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Great glaciers carved Diamond Peak after volcanic activity created the mountain. Today, at 8,744 feet, it surpasses every other summit in this region of the Cascade Mountains. Diamond Peak Wilderness, which straddles the crest of the Cascades, rests largely beneath a dense forest of mountain hemlock, lodgepole and western pine, and silver, noble, and other true firs. Snowfields remain most of the year in pockets above the tree line, and dozens of small lakes, one to 28 acres in size, bejewel the high country. Pikas and marmots scurry about the numerous scree slopes, along with Roosevelt elk, at least until November snows drive them out. Stinging hordes of mosquitoes hatch from the first of July through much of August. Excluded from Wilderness designation but on the eastern and southern boundaries you'll find three large scenic lakes: Summit, Crescent, and Odell. Approximately 14 miles of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail pass through the area and near Diamond Peak itself, and another 38 miles of trails give access to many lovely lakeside campsites. Mountain climbers scaling Diamond Peak's nontechnical summit often set up base camps at Marie Lake, Divide Lake, and Rockpile Lake. Much of this area is worthy of off-trail exploration.

hiking
1 month ago

Perfect rainy day hike, trails are well maintained and easy to follow. Started at the Salt Creek Falls TH. The loop trail is marked with blue markers. Took maybe 2 hours to do the whole loop with a 40 minute stop at Diamond Creek Falls for a snack. We followed signs for Vivian Lake until we hit the train tracks and turned around, decided to stick only to the loop and stop at all of the viewpoints. Gets busier later in the day. If you want the trail to yourself, go early in the morning.

hiking
2 months ago

Began my walking down to the base of Salt Creek falls. Upon returning to the top I walked along Salt Creek; crossed a wooden bridge; reaching the junction of Vivian Lake trail and Diamond Creek trail. Take the trail to the right (Diamond Cr trail). Good fall colors to be seen. Soon reached a junction to reach Too Much Bear Lake which is just a very short side trip. Returning to the mail trail is some elevation gain from which you can hear and just barely see through the trees a waterfall in the distance. Continuing on along Diamond Creek is another junction signed Lower Diamond Creek Falls. This short hike will take you to the base of the falls. Note you will be crossing a log bridge with signage stating the bridge has been damaged and do not proceed if you are unsure. Returning to the main trail continue uphill for a view from above of this waterfall. Continuing on the main trail you reach an unmarked junction. Take the trail to the left which takes you back to Salt Creek parking area. (The other trail at the junction takes you to Falls Creek falls and Vivian Lake.

camping
3 months ago

Just got back from this hike. What a beautiful hike. Lots of great camping around the lake. No mosquitoes at all but then again the creeks were all dried up too. Hiked up the indigo extension trail that winds it’s up the hill and eventually overlooks the lake. Highly recommend the hike.

I hiked to Stag Lake and scrambled up Lakeview Mountain on a mid-August day. There were still enough mosquitoes around to make it risky to forego repellent. Sunscreen also comes in handy as sections of the hike (and the time near the top) will offer little protection to bare skin. Other than the last section (cross-country and scramble up to the summit), the trail is well maintained and easy to follow.

This particular route can be adapted to your skills, stamina and time available to discover the area: an out-and-back to Fawn lake (see "Fawn Lake Loop Trail"), and out-and-back to Stag lake ("Stag Lake Trail"), or maybe a loop to Fawn and returning via Pretty lake.

The the route starts at the Fawn Lake Trailhead, at a very large parking area (shared with boat trailers) near Simax Bay.
The first section, between the trailhead and Fawn lake, starts with a mostly flat mile across dry and dirty pinelands. A short distance from the 1 mile mark, the trail up to pretty lake branches off on the left. This is also where the trail starts ascending more noticeably (for another mile or so) while going through the shade of firs and hemlocks. At the 2 miles mark, the trail levels off for a while as it crosses another dry patch (more pines and exposure to the rays of the sun); past this point, it starts its climb to reach Fawn Lake at 3.5 miles. Fawn lake is obviously a good place for a break and picture opportunities. There are a good number of spots with good/easy access to the shore; this is also where you are likely to find campers. As you start the next leg of the journey (to Stag lake) there are more spots if you drop down a bit from the lake to the lakeshore.

