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Chinidere Mountain

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Mount Hood from the summit wildflower gardens on Chinidere Mountain (Tom Kloster)
Wahtum Lake from the summit of Chinidere Mountain (Tom Kloster)

Description

Chinidere Mountain is one of the great low elevation summits northwest Oregon. It boasts a magnificent 360 degree viewpoint from its bald, talus filled summit. It sits in the center of a very active hiking region, close to the PCT and the Eagle Creek and Herman Creek drainages (very evident from the summit), overlooking a crystal blue Wahtum Lake and residing in a gray area between the Columbia River Gorge region and the Mount Hood region.

Like many peaks in the Cascades, Chinidere Mountain was once home to a fire lookout. Today, bits of broken glass and chunks of cable are all that remain from the lookout. Hikers have built several windbreaks in the shale that makes up the east slope of the summit, and sharp-eyed hikers will also find a USGS benchmark at the summit. Though not an imposing peak, Chinidere is situated in a location that affords exceptional views of the surrounding Columbia Gorge high country from Larch Mountain to the west to Mount Defiance, including all the major Cascade peaks from Mount Rainier to Mount Jefferson.

Chinidere and nearby Tomlike Mountain were named for tribal leaders from the Wasco Native American tribe soon before westerners began to populate the area. Chinidere and Tomlike were father and son (respectively) so it is appropriate that Tomlike Mountain beat out it's counterpart in elevation by a mere 118 feet!

Chinidere Mountain is a popular destination for wildflower lovers, and most seasons the buds hold out just long enough for the weather to cooperate to allow access into the area. The snow in the region hangs on late in the season when most areas have already opened up.

There is a fairly short hike option to the top of Chinidere if one drives the long network of paved and gravel forest roads to the Wahtum Lake Trailhead. The trip from Portland is well over two hours. But from here it is only a 1.5 mile trek to it's summit. The elevation gain is about a 1000 feet (after dropping nearly 250 feet from the trailhead to the lake!). It's a great summit for families and children due to it's short steep climb and vast open views. The trip can include a dip in the lake when complete.

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Chinidere Mt hike
Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

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