Mount Jefferson Wilderness: Deschutes


Mount Jefferson Wilderness

Mt. Jefferson (10,497 feet) 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 111,177 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.


At a Glance

Current Conditions: BEWARE!  Since 2003 Brush Ck, Minto Lake, Sugar Pine Ridge Trails and northern sections of Summit Trail have been in a "no current maintenance" condition. With heavy blowdown, dense brush, lack of identifiable trail surface and erosion due to B and B Fire damage, these trails are considered impassable and are not recommended.  In recent years several hikers have reported becoming lost trying to follow these trails from the west, with a few turning into search and rescue missions.  
  • Free PERMIT required Memorial Day through October 31: self-issue wilderness permit available at the trailhead.
  • Motorized and mechanical equipment (including bicycles and drones) are prohibited in the wilderness.
  • Groups must be under 12 people and 12 head of stock.
  • Build campfires at least 100 feet away from water.
  • Pack in / Pack out!
  • “Take only pictures, leave only footprints”—please refrain from cutting, damaging or gathering vegetation or other forest items, i.e. rocks, etc.
  • Please bury human waste 6-8” deep and at least 200’ away from water.
Permit Info: Wilderness Permits are required for both day use and overnight stays from Memorial Day Weekend until Oct. 31. Free permits are self-issued at the trailhead.
  • Limited Entry Area Permit required for the Pamelia Lake area.
Restrictions: Wilderness restrictions apply.
  • The Pamelia Lake area requires a limited entry permit
  • Marion Lake Area ~ Management & Campfire Fire Ban
Water: Always carry water or a way to purify water
Passes: Some trailheads require a recreation pass May 1st - September 30th. Check our Recreation Passes & Permits page for details.
Information Center:

General Information


Trail and trailhead access to Mount Jefferson Wilderness:

Near Sisters, OR and Highway 20:

See also: Willamette National Forest information about Mount Jefferson Wilderness.

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.

Buy maps online

Go to the National Forest Store.

Go to for online maps and other important Wilderness information.



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