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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Tenas Peak (Mount Thielsen Wilderness) 14-Aug-2016

Tenas Peak Mount Thielsen Wilderness Oregon

Tenas Peak (6,558 feet) is an ancient cinder cone that sits just west of the Cascade Crest on the northern boundary of the Mount Thielsen Wilderness (details).  The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a short distance to the east and Cowhorn Mountain (also called Cowhorn Butte by some), a somewhat better known hike and short scramble, lies a few miles to the north (post).  What drew my attention to Tenas was a write-up about it by Oregon Wild (post), presumably to build interest in either expanding the Thielsen wilderness or creating a larger Crater Lake wilderness (details).  It sounded like an interesting loop hike in an area I hadn’t visited before (it’s off the Windigo Pass road as is Cowhorn Mountain, but sooner). The clincher was that Tenas used to host a Forest Service fire lookout and supposedly has excellent views (yes, but not in all directions).

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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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