Explore the most popular hiking 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.

Dropped by later in the season (late October) last year and was blocked by snow after 5 miles or so ... so I made a point to come back a bit earlier this year and I'm so glad I did as the fall colors and the tail end of the summer bloom was in full effect. I went counter Clockwise and the timing worked out nicely with the sunset and sunrise. However if you are headed south on the PCT first thing in the morning you will likely meet more people - In my case at least 5 groups of hunters and 4 groups of hikers. (I would go clockwise if I wanted to avoid people on the full loop. ) I ended up camping on the downslope somewhere around where the trail branches off for summit lake. This spot was amazing for a 360 degree view of sunset, moonrise, and then sunrise.

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. ***

1 month ago

great trail. 3 day hike with my Son, Brother and Uncle. great trip

Ive never been on the PCT but was surprised how many people I came across. I only did about 3.5 miles out instead of the 5.5 but I ran into at least 30 people (all backpackers). Beautiful views and the trail is easy to follow. The road is ROUGH. The rocks don’t look bad as you approach them but you definitely get knocked around. Do not attempt in a sedan... at all. I have a Jeep and that was perfect.

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

A great overnight if you are used to putting in 10+ mile days. Went clockwise getting most elevation out of the way on the first day, then Camped at Wasco lake and cruised to the parking lot through the major burn areas on day 2. First day was almost completely caught in a cloud with a steady rain all night, but the second day was full of sun and incredible views of Three Fingered Jack, Black Butte, Mt. Washington, and even glimpses of broken top through the clouds!

Tough hike, but so worth it! We went counterclockwise, departing the parking lot at 3:30 on Friday, stayed the night at Booth Lake, put in a tough slog on Saturday, and camped at Summit Lake Saturday night. A parking permit is required at the parking lot, but there didn't appear to be anywhere to buy one. We have a NW Forest Pass, but you could probably buy a parking pass at the Detroit ranger station (the lot is regulated by Willamette NF, but the trail is regulated by Deschutes NF). The second half of the hike was extremely dry - load up on water at Wasco Lake. Highly recommend dog booties - lots of hot sand and sharp rocks. Finally, for the love of god, PLEASE pack out all your trash. I came across used toilet paper and a bag of dog poo.

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

backpacking
2 months ago

July 20 - 22, 2018. Chose Duffy as the destination for our first backpacking trip of the season because it is relatively lower in elevation -- hoping that the mosquitoes had mostly died off at 5,000 ft. (They were only annoying for an hour or two in the evening.) Weather was perfect all weekend long- highs in the 80's and overnight lows in the upper 40's. Lakes were swimmable, even in July! Day 1, hiked in on a Friday evening and snagged one of the last campsites on Duffy. Day 2, hiked up to Mowich, Alice, Red Butte Lake, Jorn, and Bowerman. (these lakes all offer excellent camping too... each lake is unique and offers a little something different -- all are worth checking out) Day 3 hiked down to Santiam (most stunning lake view, with Three Finger Jack in the background and reflection... but a bit more worn out than other lakes) and then back out.

backpacking
2 months ago

Great hike. Wild flowers and butterflies abounded. We took our time and did it in three days hiking counter clockwise, Tuesday thru Thursday. First night at Jack Lake. Kind of ok for swimming, doesn’t get deep enough and you sink down to mid calf level in the muck. As stated previously it is very windy and the fine silt blows right into your tent through the mesh. Best to camp back by the parking lot in one of the spots with a picnic table. More protected. Day two Canyon Creek Meadows was amazing. This made it worth every dusty hot step we had to take getting there. We saw four mountain goats-including a mom with her baby. The glacial tarn is beautiful and the views restorative. Second night at Wasco Lake. Mosquitoes weren’t too bad, and we were the only ones there. Great Lake to swim in-not too cold-gets deep quickly. Really enjoyed our afternoon lazing in the sun after our swim.
Hiked out on day three. On this portion of the trail the mosquitos we’re bothersome whenever we stopped for a snack or rest. If you bring your dog-definitely get booties to protect their paws. We met one poor dog at 2:00 p.m. near the end of the trail, and it was hiding in the bushes trying to get away from the heat and hot sandy trail...I hope the owners turned back, as they were just heading out for Wasco Lake.

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.

backpacking
3 months ago

Beautiful views and great swimming lakes! We hiked it clockwise spending the first night at Wasco lake and the second night at Square lake. Overall a great hike but be prepared for HOT sandy trails that will burn dog's feet on hot days (it was 95 degF). Bring gators for sand. 90% of this hike is in the burn/full sun, only 10% of this hike is in the shade. Plenty of mosquitoes on the PCT between Santiam pass and Wasco lake. There's not much water between Santiam pass and Koko lake so bring a lot of water or fill up when you can. Wasco lake was crowded with hikers and mosquitoes. Square lake was awesome with no people and few mosquitoes! I'd recommend this hike, especially on days cooler than 90 degF and after mosquito season is over!

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.

Beautiful hike! I hiked it counter clockwise all in one day. Definitely recommend taking more than one day to do this hike, especially in the summer. It was very hot as most of the hike is not shaded due to old burn areas. Absolutely love this hike though, one of my favorites!!

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.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike! Minus the horse poop!

walking
3 months ago

A bit busy but very nice

camping
3 months ago

Started counterclockwise. The sun was HOT through the burnt forest, but as we trucked on the breeze cooled us down. We stopped at small creeks along the way. We passed wasco lake as it there were many campers, and moved up to Koko lake. There was a perfect spot to setup camp about 200 yards off of the trail. Another 100 yard walk and we had a beautiful overlook of wasco lake. There was some snow to hike through on the north west side of the mountain, but following the footprints (and bear prints) lead us the right way back to the PCT 2000. If you’re doing this as an overnight bring more water than you’d expect. I loved this hike.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked counter clockwise. First night we stayed at Jack Lake and it was miserable. The east side of Jack lake is incredibly windy. Use the camping grounds they have set up instead of camping off trail. Not enough new growth to block out the wind. We ended up with dirt in our tents and made it hard to sleep. Day two we hit the meadows and went up to the crater and saw the glacier run off. After that lunch at Wasco lake. We're now camped at 6300ft off the PCT. The sunset was incredible and this camping site is perfect. After you hit the snow pack run offs that form the veins on the east side of Jack. You will pass a spot that you could almost overlook. It's around 5.4 miles from the end of the trailI, about 300 feet off trail west with a spot for a tent and a firepit. Tonight made up for last night's wind storm!!! Beautiful views and a great camping spot.

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

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