Explore the best trails near Crescent Lake with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Started at rock pile trailhead and happy with the decision. The road was rough but not as bad as the road to summit lake where you can take the PCT to diamond peak. In the middle of August there were a ton of mosquitos at Marie and Rockpile lakes, but they were still worth it. Missed the corner the first time up the climbers trail because it was sooner than I thought to look, but it's clearly marked by rock cairns. It's slow going up with the scree, there are multiple paths crisscrossing all the way up to the false summit, going down I had no problem finding my way down to the corner on them. I took my dog the whole way, through the gendarmes I was definitely a little nervous, but there was a safety net with the snow on the side and we took it really slow. Unless your dog is experienced, sure footed, and calm I would not take them, one tiny misstep could be fatal. The trail was pleasantly uncrowded, only a couple lone hikers reached the summit before me then a larger group came after. Probably my absolute favorite hike, a great challenge and unreal 360 views.
I read Steven White's review and, being in my early 60s, decided to start from the North side of Summit Lake. As I came from Odell Lake, this meant driving a bit over six miles on a "primitive" forest road (the sign said so!). I did use the four wheel drive part of the way, stopping in a few spots to map out the way through (I drive an old Pathfinder). Coming via Oakridge and Diamond drive is a better option for sure.
Parking at the trail-head, this made for a 4.2 miles pleasant walk on the PCT before starting the ascent via the climbers' trail. No real views to talk about (except beautiful forest and ponds/lakes) until just before veering off the PCT; the views just open at that point and a flat area with rocks provide a nice resting/snacking spot.
No sign to mark the turn to the climbers trail. Look for two small cairns on he left side of the PCT instead shortly after the view/rest spot. The ascent does require stamina as Steven noted; it is a good 45 degrees angle for the one mile or so from PCT to South summit. The trail is quite visible and varied: packed dirt , rocky path... and the required amount of scree. Once at the South/false summit, a .3 miles spine leads to the true summit. There are a few "gendarmes" on the way and I stayed on the East side of all of them (as snow fields provided a good safety net on that side). The summit offers sweeping 360 degree views ,including most of the Oregon cascadse peaks. The views of the Northern ridge and the SouthEast and NorthWest slopes/bowls are nothing short of spectacular too.
The summit area is fairly small and I had the chance to enjoy it all by myself for about 20 minutes ; after that, if felt a bit crowded when two parties (one of 2 and one of 3) joined me :-)
Final note: DO bring insect repellent if you don't want to feel like hiker-buffet for fierce stinging creatures, especially in the vicinity of Summit Lake
I hiked in from Summit lake on the PCT. The last bit of the road running S>N along the lake is very rocky and is better for high clearance vehicles. If you are careful you can drive all the way to the north side of Summit lake to the Trailhead. If not the PCT shadows the road starting at the South side of the lake where there is a pullout for parking a car or two. The actual summit trail is consistently steep up until the top ridge line and requires a certain amount of stamina, though I think is doable by most people. A couple in there 60's summited shortly after I did =) Great views all the way around and totally worth the trip.
The other hikers I encountered all came in from the Rockpile trailhead, so it might be the better one.
Confusing at first since there wasn't a trail to took you to the mountain. Once we figured out that we found our own trail life was good. Very pretty hike. Storm came up before we got to the top and time ran ouy. Will definitely due again