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Crescent Mountain Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Beargrass on Crescent Mountain (Cheryl Hill)
Mt. Jefferson from Crescent Mountain (Cheryl Hill)
Three Sisters from Crescent Mountain trail (Greg Lief)
Looking south from Crescent Mountain trail (Greg Lief)
  • Start point: Crescent Mountain TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Crescent Mountain
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 9 miles
  • Elevation gain: 2,200 feet
  • High Point: 5,750 feet
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Seasons: June through October
  • Family Friendly: Yes, for older children
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Description

This hike is difficult but with great rewards at the summit that include huge wildflower meadows and expansive views.

From the trailhead the trail loses a bit of elevation in the first mile. Hike through the shady forest, often within hearing distance of Maude Creek. Blue huckleberries can be found along the trail in July. At 1.3 miles you'll cross Maude Creek on a sturdy wooden footbridge. This is the last water source you'll see before the summit.

The trail remains level for a little while longer before beginning the long climb up the summit. The trail climbs steadily, sometimes switchbacking, through a forest of vine maple and lichen-draped trees. Finally after about three miles you'll emerge from the forest into a series of large open meadows. In a good beargrass year you'll see thousands of the unusual white flowers blooming here along with paintbrush, columbine, larskpur, and scarlet gilia.

After 3.7 miles you'll re-enter the forest for the final push to the summit. When you reach a fork in the trail go right (the left fork is the continuation of the mail trail, if you're looking for an even longer hike). In a moment you'll find yourself on the summit of Crescent Mountain. Scattered lumber and melted glass still remain from the fire lookout that once sat here. Views range from Mt. Hood to the north to the Three Sisters to the south.

Return the way you came.

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • none

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Guidebooks that cover this hike

100 Hikes in the Central Oregon Cascades, 4th Edition by William L. Sullivan

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Page Contributors

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.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.