Mount Thielsen Trail

HARD 11 reviews
#10 of 49 trails in

Mount Thielsen Trail is a 9.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Glide, OR that features a great forest setting and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from July until December. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

9.2 miles 4366 feet Out & Back

dogs on leash



rock climbing



cross country skiing




This is a fantastic mountaineering trip. The summit is about an 80 foot steep spire that is not advisable to climb if there is snow and ice without a rope. It's got a ton of exposure and a fall would be deadly. Near the top be aware that there will be cornices so stay away from any edges.

1 month ago

Mt Thielsen has been on my to-do (to climb) list since shortly after I moved to Oregon;to me, it just looks like the way a great mountain should look.
I planned to do it earlier in the season and almost gave up before picking what might have been the last day to hike w/o snow (a large weather front moved in the next day). Because of that last minute decision, or possibly just because I did not pay enough attention, I ended up going the wrong way at the junction with the PC and (1) added an extra mile to the trip + (2) climbed to the top traversing the whole scree field top to bottom!
Putting these two mishaps aside the rest was just pure bliss. The weather was just cool enough to balance the overheating from the effort going up. The weather was a nice mix of sunshine and high altitude clouds... and I reached my goal of climbing the summit spire shortly before my 61st birthday!
I did prepare a bit for this climb: I climbed Pilot Rock near Ashland the previous weekend; I exercised more than usual to make sure I had as much upper body strength as I could muster; I bough climber shoes to avoid making the climb with my bulky hiking boots; and I TOOK TIME during the climb (up and down) to make sure I had very good purchase before making the next move. This was important, not just because of the consequences of falling but because I was absolutely alone on the mountain that day (no other care in the parking lot, no other hikers/climbers the whole day).

Climbing the spire is not something to take lightly. At the same time, it apparently does not require strong climbing skills. It is somewhere in the middle. A few things, however, are to be taken seriously: yes, a fall can easily mean death; climbing alone (even if I did it) is not the wiser way to go about it (there was one spot, when climbing back down, where I was mildly anxious as I did not immediately identified the way I came up; good footwear (I love my climbing shoes) and some fitness (pulling yourself up a bit on occasions) does help; TAKING TIME planning the next move can make all the difference (do not proceed if you are not very confident you have good purchase); climbing down can be more unnerving than climbing up (although it did not feel that way to me this time); do not attempt w/o proper gear if there is snow, ice or even wet rocks. This can be a wonderful experience if carefully planned and executed.

I do not often hike the same trails over and over (unless they are close by). However, I may make an exception for Mt Thielsen as it really stands apart.

3 months ago

This was my first summit and I had a blast. I was determined to climb it, even if I had to do it solo. As it turns out I went with a friend who has climbed Mt. Thielsen before and I was glad I did because sometimes it was hard pick up the trail.
We reached the top without climbing gear but I would recommend against this unless you are an experienced climber. The views are stunning.
The most difficult part of the hike was the scree fields. Take your time and watch every step you take and you'll be fine. It took us two 2 1/2 hours to summit and the same amount of time to make it back to the parking lot.

4 months ago

I solo hiked this trail last weekend. . I almost made it to chicken ridge but I decided to turn around because it didn't feel safe. It's a great hike, but I suggest not hiking it solo. I'll come back and finish it, but not by myself!

5 months ago

11 months ago

This was my first summit and it was the absolute most fun I've ever had hiking! About 10 miles round trip. Some people free solo the spire but we used a prusik on top rope to make the summit. Beautiful views even though we experienced decreased visibility due to wildfires.

1 year ago

1 year ago

I started out at 9:45am. Temps only 67 for a high, so no rush. Hiked through the woods with small glimpses of the mountain in the way up. The only confusing part was when it intersected with the Pacific Crest Trail. There was no sign saying to continue straight towards the top. The trail went to the left and right, both downhill. Logic kicked in and I headed straight uphill. It was obvious after a short while that I was on the right path. I could see people at the very top as I was reaching the scree fields. This is where the fun begins. Loose rocks galore. Power through it and keep pushing on. I finally reached chicken point. I was all by myself. Staring up at the top, I thought there was no way in the world I am going up that. 2 other hikers reached chicken point a few minutes later. They were much more ambitious. They jumped right onto the rocks and started climbing. None of us had ropes. I had a helmet and a go-pro. Watching them gave me the confidence(or stupidity) to give it a try. Failure almost certainly means death!!!! We all made it to the top. The most breathtaking views to date!! We could see down to Mt Shasta and up to the 3 Sisters. I linked my video of climbing chicken point to the top. All in all an awesome hike and experience.

2 years ago

August 23, 2014 We started up MT. THIELSEN (correct spelling) around 8:15am. This trail begins with 4 miles of a steady up hill climb around 2000 feet of elevation gain. The next mile you gain about another 1700 feet. There is a lot of scree and loose rocks. You must pick your path carefully. We went up to Chicken Out Point and did not do the last 80 feet as it requires rock climbing skills. Going back down that top mile took 2x as long as going up. We each chose the path that worked best for us. There were several people hiking up the mountain. Some had good trail manners while others did not. This is a popular place, so be aware that not everyone may be as courteous as you would hope. A few times, we had falling rocks coming down towards us and they did not bother to let us know by yelling "ROCK" TOTAL HIKE IS 9.8 NOT 4.9 AS THE DESCRIPTION SAYS

3 years ago

2012-Climbed Mt Thielson with my husband and my sister, who was new to hiking mountains. We kept losing the trail as it when in and out of snow. Marking our way along we were able to follow our footsteps out. The top third was loose gravelly rock making sure footing a challenge. Heading for the summit at 6pm we decided not to tag the top with a novice with us. We chose safety over an epic in the dark with one headlamp. Would like to return and bag this bad boy .

3 years ago

Mt. Thielsen is a fun and challenging hike. In some ways, despite being a lower elevation, it can be more challenging than South Sister. I would rank this one as fairly difficult. The views at the summit though are absolutely incredible! The last third, or even quarter of this hike is the tough part. Very steep and very poor footing. Choose your route carefully. Word of advise when you're out of the trees and just in the rock and shale...Stay to the left when you're going up! The last 50-70 feet is a climb straight up a rock face. While many do it, I do NOT suggest it without being an experienced climber or going up with an experienced climber. You'll want helmets and ropes to make it. Many free-climb it, but be advised; it is dangerous!!!

Have fun! This is a good one!!!!

4 years ago

Ok, I can't remember the last year I actually climbed Thielsen. I've probably climbed it six or seven times since age three. I'm going to take my kids up this next summer. It's a fun climb with a nice view of Diamond Lake and Mt. Bailey. Leave the trailhead early, have lunch on top and saunter back down. The last 50 feet can be a bit daunting but just take it slow and easy and you'll prevail.