Added by Michael Graw
Take in panoramic views of the central Oregon Cascades from this lesser-known mountaintop.
Fuji Mountain has been known by mountain bikers for years, since it sits just off the circuit of popular biking routes around Waldo Lake and makes for a notoriously difficult climb on a bike. Word hasn't spread to the hiking community yet, despite the spectacular views from the summit.
The peak has unimpeded views to the east, where the Three Sisters, Broken Top, and Mount Bachelor line the horizon. Mounts Jefferson and Hood are easily visible on a clear day, and Diamond Peak and Mount Thielsen stick out of the Cascade Crest to the south with only a few trees in the way of a fully open view.
Even better, Fuji Mountain is accessible all year round. In the summer, the trail makes for a moderate hike, while in the winter the route is marked for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing (although the trail is significantly more demanding when traveling on snow). There are several winter backcountry huts in the area (including Fuji Shelter) for those inclined to split their winter excursion into two days.
Getting to the trailhead is easy. From Highway 58, turn north onto the well-signed road to Waldo Lake just east of Willamette Pass. Drive about 2 miles, keeping an eye out for a trail sign on the left and pull-off parking on the right.
The trail itself is gradually uphill for most of its length, with short spurts of steeper inclines and relaxing sections of flat as it travels through beautiful Douglas Fir forest typical of the Cascades. All of the trail junctions are well-marked (many lead to backcountry shelters) and the trail itself is blazed, so it is relatively difficult to find yourself off-track.
The potential for views becomes apparent only as you near the summit, when the grade becomes steeper and the terrain rockier. There are several viewpoints, each pointing in different directions, but the top (the site of a former lookout) is the most spectacular with unimpeded views to the north and east.
- Day hiking gear
- Sunglasses + Sunscreen
- Extra jacket + hat, in case the weather changes
- Map and compass
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