Scott Mountain Loop Trail

HARD 14 reviews
#48 of 120 trails in

Scott Mountain Loop Trail is a 9.1 mile out and back trail located near Blue River, Oregon that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

9.1 miles
1,410 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash








Directions from McKenzie Bridge: Drive east on Hwy. #126 about 4.5 miles to the McKenzie Pass, Hwy. #242. Travel about 17 miles on Hwy. #242 to Scott Trailhead.

Mosquitoes still biting on 8/8 esp on Scott Mtn Trail. Smoky so views were not clear but would be terrific on a smoke free day. Maybe save for fall as second part of loop is partially exposed near lava flow and burn area.

1 month ago

Did this last Saturday. Fantastic hike! I started at the Hand Lake trail at the Scott Lake campground and went counterclockwise. The summit had amazing views of the three sisters, Mount Washington, Mount Jefferson, and even Mount Hood was peeking over!

I did lose the trail in the snow a couple times on Scott Mountain just before the spur that brings you to the summit.

The only issue was the mosquitoes. Definitely pack some bug spray. I didn’t and they were *brutal*—so bad I decided to skip the spur to Benson Lake near the end of the hike. Guess I’ll have to come back!

1 month ago

What a wonderful hike. Elevation gain was easy so not sure this hard except for the length of hike. Mosquitoes were fierce! Be prepared!!!

1 month ago

Highway 242 is always closed in winter, so certainly this trail is only appropriate for June-October. Plenty of snow to cross in July. Many mosquitos. The views are magnificent without too much of a grunt or elevation gain. Would hike again. :)

1 month ago

Just did this hike. I started at the Hand Lake Trailhead via Scott Lake. I went counter clockwise passing by Hand Lake first to give myself more shade and water for the second half. I ran into quite a bit of snow before reaching the junction to head up Scott Mountain, it was still manageable though. I had to bushwack my way up Scott Mountain due to a lot of snow on the north side. From Tenas Lakes back down the Benson Lake trail to Scott Lake, the trail is clear of snow. All in all it was a beautiful hike. The view from the top of Scott Mountain is spectacular. Mosquitoes were THICK! Bring spray.

4 months ago

Couldn't access the trailhead - Hwy 242 is closed about 6 miles up (from its beginning point off Hwy 126. Likely due to snow. This was 4-7-18.

Monday, August 07, 2017

I hiked the Scott Mountain Loop trail in early August.
This is quite a beautiful hike for a “lesser” destination compared to many other options in same area. I loved the variety this 10 miles (or so) route provides: views from the summit, of course; several beautiful and very accessible lakes (Scott Lake, Hand Lake, Tenas Lakes and Benson lake in particular), up-close view of a lava flow (without the hassle to walk through one), wildflowers and beautiful wooded sections… not to mention some healthy cardio workout (w/o too much exertion).
A few key observations.
Lots of parking spots at the trailhead, but most where taken when I got there at 8am on a Saturday – likely because folks camp overnight along Scott or other lakes.
Bugs are found around the lakes but also almost always to the summit. I was reminded that they will find a way through light clothing of even the elbow brace I was wearing to protect a recent injury.
The abundance of lakes along the way makes It easy to replenish your water supply (with the proper water filtering/treatment of course) if you get low or want to travel very light and just drink from the lakes.
I walked the loop counterclockwise so that the flatter section from Scott Lake to Hand Lake would work as a nice warm up, to enjoy the early morning light at more open vistas (the leg from the trailhead to the summit is mostly viewless – except the lakes), and also to replenish my water supply and cool myself on the way down from the summit at a few lakes when heat was as its peak.
The summit is rather spacious and provides many spots to enjoy the views (Mt Jefferson, Three-Fingers Jack, Mt Washington, Belknap Crater, Black Crater, Three Sisters and Broken top were visible on a slightly hazy August day)
All sections of the loop are well cut and well maintained. The only potential exception is the trail going up the Eastern slope of Scott Mountain (“Scott Way” - #4345) which was a bit overgrown in places, with a few blown-down trees, and made using hiking poles a bit uncomfortable. I tried to go a bit further north on the Hand Lake trail (past the junction with “Scott Way”) but quickly retreated due to blow-downs and encroaching vegetation.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Started at trail head to Scott Trail, located off of Hwy 242 at turn off to Scott Lake. Hiked to Four In One Cone and back. Beautiful hike, fair amount of elevation gain, varied terrain. Hike through meadows, forest and large lava field. Hike distance about 12 miles.
Camped at Paradise campground off of Hwy 126. About 30 minute drive to trailhead.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Scott Trail to PCT. Then southward on the PCT to Rainbow Falls. Onto Obsidian Trail back to the car. Fantastic hike. Be sure to get the necessary permit to hike thru the Obsidian trail area (phone ahead to the McKenzie Ranger Station to reserve a permit). Done this hike twice, the second time getting caught in a rain/snow storm.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Scott trail to the PCT is a moderate 3 mile hike - thru lava flow, past 4 in 1 Cone. Turning northward on the PCT I continued toward Matthieu Lakes and Dee Wright Observatory. This was a very worthwhile hike. I then hiked out/back to Little Belknap Crater. I returned to the car via Highway 242 (really boring).

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday, September 18, 2016