Mt. Jefferson Wilderness: Willamette


Image of Mt. Jefferson Wilderness

Mt. Jefferson is the dominant feature of this High Cascades area, along with  Three Fingered Jack (7,841 feet). Mt. Jefferson's slopes are mantled by five glaciers: Whitewater, Waldo, Milk Creek, Russell, and Jefferson Park. Other geographic features include steep talus slopes, rock outcrops, and alpine meadows. There are over 150 lakes, many stocked with trout.

Mt. Jefferson Wilderness covers 104,523 total acres. There are 163 miles of trail within this wilderness including a 40 mile stretch of the Pacific Crest Scenic Trail.

Vegetation is predominantly Douglas-fir, silver fir, sub-alpine fir, mountain hemlock, lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, several species of cedar as well as species like vine maple, huckleberry and rhododendron.

Information about Valhalla Canyon



At a Glance

Permit Info: Self issue entry permits are required between Memorial Day and October 31. Limited Entry Area Permit required for the Pamelia Lake area. Campsite reservations required for designated sites in Jefferson Park area. Details about Wilderness Permits.
Restrictions: Wilderness Rules & Regulations
Special Area Regulations within the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness include the following:
Limited Entry Area (Pamelia Lake) and Designated Campsites and Fire Ban areas Find out about the Weed Free Feed Requirement and other good Know Before You Go tips here.
Water: Always carry water or a way to purify water
Passes: Some trailheads require a recreation pass. Check our Recreation Passes & Permits page for details
Information Center: Detroit Ranger Station

General Information


Access: The most popular entry points are the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail #2000 and Summit Trail #4041 from Highway 20 at the south end; Marion Lake Trail #3436 off Road 2255; Pamelia Lake Trail #3439 off Road 2246, 13 miles southeast of Detroit Ranger Station; Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail #2000 from Breitenbush Lake in the north; Duffy Lake Trail #3427, off Road 2267.

Popular east side entry points are Cabot Lake Trail #3437 and Road 1234 at Jack Lake; Jefferson Lake Trail #4001, from Road 1292;

Whitewater Trail #3429, off Road 2243 comes in on the west side 12.2. miles east of the Detroit Ranger Station.

General Notes:

Designated campsite reservations now required in Jefferson Park

For trail information see:

Mt. Jefferson - Jefferson Park Trail Area
Mt. Jefferson - Marion Lake Trail Area

Mt. Jefferson - Maxwell Trail Area
Mt. Jefferson - Pamelia Lake Trail Area
Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail

Close to:

Riverside Campground
Marion Forks Campground

Topo Maps

Breitenbush Hotsprings, Candle Creek, Lions Head, Marian Forks, Marion Lake, Mt Bruno, Mt Jefferson, Olallie Butte, Santiam Junction, Three Fingered Jack. Download free U.S. Forest Service Topo maps here.

Buy maps online

Go to the National Forest Store. 

Go to for online maps and other important Wilderness information.


Areas & Activities



  Area/Length : 
104,523 acres

  Elevation : 
3000 feet - 10497 feet