dark canyons, others start high and climb higher. Most of these hikes pass lakes on the way, and some pass many lakes. This section also contains some of the best wildflower meadows and viewpoints in the wilderness as well. In short, this area has everything!

While some of these hikes are seldom-traveled, many others are extremely popular. The Triangulation, Whitewater, Pamelia, Marion Lake and Duffy Lake Trails are among the most crowded and popular in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness Area - but also among the most beautiful. Thankfully, there are other beautiful, less crowded trails to explore. It may be hard to believe, but every single one of these trails is beautiful and well worth hiking. If you have the time, the gear and the energy, the best way to visit the area is to do one of the two extended backpacks featured in this section (Hikes 80 and 86).

Note: As of 2020, a permit system will be in place for the Mount Jefferson Wilderness. Please check online to learn more about the details of this system, and how to obtain permits for these hikes.