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Breitenbush Ears

Breitenbush Ears

Breitenbush Ears

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Oregon, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 44.72679°N / 121.90008°W

Object Title: Breitenbush Ears

County: Marion

Activities: Trad Climbing, Scrambling

Season: Summer, Fall

Elevation: 5120 ft / 1561 m


Page By: Karl Helser

Created/Edited: Aug 12, 2009 / Aug 12, 2009

Object ID: 540020

Hits: 6258 

Page Score: 78.27%  - 9 Votes 

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Breitenbush Ears is just another hidden Oregon pinnacle. These pinnacles are hidden along an unnamed ridge I call Devils Ridge because Devils Peak is at the north end of the ridge. I first noticed the Breitenbush Ears about 6-7 years ago while car camping on an old logging spur across the canyon. I took a picture (the signature pic) of it...and ever since, I’ve wondered if anybody had ever explored it. The pinnacles are unnamed on the USGS map, so I named it the Breitenbush Ears after it’s resemblance to the Rabbit Ears in the Menageries, and the Rabbit Ears near Strawberry Mountain. Breitenbush comes from the South Breitenbush River 2000’ below the pinnacles. Tim Olson, Myself, Mike Schoen, and Brian Jenkins saw no visible signs of anybody ever climbing the south pinnacle, which is the taller of the two pinnacles, so I guess we can claim a “first ascent”...7/5/09

Getting There

I’ll give directions from Detroit Lake assuming you all can find Detroit Lake...
From Detroit Lake drive Hwy 46 northeast about 9.5 miles, just past Cleater Bend campground. Just after the campground take a right, over the Breitenbush River, onto a gravel road #2231 and go for about 1.75 miles. Take a left onto road #870. Drive about 6-miles and find a spot to park. I haven’t nailed down the best spot, so anywhere near 6-miles will do it. Once parked, look south up on the ridge and you’ll see the north pinnacle of the Breitenbush Ears.
Looking south from the road...

All I can say is get ready for a wild bushwhack to the pinnacles from here. Bushwhack to the ridge crest and stay close to it and you’ll run right into Breitenbush Ears.
The wild bushwhack approach...
Once you get there, drop down on the east (left) side and skirt the gum line to the end of both north and south pinnacle. You’ll see a notch between the south pinnacle and a short rock out cropping. Scramble up the steep ramp to the notch.
Climb up into...
Once in the notch you’ll drop your bags and get ready to climb. There’s a big boulder in the notch if you want an anchor for your belayer.

Red Tape

Didn’t see any Red Tape, but if anybody finds an easier approach, please Red Tape it 8^) Breitenbush Ears is in the Willamette National Forest, about a quarter mile north of the Mount Jefferson Wilderness boundary line. No forest park pass is needed because there is no trailhead...and only fragments of an old trail.


Well, there’s Breitenbush Hot Springs back down the road...if you don’t mind sitting in a hot spring with a bunch of old naked hippies. If you like spending money there’s Cleater Bend campground back where you turned off of Hwy 46...or you can car camp anywhere else if you follow the “leave no trace” rules.

Mountain Conditions

Current weather
Detroit Ranger Station

Recommended Gear

Sturdy poles, or an old ice axe for the bushwhack, and light hiking boots. A map or a GPS will help you get back to your rig. Gear for the climb, refer to the route page...


Captain Karl and the DownclimbingClimb up into...Karl in the notchBreitenbush Ears...Rock ThrowerTim Olson leading...Tim at the summit...
The approach...The EarFirst look at The Ears...Can I Get an Anchor, please?Looking south from the road...Hiking the ridge backThe wild bushwhack approach...
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