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Marys Peak Summit Loop Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

(Redirected from Marys Peak Summit Hike)
Rock garden on the summit of Marys Peak (cfm)
Looking south from the summit of Marys Peak (bobcat)
Take this trail down from the summit (cfm)
Glacier lilies (Erythronium grandiflorum) (cfm)
The summit loop hike at Marys Peak (bobcat) Courtesy: Caltopo/USFS
  • Start point: Marys Peak TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Marys Peak
  • Trail Log: Trail Log
  • Hike Type: Two short loops
  • Distance: 1.3 miles
  • Elevation gain: 345 feet
  • High point: 4,097 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Seasons: April through October
  • Family Friendly: Yes
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: Sometimes - on sunny weekends

Contents

Hike Description

Marys Peak is a familiar landmark in the central Willamette Valley. At 4,097 feet, it is the highest peak in the Coast Range, and its distinctive summit dominates the western horizon from Corvallis. From the summit meadow, there are 360-degree views up and down the Coast Range, west to the Pacific Ocean, and east across the Willamette Valley. Views of the Cascade Range extend from Mount Rainier to Diamond Peak. Although there is a relay station here with antennae, the meadows make a perfect spot for a picnic on a warm dry day. Numerous species of colorful wildflowers bloom here in late spring and early summer. You can drive almost to the summit, and this loop describes the short loop between the parking area, which is usually open between April 1st and October 31st, and the top of Marys Peak.

Take the gravel service road leading up towards the summit. Sixty yards south of the restrooms, a trail leads left up a grassy knoll that offers views east to Philomath and then the Cascades, where you can make out Mount Jefferson and Three Fingered Jack. Join the summit road track, and bear left. The road curves around to the summit giving expansive views to the east and the south. When you reach the top of Marys Peak, enjoy the 360-degree views up and down the Coast Range, west to the Pacific Ocean, and east across the Willamette Valley to Mount Jefferson and the Three Sisters. Far to the south, you may be able to make out Diamond Peak. Mount Hood, Mount Saint Helens, and even Mount Rainier are visible to the north. Yes, there's a communications array here, but on a sunny day the meadows offer a balmy and lofty platform for soaking in the landscape. Phlox, larkspur, paintbrush, and desert-parsley bloom here in late spring, with peak displays arriving in late June/early July.

The summit descent begins on a trail heading down the meadow. You may feel like you are on the set of "The Sound of Music". A posted arrow tells hikers to veer left, and the trail drops in the meadow and then swings right. Glacier lilies and violets are early bloomers in this grassy expanse. After entering noble fir woods, you'll reach a junction. You can go left here to complete the Meadow Edge Loop to the Marys Peak Campground; otherwise, stay right to emerge from the woods reach a multi-trail junction at the summit road. This is where your ascent trail over the grassy knoll joined the road. This time, just turn left on the service road and walk back down to the parking area.


Maps

Regulations or Restrictions, etc.

  • A Northwest Forest Pass (or America the Beautiful Pass) is needed to park at the summit parking area. You can purchase it on site.
  • Restrooms, picnic area, information kiosk, interpretive signs
  • This parking area is normally accessible from April 1st through November 30th. During the winter, the Marys Peak Road is gated just past Conner's Camp Trailhead. In years of heavy snow, opening of the gate in the spring may be delayed past April.

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • Oregon's Best Wildflower Hikes: Northwest Region by George Wuerthner
  • Best Hikes With Kids: Oregon by Bonnie Henderson & Zach Urness
  • 100 Hikes/Travel Guide: Oregon Coast & Coast Range by William L. Sullivan
  • Hiking Oregon's History by William L. Sullivan
  • Hiking Oregon's Geology by Ellen Morris Bishop
  • Corvallis Trails by Margie C. Powell
  • A Guide to Trails in the Corvallis Area by Phillip R. Hays
  • Siuslaw Forest Hikes: A Guide to Oregon's Central Coast Range by Irene & Dick Lilja
  • 75 Hikes in Oregon's Coast Range & Siskiyous by Rhonda & George Ostertag
  • Oregon Campgrounds Hiking Guide by Rhonda & George Ostertag
  • Oregon Coast Camping & Hiking by Tom Stienstra & Sean Patrick Hill

More Links


Contributors

  • CFM (creator)
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.