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Cone Peak Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Wildflower meadows below Cone Peak (Greg Lief)
Iron Mountain from Cone Peak trail (Greg Lief)
Butterfly (Steve Hart)
Scarlet Gilia (Steve Hart)
  • Start point: Tombstone Pass TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Cone Peak
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 4.8 miles round trip
  • Elevation gain: 820 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: summer, fall
  • Family Friendly: yes
  • Backpackable: yes
  • Crowded: yes during summer weekends


Hike Description

Cone Peak is located near Tombstone Pass along Highway 20 east of Sweet Home, Oregon. It is a veritable wildflower cornucopia with over 300 species, along with some 17 tree species. The best time to visit is the first half of July, but the views are gorgeous on any clear day.

From the trailhead walk south on the dirt road just past the informational signs. Drop off to the left of the road on an unsigned single track trail that can be hidden in grass late in the summer. This first turnoff has been missed by more than one group. It's just scant feet from the lot.

The first half mile is a gradual descent below Highway 20. There's a junction with the Tombstone Pass Nature Trail at mile 0.3 and another at mile 0.4. Turn right and walk the quarter mile loop, if you like. It passes through an interesting meadow filled with flowers in July. Either path will bring you to the same second trail junction. From there, head up the hill to a highway crossing. Cross the highway, and walk 50 feet to the left to pick up the main trail which heads up into the forest.

The trail is well-graded with numerous switchbacks, passing by numerous different types of trees. At the 6th switchback you will catch your first glimpse of the wildflower meadows... keep going and your patience shall be amply rewarded! After several more switchbacks, you will find yourself in open meadows littered with penstemon, larkspur, paintbrush, and stonecrop. Cone Peak will be directly ahead of you, with Iron Mountain to the west (left) and Echo Mountain to the right. The trail crosses a shoulder of Cone Peak and doesn't actually reach the summit. For this hike, enjoy the Cone Peak meadows and return the way you came.

If you have time and energy, this trail can easily be extended into a loop that includes Iron Mountain. This hike is listed as the Cone Peak Loop Hike.


Fees, Regulations, etc.

Northwest Forest Pass required at Tombstone Pass parking area. Leash recommended for dogs.

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

"100 Hikes in the Central Oregon Cascades" by William L. Sullivan

More Links


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.