Diamond Peak Via Pacific Crest Trail is a 14.1 mile out and back trail located near Oakridge, OR and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
There are lots of ski options in this trip for all abilities but as usual make sure the snow conditions are safe.
I read Steven White's review and, being in my early 60s, decided to start from the North side of Summit Lake. As I came from Odell Lake, this meant driving a bit over six miles on a "primitive" forest road (the sign said so!). I did use the four wheel drive part of the way, stopping in a few spots to map out the way through (I drive an old Pathfinder). Coming via Oakridge and Diamond drive is a better option for sure.
Parking at the trail-head, this made for a 4.2 miles pleasant walk on the PCT before starting the ascent via the climbers' trail. No real views to talk about (except beautiful forest and ponds/lakes) until just before veering off the PCT; the views just open at that point and a flat area with rocks provide a nice resting/snacking spot.
No sign to mark the turn to the climbers trail. Look for two small cairns on he left side of the PCT instead shortly after the view/rest spot. The ascent does require stamina as Steven noted; it is a good 45 degrees angle for the one mile or so from PCT to South summit. The trail is quite visible and varied: packed dirt , rocky path... and the required amount of scree. Once at the South/false summit, a .3 miles spine leads to the true summit. There are a few "gendarmes" on the way and I stayed on the East side of all of them (as snow fields provided a good safety net on that side). The summit offers sweeping 360 degree views ,including most of the Oregon cascadse peaks. The views of the Northern ridge and the SouthEast and NorthWest slopes/bowls are nothing short of spectacular too.
The summit area is fairly small and I had the chance to enjoy it all by myself for about 20 minutes ; after that, if felt a bit crowded when two parties (one of 2 and one of 3) joined me :-)
Final note: DO bring insect repellent if you don't want to feel like hiker-buffet for fierce stinging creatures, especially in the vicinity of Summit Lake
I hiked in from Summit lake on the PCT. The last bit of the road running S>N along the lake is very rocky and is better for high clearance vehicles. If you are careful you can drive all the way to the north side of Summit lake to the Trailhead. If not the PCT shadows the road starting at the South side of the lake where there is a pullout for parking a car or two. The actual summit trail is consistently steep up until the top ridge line and requires a certain amount of stamina, though I think is doable by most people. A couple in there 60's summited shortly after I did =) Great views all the way around and totally worth the trip.
The other hikers I encountered all came in from the Rockpile trailhead, so it might be the better one.