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.

For trail information see:

Jefferson Park Trail Area
Marion Lake Trail Area
Maxwell Trail Area
Pamelia Lake Trail Area
Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail

Know Before You Go

  • Visitors to the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness require a Central Cascades Wilderness Permit for all overnight use and some day-use between June 15 and Oct. 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.


Image of Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Image of Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Image of Mt. Jefferson Wilderness

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Visitors to the Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, and Three Sisters Wilderness areas require a Central Cascades Wilderness Permit for all overnight use and some require one for day-use.
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 sites between June 15 and October 15. processing fees are $1/permit for day use, $6/permit for group/overnight use. Reserve a permit at or by calling 1-877-444-6777.
Permit Info: There are two types of entry permits required between June 15 and October 15 for entering all designated wilderness areas.
  • Central Cascades Wilderness Permits are required between June 15 and October 15 for all overnight use in the Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, and Three Sisters Wilderness areas. Some day-use in these wilderness areas also require these permits. Check out for more information.
  • At all other wilderness areas, free, unlimited self-issue permits at trailheads are required from June 15 and October 15.
Usage: Heavy
Water: Always carry water or a way to purify water
Restroom: No
Passes: Some trailheads require a recreation pass. Check our Recreation Passes & Permits page for details
Information Center: Detroit Ranger District
44125 North Santiam Highway SE
Detroit, OR 97342

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:

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.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


Featured Events


  Area/Length : 
104,523 acres

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
3000 feet - 10497 feet