Scout Lake Via Pacific Crest Trail is a 11.2 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Idanha, Oregon that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Love this hike. You wil then begin hiking south experiencing breathtaking views till you reach the peak at Park view. You will watch Mt Jefferson get closer and closer. then if you look over Park Butte you can see all of Jefferson Park and all its small lakes.
That access road is the worst in Oregon. Sketchy.
great Hike, the tail is fairly easy to follow. the road up there is just horrible, just like everyone here(or any othere site ) says...it is that bad. you can make it with no problems, but have a vehicle with clearance.
Hiked in on the PCT from Breitenbush Lake. FR 4220 is a difficult road. You can get in with a regular car but it takes quite a bit of time and you aren't going to be moving very quickly. I'm sure if you have a high clearance vehicle it's a different story. The hike itself is great. I took the quick side trip up Pyramid Butte. The view from Park Ridge overlooking Jefferson Park from the north is a spectacular way to enter the area.
Even though we went during the week, most of the designated sites were full. The ranger told me they are going to start permitting camping next year in the area. I also visited the springs on the Breitenbush trail which is 2 miles west of Jefferson Park.
Lots of people there, Yellowjackets pestered a lot, smoky air that finally cleared on our last day. Lakes are low but very clear, no sign of algae. Scenic trail up from Whitewater Creek TH but a steady climb that's challenging with a full pack. No huckleberries or flowers now as everything is dry, but good swimming in the lakes and birds to entertain you.
We went in July 2013. Long and arduous 30% inclines but once you get to the " park" and the little lakes and puddles are full of wildflowers such as avalanche lilies, Bear grass blooming, and many others. I went in a shallow lake and the water was warm. You also get to hike a piece of the PCT.
Jeff Park is a wonderland of beauty! There are so many tails and places to camp that a day hike can easily turn into a 3-4 day backpacking trip, not to mention summiting the mountain!
I love Jefferson Park meadow and have taken hike there from the North (PCT from Ollalie Lake) and from the South (White Water Creek to the PCT) It is possible to make this a day hike by using the White Water Creek, but I wouldn't want to try it from the North. In both cases we spent the night at one of the lakes in Jefferson Park. In both cases you need to climb. The climb from the North is more abrubt as you climb up the 7200 ft high ridge and then down into Jefferson Park. The climb from the South is more gradual, but a lot longer. Personally I enjoyed the hike from the North more than the one from the South as it was more scenic. The White Water trail is almost all in the trees with few views until near the top. However we made the hike into a two night 33 mile hike from White Water trail head to Jack Lake trail head. The views were really great; however once you hit the burn area what you are looking at isn't the best.
This hike is by far my favorite!!!
OKEE, so this trail is LOOOONG! You can certainly do a full day hike to the first lake by starting on the Whitewater Trail and encounter Scout Lake and then head back. That is approximately 10 miles round trip if you start at the Whitewater Trail. I started at Cheat Creek Trail (first trail head you come to from the main road). The incline was steady and then levels off about 1/2 mile before you hit the meadow. I hit the meadow and couldn't find the trail to get on the Pacific Crest Trail to get to Scout Lake. Headed back down and drove to the Whitewater Trail head. You will need a Wilderness Pass to park in this area. It cost $5 for a daily pass or get an annual pass for, I think, $35. Pick it up at Detroit Ranger station before getting to the turnoff for this road! I made it to the first ridge and that's where I got the picture of the valley and Mt. Jefferson. I encountered quite a few backpackers and no hikers. This is backpack heaven! I will do the full day hike next weekend to Scout Lake and eventually backpack/camp this area to discover all the other lakes on the trail.