Hike Mt. Bailey and Camp at Hemlock Butte Cabin

Details

Distance

9.8 miles

Elevation Gain

3130 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Abbey Reddy

360 degree scenic views of Diamond Lake, Mt Thielsen, Crater Lake Rim, the Three Sisters and Broken Top, Mt McLoughlin and more!

The trail starts at 5200 feet and climbs through the forest for 1.6 miles to an opening with a great view off diamond lake and the beautiful and very recognizable Mt. Thielsen. There are several small outcropping here that make a perfect spot to stop and get out the backpacking stove for some mountain coffee with a view or a snack. Continue on the trail another .25 miles and begin looking to the left for blue markers off in the trees and a small opening. When you see this head off trail for a few hundred feet following the blue markers and you will find the Hemlock Butte Cabin. This is a 3 story A Frame cabin complete with a vault toilet, wood stove, stocked firewood, and outdoor fire ring. The cabin has three levels and is said to be able to sleep 16 people. The cabin is free and unlocked in the summer and fall but be sure to check, as reservations are required during the ski season.

Head back to the trail and continue up and in another .25 miles you will cross over a road, this is the upper trailhead). Head straight across the road where the trail dives back into the forest. From here its 2.7 miles up to the true summit. Along this stretch you will head above the tree-line and then pass a large crater just before heading up to what seems like the summit. This is actually the false summit but the views here are spectacular. You can follow a faint trail along the ridge to the true summit which for those that don't mind hiking on some cinder and scree it is well worth it. You will pass a rare rock window along the ridge that frames the view of diamond lake and Mt. Thielsen like no other. After the rock window keep going just a little further and you will come to a spot that requires a small scramble up to the right, then the summit is in sight just to the left.

To get to the trail: follow highway 138 to highway 230 and head south, just as you turn onto 230 there will be a right turn toward a sign that says "Diamond Lake Rec Area" (this is road 65920, follow this and turn left at a sign that says "south shore picnic area". Continue for 1.7 miles past a small sign that says 'silent creek." Just past this you will turn left onto dirt road 300. The trail is about .5 miles down the road with a large parking area on the left and the trail on the right.

Notes:

  • Camping at the 3 story Hemlock Butte Cabin just a few hundred feet off the trail (1.5 miles into the hike) which is free and doesn't require a reservation May - Late November
  • This hike is 5.4 roundtrip with 2330 ft elevation gain from the upper trailhead which requires a rugged vehicle to access
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Know for

Camping
Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Adult Beverages
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers

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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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