dogs on leash
Started at rock pile trailhead and happy with the decision. The road was rough but not as bad as the road to summit lake where you can take the PCT to diamond peak. In the middle of August there were a ton of mosquitos at Marie and Rockpile lakes, but they were still worth it. Missed the corner the first time up the climbers trail because it was sooner than I thought to look, but it's clearly marked by rock cairns. It's slow going up with the scree, there are multiple paths crisscrossing all the way up to the false summit, going down I had no problem finding my way down to the corner on them. I took my dog the whole way, through the gendarmes I was definitely a little nervous, but there was a safety net with the snow on the side and we took it really slow. Unless your dog is experienced, sure footed, and calm I would not take them, one tiny misstep could be fatal. The trail was pleasantly uncrowded, only a couple lone hikers reached the summit before me then a larger group came after. Probably my absolute favorite hike, a great challenge and unreal 360 views.
well, it would have been beautiful I'm sure, but the road we were on forest road 542-544 just was too overgrown. I was excited to go with my three kids and it was too scary once we reached only .5 miles from the trail. major bummer. we had to turn back and go to our regular river spot to cheer them up.
Got soooo lost trying to find it. There's literally ONE sign that directs you toward moonfalls. Finally found it and all I could do was laugh as to not be so upset. It more like water falling down a hill instead of a waterfall! I've posted my pics. Wish I could've seen it when it was raging water like in some of the other pics!
I did the "long version" of the Maiden Peak Hike, combining the peak itself with a visit to the Rosary Lakes on the way up. This route does make the trail longer (a tad over 18 miles) but also provides additional scenic rewards: PCT to the three Rosary Lakes, quick stop at Maiden Lake and then the ascent to Maiden Peak.
I parked right off highway 58 at the spot where the PCT crosses it, half a mile East of the Willamette Pass Ski-Area. There is a large road-maintenance structure to the left of the highway (coming from Oakridge) and a parking at the PCT trailhead just East of that structure. The first 3 miles of the trail, on the PCT are almost due East, well shaded, and go gently up the Southern slope of the hill towards Rosary Lakes. This being the PCT, the trail is very well maintained and easy to travel; the only one might face, depending on the season, are the bugs that strive around Odell Lake (bring repellent!).
After three miles, the trail reaches the first and largest of the Rosary lakes. A good spot to take a quick break to rest feet and legs, to have a snack, or simply to enjoy the views of the lake and ridge to the West and North West. I was greeted by a nice and cool breeze which did a good job on this hot August day. There are quite a few camping spots right off the trail on the East side of the lake and a handful of parties had taken advantage of them the night before; the smell of breakfast where hard to ignore
For a mile, the PCT levels out and hugs the Eastern shore of the three Rosary lakes and offer several “beach access” spots (on the return journey, I use one of them to refill my water supply and rest my aching feet). Passed the last lake, the trail veers first West and then switches back East as it climbs towards the Maiden Peak saddle. Halfway through that climb, the Maiden Lake Trail branches off on the right; I left the PCT and took that trail.
The Maiden Lake trail is narrower than the PCT and basically circles the southern slopes of Maiden Peak for about 3 miles before coming to Maiden Lake. Here again, the 3 miles are not steep but instead follow a bit of a roller coaster pattern with a globally upward direction. The trail passes Maiden Lake on the South side and about 100 feet up. However, a short descent does get you to the water here too. Passed Maiden Lake the trail heads East to join with the last leg of the trip.
A bit under the eight miles mark, I reached the intersection with the trail to Maiden Peak for the last 1.5 miles up. The grade steepens for the first mile that reaches the base of the cone. The last .5 miles starts very steep and hard to negotiate but soon even levels off a bit for a more “human” ascent to the summit. Only halfway un the cone do the views open up, but the 360 degrees at the top are worth every ounce of sweat that leads you there. On a not so clear day the views went from Shasta, Thielsen, Mc Loughlin and Diamond Peak in the southern direction to Broken Top, Sisters, Bachelor, Washington an Jefferson Northward.
Clay D. on Waldo Lake Trail
Three day backpack with son and 14 year old granddaughter, August 4-6. Awash in delicious huckleberries! Mosquitos love Waldo in July and August, so be prepared. My favorite place!
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