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Horsepasture Mountain Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

View of the Three Sisters from Horsepasture Mountain (Cheryl Hill)
Horsepasture Mountain Trailhead (Cheryl Hill)
Track of the route to the summit of Horsepasture Mountain
  • Start point: Horsepasture Mountain TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Horsepasture Mountain
  • Hike Type: Out and back
  • Distance: 3.0 miles
  • Elevation gain: 945 feet
  • High point:5,665 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Summer and fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Hike Description

This short hike to the site of a decommissioned fire lookout rewards with its expansive views up and down the Cascades. The upper meadows and summit area are also a luxuriant wildflower smorgasbord in early summer. Those wishing a longer hike with more elevation gain can begin the hike on the Saddle Trail at the East Fork Upper Trailhead on FR 1993 (add four miles to the excursion).

The trail climbs up from the road and immediately reaches a four-way intersection with the Olallie Trail. Take the extreme left-hand trail to head up Horsepasture Mountain. The trail parallels the road for a while, staying in the forest, before it starts climbing. The path then switchbacks up the mountain through meadows of beargrass, Queen Anne's lace, tiger lilies, lupine, columbine, and other wildflowers.

The trail emerges into the large open summit area where wildflowers bloom in July. As you make the last little push to the summit, views of the surrounding mountains emerge. You'll pass beneath a rocky point on this double-pointed mountain, but the true summit is straight ahead, marked by a USGS survey marker. A flat spot next to the summit with metal stakes marks the spot where the old fire lookout once stood.

Views include Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, Three Fingered Jack, Mount Washington, the Three Sisters, Mount Bachelor, and Diamond Peak.

Return the way you came.


Maps

  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Green Trails Maps: McKenzie Bridge, OR #620
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: McKenzie River Ranger District
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Willamette National Forest
  • Pacific Northwest Recreation Map Series: Willamette Cascades
  • Adventure Maps: McKenzie River, Oregon, Trail Map

Fees, Regulations, etc.

  • none

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Central Oregon Cascades by William L. Sullivan
  • Oregon Hiking by Sean Patrick Hill
  • Oregon's Southern Cascades: Camping & Hiking by Tom Stienstra & Sean Patrick Hill
  • 100 Oregon Hiking Trails by Don & Roberta Lowe

More Links


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.