Fields Peak is the highest point in Oregon between Strawberry Mountain and the Cascades. It sits on a east-west ridge of peaks in the Aldrich Mountains between the John Day River and Canyon Creek and is the next ridge of mountains to the west of the Strawberry Range. Both these ranges lie within the Blue Mountains of Oregon. While the rock is volcanic in origin, the mountains were caused by uplift.
There is an easy trail to the summit, about 2.3 miles one way with only sligfhtly over 1800 feet of elevation gain. But, this makes a great starting point to do a ridge walk and hit several peaks along this ridge. From west to east, you can easily hit Fields, Moore Mountain, McClellan Mountain and Riley Mountain in a day as well as adding in Moon Mountain which is on a short offshoot of the ridge to the north. The ridge can be accessed from both eastern and western ends of the McClellan Mountain Trail. This ridge reminded me of the Franconia Ridge Traverse in New Hampshire, just about 2500 feet higher.
Great views can be had from the Ochoco Mountains in the west to the Strawberry Range in the east to Steens Mountain in the south. Most of the ridge lies above treeline so routefinding is pretty easy. The trails can get faint at times but unless it's really cloudy, it shouldn't be a problem.
Getting ThereFrom Portland, take Highway 26 east to a point about 13 miles east of tiny Dayville. Turn south on Fields Creek Road where there is a sign for Murderer's Creek Guard Station. Follow this for 8.2 miles to a sign for Fields Peak and Road 115. Turn left onto this road and go about a half mile to a T in the road. Turn right on Road 2160 for about 200 yards, then left on Road 041. Road 041 is steep and can be rough but I saw passenger cars at the trailhead so they can make it. take Road 041 a bit over a mile to its end at the trailhead.
From the east, take Highway 26 west to the same point (about 18 miles west of John Day, OR)
Red TapeNo fees or permits. (Yay!)
When To ClimbMay - October usually.
CampingThere is a campground called the Billy Fields Campground on Fields Creek Road as you leave Highway 26 a couple miles in on that road.
Also good campsite at the trailhead.
Mountain ConditionsBlue Mountain Ranger District