The second section of the hike, from Fawn Lake to Stag Lake (less than 1.5 miles) ascends some more, following a bluff on the north side of Fawn lake (with some views). A mile after leaving Fawn Lake, you reach the turnoff to Stag lake (dropping down on the right) while the trail you have been following continues on to Saddle Lake and beyond.The last .5 miles are a shallow roller-coaster eventually raising to the shores of Stag Lake; you can briefly visit the lake before pushing on to the cross-country and scramble section that will require more efforts that you have expened so far. To get to the next section you will leave Stag Lake and retrace your steps to just below the southwest corner of the lake in a flat, dry (in summer) and open drainage.

The last section is entirely off trail and will require (1) some cross-country navigation skills (2) a first scramble up a steep slope to the ridge connecting Laveview Mth to the summit to the south (3) a final scramble from the ridge to the summit of Lakeview Mountain. A compass helps on the cross-country to the foot of the connecting ridge (250 bearing) but you can probably negotiate this section by looking at Lakeview's summit (keep it on your right) or the summit at the south end of the ridge (keep it on your left). This is a drainage area and you don't want to stray too far left or right of the gully at its bottom. On the way up, I ended up around the south half of the ridgeline and the slope was rocky and forested; on the way down I descended from the north half of the ridgeling and terraing was much more open, making it easier to map a route -- the can was the a loose and sandy talus which might be of the two-steps-up/one-step-down variety when going up.

Once on the ridge, Lakeview Mtn is in plain sight and the route is fairly obvious. There is some scree/loose rocks but, compared to the scramble up to the ridgeline, it seemed noticeable easier to negotiate. That last climb is also relatively short... and your destination (plus great views) is now within reach!
Note: I did not enjoy much of the views because of the (now too familiar) summer fires's haze.

I hiked to Divide Lake and back , from Willamette pass and mostly following the PCT, on a late July day as the little annoying sting beasts’s numbers starting to dwindle (no small consideration in this area rich on water sources). Using the PCT for 8 of the 9 miles to Divide lake guarantee a good thread and reasonable grades

I parked just off the OR58’s turnoff to Shelter cove, on a long and spacious dirt parking lot. Alternatives can be to park at the Gold Lake SnoPark (NF 5899) leading to Pengra Pass road. There might also be options further down the Shelter Cove Rd, closer to Pengra Pass.
The first two miles or so (from the parking lot to the intersection with the Pengra Pass dirt road) climbs up a bluff overlooking Odell lake before descending back down to the pass. There is, in particular, a nice rocky outcropping at the 1 mile mark providing unobstructed views of Odell. This is slightly off the trail, look for it on your left as you make your way south.

Past Pengra pass, the PCT starts it long, moderate ascent all the way to Lil’s Lake ([passing Midnight Lake, Arrowhead Lake, and Hidden lake on the way… plus many smaller bodies of water. Hidden lake is just that.. hidden. Look for a spur to the left (heading south) that climbs a couple hundred feet up a slope behind which the lake hides. Most of this section is adequately shaded and the lakes provide a respite from the relatively dry (in July/Aug) terrain along the trail. Lil’s lake shore offers many camping, lunch/break spots. This is a good break point before tackling the next 2.5 miles with a more pronounced climb to the junction with the Mt Yoran trail (Mile 8 – a few goods views of Diamond peak on that section) and steep/short .15 ascent to the ridge line. The trail then drops down to the lake in ¾ mile, passing a smaller lake just before reaching Divide. The eastern end of divide lake has good camping/lunching spots with direct views of the east face of Mt Yoran.

I walked a few hundred feet further on the southern shore to my lunch spot and, eventually, a short swim in the lake on a very hot day.

I intended to make this a loop by returning via the Yoran Lake trail branching off the PCT on the southwest side of Lil’s lake. Soon enough, however the trail became harder to find and, after a reaching a few dead-ends, I returned to the PCT. If I did this again, I would start on the Trapper Creek trail and then making a right on the Yoran lake trail, then return via the PCT.

While the route is mostly through forested areas, it does not hurt to bring sunscreen too.
Altogether, this came up to a bit over 18 miles, a good distance for a long hiking day, with a few refreshing stops at the various lakes. As of 2018, this route is free of sad remnants of forest fires that plague areas of the PCT further to the north, around McKenzie pass.

