Mount Thielsen Trail

HARD 58 reviews
#8 of 53 trails in

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

9.2 miles
3,963 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash


cross country skiing


rock climbing






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.

2 hours ago

First three miles are a climb at about a twelve to fifteen percent grade, scramble starts on the last mile, the last seventy feet are the climb and if you're lucky and there's a ripe someone who's climbing it that day lets you use, you're in luck. Best hike of my life. Tough. But so good. Bring layers and something for your skin for the windburn! Last mile is exposure central!

14 days ago

This was a thrilling ascend, East side. not a lot of room on top, but enough to eat a sandwich and head back down.

1 month ago

Great climb up to the top of Thielsen! The route is snow-free and tail is well-defined, basically up to the pinnacle.

For the summit pinnacle, head to the east face (right side) and look for a small gully. From the top of the gully, begin your accent on the far right and stay on that side for the entire scramble, shading slightly back to the south (left).

Not a terrible scramble if you're experienced, maybe class IV... if you don't have experience this one will scare the crap out of you due to its exposure.

Message me if you have questions! Cheers.

(Summit video: )

1 month ago

It was the perfect weather, the smoke had cleared, and conditions were ideal!
The first part of the hike is pretty easy, up to the point where you intersect with the PCT.
Then the real elevation gain starts and it gets pretty tenuous on the loose rocks.
The climb to the summit is easy climbing, and we did it with minimal trad gear- I placed one piece of pro about 50’ up and there are plenty of places to anchor at the top.
Views are phenomenal, and exposure is significant but not crazy.
Rappelling off needs a 60 plus meter rope to get all the way to the base of the climb.
Super loose scree slope the way we went down which was fun in some places, and treacherous in others. Recommend ankle high boots or ankle gaiters to keep the rocks out.

1 month ago

Super tough hike. Totally worth it though, I almost made it to the summit but I was by myself with no climbing gear. The worst part was going down the huge decline with a lot of loose rocks and pebbles. I would DEFINITELY recommend going with someone and bringing climbing gear!!

1 month ago

Fun hike and climb! The last bit was daunting!

1 month ago

Definitely not an easy climb. Pretty warm and dry up at the top in mid July. Recommend lots of water, trekking poles, buff or hoodie. Bug spray for the lower part of the trail is mandatory as well. The only confusion came is when you hit the cross trial of the PCT. The trail up the mountain is not maker at all. To get to it is strait between the fork in the road after a few steps you will pick it up fairly easy. From that point on it gets rocky so take your time.

2 months ago

great hike. not bad at all if in halfway decent shape. tons of mosquitos so wear strong stuff
blast through the woods to ridgeline and then it gets rocky. there is a meandering trail that can be easy to lose in the shale. don't trust footing it will betray you. give person in front space.
final scramble is cake. pilot rock is more technical, no rope in needed.

2 months ago

Didn’t summit but hiked in 4 miles to the ridge overlooking the avalanche valley and peak and camped overnight . Incredible view.

3 months ago

Great hike with amazing views! Rock climbing was super sketchy. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen!

3 months ago

This was a very challenging hike, yet very rewarding. We still had patches of snow that were deep higher up the trail and it made it almost impossible to keep eyes on the trail, so we blazed our own. The climbing is not as easy as some make it out to be. The summit block may be class 3-5, depending on your abilities and experience, however, on the way up there is a section of class 5 climbing with quite a bit of exposure. This was my first summit, however, I went with two experienced friends who have summited Mount Hood 8 times between them. The variation we took, according to them, is more difficult to climb than Hood. Be safe, make smart decisions, and have fun.

Attempted this 3 times and only made it to the top once. The last bit is insane.

11 months ago

This was a rewarding hike. We hiked in to Thielsen Creek and camped for the night and then summited the next day. It was a tough hike for me, but it was worth it at the top.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Amazing hike, quite difficult without gear. I had to turn around a few hundred feet from the summit because I was alone and didn't want to risk it. I would recommend going with someone and bringing climbing gear.

trail running
Sunday, August 06, 2017

Hot midday, smoke filled, solo summit. Left the car 1pm got back 5:30pm two groups of two as I was headed up. 1 man at junction of PCT. take plenty of water don't forget the electrolytes. 1 grouse

Monday, July 24, 2017

I would absolutely not advise attempting to get towards the summit with dogs. Beyond the PCT, things get progressively steeper and more sketchy.
About .75 miles after the junction with the PCT, we had no choice but to turn back as the trail was impassable except through bouldering.
Even so, we considered turning around before then as we cilmbed through a large amount of loose dirt and rock that was very difficult for our (in shape) dog. Please do not try to get near the summit with your pet unless it is a mountain goat.

There are beautiful view though and the lower part of the trail was very nice walking with our dog.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

The trail was clear and obvious up to its Junction with the PCT at which point it meanders/splits and rejoins itself up to the scree fields and beyond.

I would recommend using mid-height approach boots and potentially ankle gaiters to help deal with the sand and scree up and down.

If you are comfortable with rock climbing and scrambling the summit push will be a class 3 as long as you avoid exposing yourself. Otherwise, I would consider this a class 4 and recommend a belay up and down along with a well-planned route for the climber.

Also be aware the sun at altitude is very strong and there is a high level of exposure beyond the the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail. Plan accordingly.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Went when there was still some snow, pretty spicy without rock climbing gear, but with trad gear it was very cool!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Hiked in about 7 miles starting around 4pm, set up camp and stayed the night. Woke up early the next morning and Were one of the first to reach the summit. Would love to do this hike again, the views from up too were amazing!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

I'd do it again!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

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.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

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.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

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!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

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.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

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.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

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

Friday, August 23, 2013

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 .

Friday, July 26, 2013

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!!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

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.

12 days ago

Load More