Regional Guide

Hiking - Southern Oregon Cascades and the Southern Coast

Thirty miles of the Pacific Crest Trail pass through the backcountry of Crater Lake National Park. Take a day hike along the PCT"alternate" route, which splits off from the main trail and runs parallel to the park road between Grouse Hill junction and Rim Village. This alternate route offers six miles of spectacular views of the unbelievably blue Crater Lake.

While in Crater Lake National Park, take a tour boat to Wizard Island and climb to the top of this cinder cone (6,904 feet). Named for its resemblance to a sorcerer's hat, the island's summit offers breathtaking views of Crater Lake (the deepest lake in America), Garfield Peak (8,054 feet), and Mount Scott (8,929 feet)—the park's highest point.

For a scenic day hike in Siskiyou National Forest, check out the Vulcan Lake Trail. This fairly steep, 1.4-mile hike zigzags up the hillside to the shore of Vulcan Lake, offering picturesque views of the surrounding wilderness and this glacier-formed lake.

Umpqua National Forest's Parker Falls Trail is a short but sweet hike (one mile) through a forest of Douglas fir. After navigating several steep and rocky sections, you'll come to top of a cascading waterfall with pools above and below. A short spur trail leads to the lower, 35-foot falls.

Just looking up at Mount McLoughlin from the trailhead (elevation 6,000 feet) in Rogue River National Forest is enough to start your heart pounding. It's a tough, five-mile, non-technical climb to the summit, but the views are worth the effort. At 9,495 feet, Mount McLoughlin is the highest point in southern Oregon. From the top, you can take in the majesty of Mount Shasta (14,162 feet), which lies just across the border in northern California.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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