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Swan Mountain Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Trail sign 0.8 miles in from the trailhead (B. Hope)
View east from Swan Mountain (B. Hope)
Sucker Creek Shelter (B. Hope)
Cirque Lake below and east of Sucker Creek Gap (B. Hope)
Map of route to Swan Mountain from Steve Fork TH (B. Hope)
  • Start point: Steve Fork TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • Ending Point: Steve Fork Trailhead
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Out & Back
  • Distance: 7.2 miles
  • Elevation gain: 1,800 feet
  • High Point: 6,272 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Late Spring, Summer, Early Fall
  • Family Friendly: No
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: No

Contents

Hike Description

On a clear day, the summit of Swan Mountain will give you 360 degree views of Mt. McLoughlin to the east, Mount Shasta to the south, Preston Peak to the west, and many others. On hot days, a small lake is nearby to provide a place to cool your feet or take a swim.

From the trailhead, go south on the Steve Fork Trail (#905) for 0.8 miles to its junction with the Sucker Gap Trail (#906) [Don't get this confused with the Sucker Gap (Illinois) trail (#1237) that comes up to the Gap from the west]. Turn west (right) on to the Sucker Gap Trail (#906) and climb gently for 2.2 miles (the turn-off to what Sullivan calls "Cirque Lake" is at 2 miles) to Sucker Creek Gap and a junction with the Boundary Trail (#1207). Take the Boundary Trail north for 1.4 miles to a saddle at 5,640', where the trail starts to descend along the east side of Swan Mountain. Leave the Boundary Trail here and ascend Swan's SE ridge for 0.6 miles on use trails (it's possible to avoid much of the brush going up if you're careful - even easier to do so when you're descending) to the summit.

After enjoying the view, retrace your steps to Sucker Gap and descend the #1237 trail to the west for a short distance (less than 0.1 mile) until you see the Sucker Creek Shelter in the meadow below. The shelter, a three-sided shake structure, was built in 1920 by a local cattle rancher and restored in 2001. Its roof no longer leaks but it still has a dirt floor (and seemingly lots of friendly mice). After visiting the shelter, head back up over the Gap and return down trails #906 and #905 to the trailhead.


Maps

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Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this destination

  • The Siskiyou Crest: Hikes, History & Ecology by Luke Ruediger (pages 147 & 157)
  • 100 Hikes in Southern Oregon by William L. Sullivan (Third Edition, Hike #73)
  • Rogue River National Forest (Oregon) Location map (very useful for making sense of the forest roads)

More Links

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.