Hunts Creek Trail #3440 - Hunts Cove

This trail lends itself to a loop hike from Pamelia Lake Trailhead and is one of the most popular backpacking trips in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness offering views of Mount Jefferson, panoramic views of the western Oregon Cascades and alpine lakes. The trail follows the Pamelia Lake Trail for the first 2.2 miles through an old-growth forest. After 2.2 miles, just before Pamelia Lake, you will reach the trail junction for Hunts Cove and the Pacific Crest Trail to the left. The trail then gains 2,200 foot in elevation going south to the Pacific Crest Trail. Further down the PCT, a junction leads back toward Pamelia Lake via Hunts Cove which completes the loop and takes you to Hank's and Hunt's Lakes within Hunt's Cove. 

Hunts Cove is in the Pamelia Limited Entry Area, within the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, which requires additional protection in an effort to preserve the natural beauty and wilderness experience; therefore, a limited entry quota is in effect. Under this quota, 20 groups are permitted in the area each day, only three of which may be large groups with 9 to 12 people. For these large groups, the Pamelia area is broken into 3 smaller areas: Pamelia Lake, Hunts Cove, and Coyote/Shale Lakes. Only one large group is allowed in each of these areas at one time.

Know Before You Go

  • Central Cascade Wilderness Permits are required for both day use and overnight use of the Pamelia Area. You must carry your permit with you on your trip.
  • Visitors must practice "Leave No Trace" skills, including properly disposing human and pet waste and packing and carrying out all trash.
  • Maximum group size for each small group permit is 8 people. Groups with 9-12 people must have a large group permit and camp in the designated zone for their permit.
  • Camping within 250 feet of Pamelia Lake must be within a designated site.
  • Campfires are permitted in the area and must be at least 100 feet from any lake, stream or wet area.
  • Use of the Pamelia Trailhead requires a recreation pass, such as the Northwest Forest Pass, which must be purchased before arriving at the trailhead. Passes can be obtained at Detroit Ranger Station online (day passes only) or any of these vendors.

At a Glance

Fees: $5/vehicle/day or a valid recreation pass. No payment accepted onsite.
Permit Info: Wilderness Permits required for visitors to the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness:
  • Day and Overnight visitors: Central Cascades Wilderness Permit required between Friday of Memorial Day weekend and the last Friday of September; reserve at or by calling 1-877-444-6777. Learn more.
  • Free, unlimited Wilderness self-issue permit required last Saturday of September until October 31 (available at trailhead)
Usage: Medium
Restrictions: Weed Free Feed Required
Closest Towns: Detroit, Oregon
Water: Water from streams should be filtered.
Passes: A valid recreation pass may be used as a form of fee payment.
Information Center: Detroit Ranger District
44125 North Santiam Highway SE
Detroit, OR 97342

General Information


Access 1: Pamelia Lake Trailhead (fee site)

Access 2: From Detroit, Oregon, travel East on Highway 22 approximately 14 miles to Pamelia Creek Road (Forest Road 2246). Turn left onto Forest Road 2246, travel 5 miles to end of road.

Trailhead parking is on the left.

General Notes:

Map of Hunts Creek trail


15 - 20 vehicles


Day Hiking

Difficulty Level: Easy to Difficult


Difficulty Level: Easy to Difficult

Horse Riding

Status: Open
Difficulty Level: Easy

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
6.8 miles

  Elevation : 
4500 feet - 6000 feet