Hiking Mt. McLoughlin


I don’t normally put up these kinds of things on my blog, but this hike was a great time and some of the pictures are pretty sweet. Here’s a little info on the hike:

I woke up Saturday morning to 38 degree, breezy weather at our cabin, which, mind you, it is the middle of August. Naturally, I would not be spending a whole lot of time down on the lake when the wind chill is around 30 degrees. Usually I am in swim trunks and a T-shirt this time of year, fishing off the dock and riding around in the boat. Since this was clearly not going to be the case, I decided that it would be a good day for a hike in the mountains.

After looking at some topographical maps that we had in the cabin and trying to find the closest, most accessible mountain or high point (I wanted something with an elevation around 8,000 feet or more) I realized this was going to be an 8 hour ordeal hiking through some steep terrain. Mind you, I am not a runner or hiker so I’m not in the best “hiking” shape. After looking at some options, my mom ardently doing her best to counsel me against “wandering off into the woods alone”, my dad suggested we hike to the top of Mt. McLoughlin – a 9,500 foot extinct volcano about 8 miles from the lake that our cabin is on. Long story short, we decided to do it.

Mt McLoughlin from our dock

Mt McLoughlin from our dock

So, for a spontaneous trip to Oregon, what would be better than waking up and deciding to spontaneously climb a volcano? It turns out that its a 5.5 mile hike from the trailhead to the peak. Neither my dad or myself had any idea of how long or the difficulty of the trail – which is part of what made this such a good time. The trail totally kicked our butts, but it was worth every minute of it. There were quite a few people hiking and we met some really great people along the way. One more reason why I love Oregon and the Northwest: beautiful country and great people. Anyway, the following are some of the photos from our hike. It was a pretty great experience. Hope you enjoy some of the photos.

Mt McLoughlin NW Escarpment 1

Lower northwest facing escarpment

Mt McLoughlin NW Escarpment 2

Middle northwest facing escarpment

Mt McLoughlin NW Escarpment 3

Upper northwest facing escarpment

Fourmile Lake & North ridge finger

Fourmile Lake & northern ridge we hiked along

View from the top. This is the volcano crater. The sand at the bottom is flat ground, so you get an idea of how straight-down this side of the mountain is

View from the top. This is the volcano crater. The sand at the bottom is flat ground, so you get an idea of how straight-down this side of the mountain is

This is the view looking southward down the mountain.

This is the view looking southward down the mountain.

This is looking backwards from the first photo I have at the top of this page. That is Lake of the Woods on the right, the Mountain Lakes Wilderness in the center, and parts of Klamath Lake on the left.

This is looking backwards from the first photo I have at the top of this page. That is Lake of the Woods on the right, the Mountain Lakes Wilderness in the center, and parts of Klamath Lake on the left.

That is Fish Lake in the foreground and Mt. Shasta (14,179ft) in the faint background.

That is Fish Lake in the foreground and Mt. Shasta (14,179ft) in the faint background.

Me at the top with Lake of the Woods in the background.

Me at the top with Lake of the Woods in the background.

My dad and I at the top of Mt. McLoughlin.

My dad and I at the top of Mt. McLoughlin.

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