Cowhorn Mountain (Deschutes NF) 05-Oct-2017

Cowhorn Mountain Deschutes National Forest Oregon

First off, it seems useful to review where we are here.  This is not the Little Cowhorn Mountain topped with a lookout and located on the Willamette National Forest at the end of a one mile trail. This Cowhorn – what some also, for extra confusion, call Cowhorn Butte – is on the Deschutes National Forest (in the Oregon Cascades Recreational Area) a few miles southwest of Crescent Lake.  Back before this Cowhorn’s cow-horn shaped summit spine fell over in a 1911 storm (some storm!), it was called Little Cowhorn to distinguish it from Mount Thielsen, which was then called Big Cowhorn.  The hike to this Cowhorn Mountain’s 7,664-foot summit is along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) starting north from Windigo Pass, which is reached via Forest Road (FR) 60 (a good gravel road) off State Highway 138 about six miles north of Diamond Lake.

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Visiting Oregon’s Wilderness Areas (July 2017)

Visits to Oregon's Wilderness Areas

In late 2015, as we were assembling our hiking to do list for 2016, it occurred to us that we had yet to at least visit all of Oregon’s 48 established and open federal wilderness areas. Two of the 48 (Oregon Islands and Three Arch Rocks) are closed to public entry (and would require amphibious operations even if they were open). Of the remaining 46, we had, as of 2015, hiked or visited all but 18. So we planned some trips to visit these. [Update: When we started this project in 2015, there were 47 wilderness areas in Oregon. One more, the Devils Staircase Wilderness was established in 2019 and we did a drive-by visit to it in 2020.]

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That Long Last Mile… (Middle Santiam Wilderness) 19-Jul-2017

Visits to Oregon's Wilderness Areas

As we’ve noted in previous posts, we have a project underway to at least visit all of Oregon’s 45 established and open federal wilderness areas that we’d missed visiting in years past. We started this project in January 2016 with 18 wilderness areas remaining and closed out that year with just two left: the Menagerie and the Middle Santiam.

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Rooster Rock (Menagerie Wilderness) 18-Jul-2017

Visits to Oregon's Wilderness Areas

As we’ve noted in previous posts, we have a project underway to at least visit all of Oregon’s 45 established and open federal wilderness areas that we’d missed visiting in years past. We started this project in January 2016 with 18 wilderness areas remaining and closed out that year with just two left: the Menagerie and the Middle Santiam. The Menagerie Wilderness is another of those small (4,962 acre), fairly obscure, wilderness areas whose primary human purpose is watershed protection and not recreation (it’s popular with rock climbers).  There are only two trails in this wilderness – the Trout Creek (USFS #3405) and the Rooster Rock (USFS #3399) – of which the Trout Creek Trail (6.6 miles roundtrip; 2,400 feet of elevation gain) is the longer, but easier, one and hence was our choice.  Why we hiked this wilderness before the nearby Middle Santiam Wilderness is a twisted tale of plans (and karma) temporarily gone awry.

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Oregon Wilderness Areas (Central) 12/13-Jul-2016

Visits to Oregon's Wilderness Areas

As we’ve noted in previous posts, we have a project underway to at least visit all of Oregon’s 47 established federal wilderness areas (less the two – Oregon Islands and Three Arch Rocks – that are closed to public entry).  Now that summer is here, the snow has retreated (mostly), and the trails are open (mostly), we were able to visit, and actually hike in, two wilderness areas in the High Cascades: Diamond Peak and Waldo Lake.

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Cowhorn Mountain (Deschutes NF) 03-Oct-2015

Cowhorn Mountain Deschutes National Forest Oregon

A low pressure front was scheduled to move through our area yesterday, bringing a (too) brief taste of fall (but no real precipitation) to our area. This seemed like the perfect moment to do the short, but fun, hike/scramble to the summit of Cowhorn Mountain, just north of Diamond Lake. Back before Cowhorn’s cow-horn shaped summit spine fell off in 1911, this peak was called Little Cowhorn to distinguish it from Mount Thielsen, which was then called Big Cowhorn. This is Hike #14 in Sullivan’s Southern Oregon hiking guide (Third Edition, 2014) and scramble #17 in Bond’s 2005 75 Scrambles in Oregon.

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Cross-Country in the Three Sisters Wilderness 16/18-Jul-2015

Three Sisters Wilderness Oregon

The loop around the Three Sisters in Oregon’s Three Sisters Wilderness is one of those classic/iconic backpacks that had been on my to do list for a long time. Long enough for me to give some thought to doing the loop in a slightly different way. So when Brad – my adventure backpacking partner –  approached me about doing a hike together, I offered him my different loop idea, he thought it sounded interesting, so we juggled our schedules to meet early one morning at the Pole Creek Trailhead on the east side of the wilderness, ready for our journey into adventure.

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