Mt. Jefferson Wilderness: Deschutes
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 109,082 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.
- Key access points: Trail and trailhead access information
This map highlights which trailheads require a Central Cascades Wilderness Permit for day use and those trailheads with day use opportunities requiring a free, self-issue permit at the trailhead.
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.
|Fees:||Trails in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness area require a Central Cascades Wilderness Permit for ALL overnight use and SOME require one for day-use.
|Permit Info:||There are two types of entry permits required between June 15 and October 15 for entering all designated wilderness areas.
|Water:||Always carry water or a way to purify water|
|Passes:||Some trailheads in this wilderness require a recreation pass. Check out the Recreation Passes & Permits page for details on getting a pass.|
Near Sisters, OR and Highway 20:
- Jefferson Lake Trail
- Cabot Lake Trail
- Bear Valley Trailhead (access to Rockpile Lake Trail)
- Jack Lake Trailhead
- Round Lake Trail
- Santiam Pass on Highway 20 (trailhead access to Summit Lake Trail #4014 and Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail #2000)
See also: Willamette National Forest information about Mount Jefferson Wilderness.
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 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) map store: https://store.usgs.gov/maps
Go to Wilderness.net for online maps and other important Wilderness information.
Know Before You Go
- All overnight and some day use visitors to the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness must carry a Central Cascades Wilderness Permit if visiting between June 15 and October 15.
- Learn about Wilderness Regulations, including special area regulations in the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness.
- ''Leave No Trace'' techniques are encouraged in Wilderness areas, including properly disposing of human and pet waste and carrying out all trash.
- There are no facilities within the Jefferson Park area or the Wilderness area.
- Find out about the Weed Free Feed Requirement and other good Know Before You Go tips.
- Campfires are prohibited above 5,700 feet and within these lake basins:
- Marion Lake
- Ann Lake
- Table Lake