Hike up the South Slopes of Mount Jefferson



15 miles

Elevation Gain

7400 ft

Route Type


Added by corey hancock

This is a great hike for anyone looking for a little off-trail adventure. You'll experience lush old growth forests, mountain lakes, great mountain views, a wide variety of wildlife, adventurous off trail hiking, canyon waterfalls, beautiful ice and rock formations, bushwacking and ends with a short hike in the snow (depending on the current conditions).

Set out from Pamelia Lake Trailhead through dense old growth forest. You'll see giant cedars, mixed firs and stunning mountain streams carving their way thru very green forest. After a couple miles, you'll reach Pamelia Lake. This is a great place to grab a snack, water, take photos and camp if you're looking for a scenic place to "chill". It's very quiet and you won't see many signs of people other than a few random hikers. You can catch a glimpse of Mount Jefferson to the North from the lakeside.

There's a trail that splits off at the lake to the PCT. Follow this trail for a half mile. You'll reach the intersection of Hunts Creek Trail and the PCT. This is where we went off-trail and went up the glacial stream canyon. You'll want a sturdy waterproof boot this time of year because you'll be crossing the stream and patches of snow in many locations. We hiked up the stream probably a mile to a mile and a half before we scrambled up the steep grass and rock slopes to the northwest.

After a couple miles of scramble on goat trails the forest will open up to patches of snow. If conditions are just right, you won't need snow shoes to keep going up the mountain. The sun was shining and the temp was about 50 degrees so the snow was crusted over enough for us to hike all the way up to the timberline without much trouble.

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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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