Explore the most popular camping trails in Mount Jefferson Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Very peaceful hike. We started at the fish hatchery and hiked about 3 miles down river , crossed over a bridge and hiked another 3 miles on the other side of the river. Beautiful scenery but there is no waterfall on this hike. We saw a trickle of water coming out of the side of the river but not what we would a waterfall. Still a pretty hike though.

Excellent, moderate trails. Good campsites at Pamelia must be reserved but free camping is now allowed away from the lake. Trail up to Hank’s Lake passes over many gorgeous cascades and climbs to more open country. Note that there is no fishing in Pamelia Lake, the trout appear to have been killed off by a drought some years ago, but trout were prolific in Pamelia Creek below the lake.

Great hike. But most of the members of the group were stung by yellow jackets or wasp ground nest 10-15 minutes after leaving Pamela Lake. Beware!

*** Be aware, there is a COUGAR active in this area. ***

hiking
1 month ago

It was a nice easy well marked about 5 mile hike. It was a beautiful forest. The lake was very low and that allowed you to see rocks that had some interesting stripes. For needing a special use permit I expected something much more spectacular and/or unique.

backpacking
1 month ago

Easy, gentle incline up to Pamelia Lake. Lake is almost empty. Only ~5 campsites occupied on a Friday night.

Grizzly Peak trail had gorgeous views, but watch out for yellow jackets on the trail! Swarming by the dozens - I was stung twice.

on Pamelia Lake Trail

backpacking
1 month ago

Nice hike through old growth forest and along creek. Great water sources for filtering. Great road to trail head. Only 3 of the 12 lakeside campsites occupied on a Tuesday night, 8/14/18. Water level down in Pamelia Lake, deepest part of lake about 12 inches deep.

We started at the fish hatchery and walked towards the trailhead and back again. Total of 5 miles. It was amazing!

Nice trail, view of mount Jefferson was amazing!

backpacking
2 months ago

Your best bet is to start at the Pacific crest Trail at the Santiam Pass Trail head hike that to Santiam Lake Trail then on to Bowerman Lakes area Jorn lake is the best

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail beside Pamelia Creek transports you to the small lake. Went in on a Thursday and there were open campsites. Ranger mentioned they would post at the trailhead if there are any known algae bloom issues which there none. There a posting of a cougar siting south of Pamelia Lake on July 5th, 2018.

Wow great trail. My family and I walked 2.5 miles to the fish hatchery then turned around and walked back. It was perfect. The river, the views, just a great walk in the woods. Good for kids and dogs.

very family and pet friendly walk. great scenery and wildlife. The creek was outstanding beauty. Once at the lake we watched the osprey dive repeatingly from the air into the water and come up with a fish. Once in a lifetime moment. hour and a half walk each way.

This was a fairly easy trail alongside a creek that featured white water and mini waterfalls. The lake and mountain were stunning and I could not stop staring at the perfect reflection of the mountain in the water. This made for a great half-day hike.

trail running
3 months ago

great trail to a great lake.

walking
3 months ago

A bit busy but very nice

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful, rewarding re-introduction to hiking after being away from it for many years. We had a party of 4 and needed to minimize the distance because of recent injuries, so 2 of us were dropped off to start the trail at Wizard Falls Hatchery while the other 2 drove around to Lower Canyon Campground and started from that end. This allowed us to cut the distance in half, while still enjoying the beautiful scenery. The views were absolutely stunning, and we enjoyed the myriads of butterfiles that we encountered along the way. I'm new to the Metolius river area, but am excited to return.

June 19- wildflowers are in full bloom and an endless stream of butterflies flutter by along the river, no mosquitos or ticks atm. The large population of bats skimming the surface of the water at night makes for quite a spectacle. Ran into the rarely seen Rubber Boa near Wizard Falls fish hatchery on a night hike

This was a perfect trail for me, my hubby & two kids (age 6 & 13) as a beginner to the season. 5 miles round trip from from the campground to Wizard Falls, filled up on water and had lunch and then hiked back.
The trail follows the river fairly close in the beginning and then goes up above for some spectacular views down onto the little gorge. the trail is clear and well maintained, lots of traffic but everyone was courteous. Only complaint is people not leashing their dogs when others are around. would be easy to knock over a kid into the water in some spots.
Regardless, can't wait to do another segment of this trail or backpack the entire loop. Lots of wildflowers & a beautiful waterfall that comes out of the side of the cliff. Bring your Nikon :) Ive hiked from Wizard Falls to Lower Bridge Campground on the west side before... The Metolius is my most absolute favorite river in Central Oregon and this trail is part of the reason why. Gorgeous water, breathtaking views & wildlife.

Easy for all ages & abilities. Gorgeous.. narrow at times though so please leash your dogs.

hiking
5 months ago

What a great hike ,,thanks to Nicole and kujo..I had a great trip with them ,,beautiful Oregon, ,

hiking
5 months ago

Good trail. Very family friendly. There is a gradual grade but nothing too crazy. Snow still dots the ground past the lake. Official camp sites seemed crowded.

backpacking
5 months ago

went 4/22, still a decent amount of snow on the trail. Gaiters needed, but no snow shoes to reach the lake. some clearing to set up a tent on the shore.

Great for families and their first-time backpacking trips

Beautiful fall color!

hiking
Monday, October 16, 2017

Hard to beat this hike through the wilderness forest. The first mile was clear; the upper portion had a fair bit of snow on it from this year's early snowfall. The lake was beautiful. And went beyond the lake to the PCT, as far as Moon Creek, which is right at the base of Mt. Jefferson--stunning!

hiking
Sunday, October 15, 2017

Beautiful fall hike. The fall foliage is an amazing contrast to the clear blue waters of the river, especially with the rapids and falls. My pups loved the hike too. Right now (10/14) there’s a pine that’s fallen and splintered over the trail that’s hard for small dogs to climb over so I had to turn back early, but still seems fine for humans.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Beautiful easy hike.Follows the river the whole way. Easy to see trout and Salmon in the river. The Hatchery is a lot of fun. I went in October and the leaves were very colorful.

hiking
Thursday, July 27, 2017

Unsure of why exactly this trail is rated as difficult, the hike leading to Pamelia Lake specifically is pretty laid back. This was my first solo day-hike, maybe it's difficult with backpacking gear. Elevation gain is very minimal and spread nicely throughout the ~2.5 miles to the destination. Maybe I just went at a good time in the season. I did this beautiful hike 2 days ago after learning that the Whitewater trailhead to Jefferson was blocked off due to a fire. Evidence of that fire was definitely clear, I could smell smoke during the hike and I could see it like hazy fog over the lake/surrounding mountains. Pamelia lake is so relaxing, I didn't get the chance to do the Grizzly Peak or Hunt's Creek trailheads but I will definitely be back soon with my friends! Lots of butterflies.

hiking
Tuesday, July 25, 2017

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