Tallest mountains in Oregon
Oregon is a wild and scenic state with no shortage of tourist attractions. There are lots of beautiful beaches and landscapes to see in Oregon. Apart from the incredible waterfall hikes and kiteboarding in many of the rivers, Oregon also has urban charms that attract all kids of tourists. The largest city in Oregon, Portland, is known for attracting lots of tourists in particular. Top attractions in Portland include classic bookshops, art museums, etc.
For hikers who love climbing mountains, the need to know a little about the mountain they want to hike becomes important. This article contains all the crucial information you need to know about the tallest mountains in Oregon.
Ultra prominent on the landscape at an elevation of 11,239 ft above sea level, Mount Hood is the tallest mountain in Oregon. Not just the tallest mountain, it is also the second most claimed glaciated mountain in the world. Some reports claim it is second only to Fuji-san, Japan. It is a volcanic mountain although it is no longer considered an active one. It is very easy to climb and the hiking distance is not long. It is a very short hike which is why it is very popular among newbie climbers. They use it as a means of preparing for harder and more strenuous mountains.
There are four defined routes you can approach the summit from. The most popular and commonly used route is The South Side Route. The south side is one of 5 trails on the Timberline Lodge Approach. One of the reason is that it is the shortest of the others. It is just a little below 3 miles. Other routes include:
Cooper Spur Approach: there are many trails on this route. However, rockfalls are known to occur on the Cooper Spur trail. Should you decide to use the trail, being vigilant will do you lots of good.
Cathedral Ridge Approach: there are only three trails on this route
Illuminations Saddle Approach: this route has the most trails.
Campground: the other reason why the south side route is very popular is that it offers more camping options for campers. There are three places you can set up camp.
Palmer Glacier: this spot is next to some exposed rocks just above the ski lift.
Timberline Lodge Ski Parking lot: while you are not allowed to set up tents in the parking lot, you are allowed to sleep in your car. This is a very good option if you ample space for that in your car, say a jeep.
There are also areas in the National forest you can set your tent.
You are also allowed to camp on the summit for reasons known to you. however, it is not usually done by hikers.
Note: there are accidents on the mountain and most of them are caused because of negligence or carelessness. Here are some important things you should keep in mind
It is important for you to have crampons and an ice ax when climbing the mountain in the winter season.
Also, if you are planning on having a go at the mountain during warm days, it is in your own interest to have a helmet especially when you plan on reaching the summit. This is because there are loose rocks on the mountain that can easily be dislodged. It is also important that hikers stay on the ice and snow area of the trail they are following.
Rockfall in the area is not unusual, especially in warm periods. You should also ensure you stay clear of fumaroles. In case you cannot avoid coming in contact with fumaroles, make sure you do not linger for too long. Many accidents were cause because an unsuspecting hiker was suffocated.
Mount Jefferson is considered the second highest mountain in Oregon. The mountain is considered one of the most challenging volcano mountains to climb. It is also one of the four mountains of the 57 Ultra prominent mountain in the United States. it is in fact considered a dormant stratovolcano since its last eruption dates back to 40,000 years ago.
There are many routes that lead all the way to the summit of the mountain. However, it is important to be cautious when climbing as some of them are considered very dangerous. This is due to the presence of avalanche hazards and frequent occurrence of rockfalls. However, the following routes and trails have a fewer occurrence of these dangers hence you can use them.
Summit Pinnacle: this route is the easiest of all the routes leading to the summit.
Jefferson Park approach: Using the Jefferson park route, there are two trails here. The WhiteWater Glacier which is quite well used and the Jefferson Park Glacier. Both of them are easy to climb
Pamelia Lake trailhead
Campground: Hikers can set up camp at the Scout Lake. It is close to the Jefferson Park route. You can also camp at the Shale Lake. The Pamela Lake Trailhead also has some good spots for camping. However, you need permits to set up a tent in certain spots.
Three Sisters Peaks
The three sisters are three clustered mountains in Oregon. The three of them are volcanic mountains. Snowfall is very frequent and the peaks are mostly covered in snow all year round. They are considered active volcanoes and one of the sisters is predicted to erupt in the nearest future. The Three Sister are especially popular for their scenic beauty. The views of the lakes and forest and the general landscape from the top of any of the Sister Peaks is simply awesome.
While the Three Sisters is popular among hikers and mountaineer, it is dangerous to climb. This is because of rockfalls and extensive erosion. Of the Three Sister Peaks, the North Sister/Peak Is the most dangerous because rockfalls are very frequent here. Because of this, it is sometimes referred to as the “Beast of the Cascades”.
Since they are three peaks all clustered tightly together, there are a lot of ways to approach the peak of any of the sisters. The trails include: Obsidian Trailhead and Pole Creek Trailhead
Note: you should read this guide by Jeff Smoot. It is called “Climbing the Cascade Volcanoes”. You can also read Oregon High by Jeff Thomas. Both guides give detailed information on what to and what not to expect.
Campground: Camping can be done at Devils Lake campground. You can also camp at spots you see fit but you need to ask if it is permitted from any of the ranger district offices at any trailhead.
Sacajawea Peak is the fifth highest Peak in Oregon. It has an elevation of 9,843 ft. This elevation makes it the highest point in the Wallowa Mountains. Oregon mountains are known to be quite soft and very prone to rockfalls. Sacajawea Peak is no exception although granite and limestone are said to be part of the main composition of the Peak.
Sacajawea gets it own fair share of tourists and hence has several routes and trail that lead up to the mountain. The easiest way to get to the summit of the peak is to Hike the Hurricane Creek Trail to the Thorp Creek Trail then the East Ridge. You can also approach the summit from the Ice Lakeside. The ice lake leads to the Wallowa Lake Trailhead.
Campground: there is a campground at Wallowa Lake. The campground is open to everybody. It is run on first come first served and no reservation is allowed. You can also camp at the Ice Lake although you have to keep enough distance from the water. You can also camp in the wilderness but it must not be close to any water body.
Steens Mountain is the sixth tallest mountain in Oregon. It is a large mountain that is easily thought to be a mountain range. However, it is a proper single mountain and is one of the few mountains in Oregon with high wildlife activity. There are lots of recreational activities people can do on the mountain apart from hiking and mountaineering. They include Bouldering, scrambling, hunting, bicycling, sightseeing, etc. People who want to picnic can also be seen in the area.
One of the reasons why the mountain is quite popular is that you can drive to the top of the mountain. The easiest route to get to the summit is by hiking from the Gravel Road.
Campground: you can camp at strategic places on the mountain and its surroundings. Some of them include:
Malheur Field Station: this has spaces where you can park your vehicle and some sleeping beddings.
Frenchglen Wayside State Park: there is no space and provision for setting up a tent and camp here. However, for those who are picnicking, it is a good spot for doing that. Toilet facilities are also available for those who want to use the toilet.
Fish Lake: there are lots of campsites in the area. The campsites have water, toilets, and fire rings for hikers.
Mann Lake: there are campsites in this area but not as good as those found at the Fish Lake.
Wildlife: Wildlife activity is high in the area. Sagebrush and Wild horses are frequently seen on the Mountain. Flowers and unique plants are also seen at strategic places on the mountain. The location of vegetation largely depends on elevation. Most common flowers and plant in the area include bunchgrass, aspen, juniper, sagebrush, blue lupines, moss gentian, etc.