Scott Mountain Loop Trail

HARD 8 reviews
#62 of 112 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 accessible year-round.

DISTANCE
9.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1466 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

hiking

forest

lake

views

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.

hiking
2 months ago

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.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
Sunday, September 18, 2016

hiking
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.

hiking
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.

hiking
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).