Last year's wildfires did a number on a lot of trails, including the Black Crater Trail, which is closed indefinitely. With Black Crater off the table, we went back to the drawing board and came up with an alternate peak that's even more challenging, and introduces a new area: Maiden Peak.
There are two main trailheads to reach the 7,823′ summit of Maiden Peak: the Willamette Pass trailhead and the PCT or the Maiden Peak Trail (#3681) near Gold Lake to the west.
The PCT route from Willamette Pass is longer with more overall vertical gain (3,750′). It makes a great backpack trip, staying overnight one of the Rosary Lakes. The Maiden Peak Trail climbs 2,900′ over roughly 6 miles (12 miles round-trip) making it the better option for a day hike.
The trail can hold snow into July, and can be snowshoed in winter conditions. Catch it on a bluebird day and the views can be spectacular.
- Weather forecast for Maiden Peak
- Hike #99 in William Sullivan's 100 Hikes in the Central Oregon Cascades
- Forest Service description of the Maiden Peak Trail
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