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Union Peak Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

First sighting of the face of Union Peak (B. Hope)
Union Peak's east face. The trail ascends near the left side (B. Hope)
One of the narrow spots on the upper trail (B. Hope)
View toward the Crater Lake Rim from the summit (B. Hope)
Map of Union Peak hike (B. Hope)
  • Start point: Union Peak TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Union Peak Trailhead
  • Trail Log:
  • Hike Type: Out-and-Back
  • Distance: 11 miles
  • Elevation gain: 1,600 feet
  • High Point: 7,709 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Summer, Fall
  • Family Friendly: No
  • Backpackable: No
  • Crowded: No (possibly on Summer weekends)


Hike Description

While you cannot see the lake itself from the top of Union Peak, the view from the summit is spectacular and definitely worth the effort. There are great views of the Crater Lake rim and beyond - south to the Klamath Basin and Mount McLoughlin and farther south to California’s Mount Shasta. While some of the summits around the lake itself (think Mt. Scott and Garfield Peak) can be festooned with other hikers during the Summer months, the summit of Union can usually provide you with both views and some solitude.

From the trailhead, go south on the Pacfic Crest Trail (PCT) for 2.9 miles to a signed junction with the Union Peak trail, which veers off to the right. Note that this point of departure from the PCT is now about a mile before where it is shown on many topo maps - look carefully for the sign and a tread going west. After departing the PCT, this trail very gradually moves uphill through a lodgepole pine forest. After about 2.1 miles, it becomes an open and rocky switchback trail to the summit. It's last half mile is the steepest part. It's a well constructed trail, and while narrow and scrambly in a few places near the summit, is easy to navigate if you're careful.


Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this destination

  • Hiking Southern Oregon by Art Bernstein and Zach Urness (2014 Edition, Hike #39)
  • 100 Hikes in Southern Oregon by William L. Sullivan (Third Edition, Hike #30)
  • 75 Scrambles in Oregon by Barbara I. Bond (First Edition, Scramble #21)

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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.