Gunsight Mountain (Eastern Oregon) 07-Jul-2012

Gunsight Mountain Elkhorn Range Eastern Oregon

For this, our last day in Eastern Oregon, we wanted a short, but view-filled, hike. A scramble up Gunsight Mountain, near Anthony Lake in the Elkhorns, seemed ideal. This hike is #50 in Bond’s 75 Scrambles in Oregon (2005).


From Baker City, Oregon, we drove up to Anthony Lake and parked in the dayuse area in front of the rental cabin. From there we had a great view of Gunsight Mountain across Anthony Lake.

Gunsight Mountain Elkhorn Range Eastern Oregon

Anthony Lake with Gunsight Mountain (G) in the distance

We then hiked around the lake to the Hoffer Lakes Trailhead and hiked a short 0.5 miles up to the lower Hoffer Lake.

Gunsight Mountain Elkhorn Range Eastern Oregon

Lower Hoffer Lake

We went around the east side of this lake until we came to the small falls between the two lakes,

Gunsight Mountain Elkhorn Range Eastern Oregon

The cascade between the Hoffer Lakes

then turned due east and headed cross-country directly up Gunsight’s west ridge. The ridge isn’t particularly steep until maybe 200 feet below the summit but it’s always just pure scrambling – no handholds and footholds stuff.

Gunsight Mountain Elkhorn Range Eastern Oregon

The LovedOne ascends Gunsight’s west ridge

From the summit, we had a great view of Anthony and Lilly Pad Lakes to the north,

Gunsight Mountain Elkhorn Range Eastern Oregon

Anthony Lake (center) and Lilly Pad Lake (smaller lake to lower right of Anthony)

and of Angell Peak to the south.

Gunsight Mountain Elkhorn Range Eastern Oregon

Angell Peak

Scrambles has you descending to the saddle between Gunsight and Angell, then dropping back into the Hoffer Lakes basin. We did descend to the saddle, getting a nice view of Van Patten Butte along the way,

Gunsight Mountain Elkhorn Range Eastern Oregon

Van Patten Butte

but then headed down due east over easy terrain to intersect the Elkhorn Crest Trail just below Angell Pass. We took that trail back to the trailhead, passing Black Lake along the way. A very short (4.8 miles roundtrip; 1,200 feet of elevation gain), easy, but fun, scramble with big views.

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