Final note: Divide lake and Mt Yoran can also be accessed from the Vivian lake trailhead to the west; that is a shorter hike (less than 8 miles round trip) but (1) it takes longer to get to the trailhead via Hills Creek Rd in Oakridge and a few unpaved miles and (2) you don’t get to sit and relax at Shelter Cove when you are back!

beautiful hike with great views of diamond peak and a few smaller lakes along the way. I started at 740 am and was at the base of mount yoran at 845 or so. I had planned on scrambling to the summit but holy hell the mosquitos in this area are straight out of hell. I must have killed a hundred of them and still got dozens of bug bites. the evil little things were even able to keep you with me while I was hiking and eventually drove me away from the summit as I couldn't move fast enough up the scree fields to get away from them. I'd only reccomend this if you're covered in long pants and long sleeves with a buff over your head and neck and even then you'd better jump in a vat of feet before heading out.

hiking
5 months ago

The trail is fairly easy but way out there. It needs to be said though—the mosquitos are no joke. They are the worst I have ever experienced. You need to deet up before you leave your vehicle and do so repeatedly on the trail. The mosquitos will be on you as soon as you exit your vehicle at Lake Timpanogas. The water is warm enough to swim in at Indigo.

easy trial, short hike. Couple of really nice spots along the river. Chuckle springs is in a burn area (2010) so it's pretty exposed and not too scenic. The middle fork trail is nice though.

hiking
Friday, September 15, 2017

I hiked the Sawtooth Mountain trail in early September.
The route I chose is a loop starting on Indigo Trail, then Sawtooth Mountain trail to reach the climbers trail via the south ridge. Once at the top, I decided to go for a scramble of the north ridge to try and intersect the Windy Pass trail. From there, I did succeed but route finding and strain on old legs made this section a small challenge. From there I descended to Indigo Lake and walked the trail that goes around the lake. Finally, I returned to Timpanogas Lake via the Indigo Lake trail. All said, about 10 miles.

The lakes (Timpanogas, Indigo), the scramble up the south summit and true summit, the views from the summit, and the cool/shaded forested sections make this trail a small gem. Combine the hiking with some camping, backpacking, fishing, etc and you get more for your footsteps. There are also several route variants, including a traverse from Sawtooth Mountain to Cowhorn Mountain.

If you follow the Sawtooth Mountain trail, it is good to know that you will be climbing two ridges (at 2 miles and 3 miles) before getting to the use trail at the 4 miles mark or so. These two climbs are fairly steep... mostly because switchbacks appear to not have yet been invented when the trail was cut.. it goes almost straight up and ahead.

The scrambles to the south summit and the true summit are neither technically very difficult nor very long. However, there is exposure on the sides of the summits ridge and good footwear, good attention and caution are necessary. The summit itself has major exposure on the east side;

In season, bugs are likely an obstacle to prepare for; there are two lakes to go by and a few wet/marshy area not far.The summit ridge is, of course, exposes to the run; you may want to carry sunscreen.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Fairly steady climb great peaceful lake.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Great trail! The mosquitos are bad!! Bring bug spray for sure, but the lake is worth the drive and hike. The driving directions from the app took us the "short" way which had us taking a washed out road. Came out much easier way but it took longer. Well worth it a must do ever year.

hiking
Saturday, September 05, 2015

A very beautiful hike. It's uphill most of the way in. The trail switch backs up hill through an alpine forest. We hiked in late August and there were no mosquito's or water in the creeks. The lake is just picturesque. It was a little over an hour to hike in and another 35 min. to walk around the lake. We drove from Eugene to Hills Creek Reservoir to Lake Timpanogas. We drove a small sedan and had no trouble getting there. The road around Hills Creek is very curvy and took 2.15 hours to get there.

hiking
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Highly recommend! Trails are well-maintained but still offer a challenge. Plenty of ponds and waterfalls to see along the way. Although, as a warning, don't forget mosquito repellent! They hassled me almost the entire way but it was worth it. Indigo Lake is beautiful and pristine. It offers secluded camp sites, often with a fire pit and table. The road up to the trailhead from Crescent Lake was rugged but almost as entertaining as the hike. Recommend 4-wheel drive and all-terrain tires if you choose this route. This was absolutely one of my favorite hikes!

hiking
2 months ago

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4 months ago

backpacking
4 months ago

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5 months ago

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6 months ago

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10 months ago

hiking
Saturday, October 14, 2017

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hiking
Monday, September 25, 2017

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