Mt. Washington Wilderness

Located in the Deschutes and Willamette National Forests in Oregon.

The 52,516-acre Mt. Washington Wilderness area ranges in elevation from 3,000 feet to 7,794 feet.

Topography: Mt Washington rises above 75 square miles of lava-strewn plains. This is a geological wonderland which includes Belknap Crater, a 6,872-foot cinder and ash volcanic cone. This is a rugged retreat, primarily used by hunters, hikers, and mountain climbers. There are 28 lakes in the wilderness.

Trails: The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail extends for 16 6 miles through the Mt. Washington Wilderness. It is the primary trail and extends from the north boundary near Big Lake to where it leaves the wilderness near Dee Wright Observatory.

Vegetation: Vegetation consists of lodgepole pine and associated species as well as mountain hemlock.

Access: From the north take State Hwy. 20 to Forest Road 2690 (Big Lake). Follow to Big Lake West Campground and Patjens Lake Trail #3395. From the south take State Hwy. 242 (McKenzie Pass Scenic Byway). Pacific Trail #2000 is at Dee Wright Observatory. Benson Lake Trail #3502 and Hand Lake Trail #3513 are off Scott Lake Road 260.

High-Use Areas: Tenas Lake, Patjens Lake, and Benson Lake. Compared with the adjacent Mt. Jefferson and Three Sisters Wildernesses, recreational use in the Mt. Washington wilderness is low.

For further information contact: The Deschutes or Willamette National Forests.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 25 May 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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