IntroductionThe Menagerie Wilderness, while only just over 5000 acres, packs quite the punch. It is home to numerous pinnacles mostly in the Keith Creek Drainage. The wilderness contains most of the Keith Creek Drainage, some of the Trout Creek Drainage, and the area between those two drainages and the Santiam Highway (Rt 20).
PinnaclesThe real reason this area is well known is Rooster Rock. Rooster Rock is the most frequently climbed pinnacle, and the only one with a formal trail leading to it. That said, rooster rock is probably only the most climbed because it is the most accessible. Many of the other pinnacles are equally or more spectacular however they require a cross country hike to access.
There are a number of pinnacles which I list below, some have pages, many don't:
TrailsThere are two Forest Service maintained trails in the wilderness Trout Creek Trail and Rooster Rock Trail both of these lead to Rooster Rock, if you would like to go anywhere else in the wilderness you will have to hike cross-country.
--Trout Creek Trail
Trout Creek Trail starts from the Trout Creek Campground and takes a longer more gentle path (2.8 miles) to the intersection with Rooster Rock Trail. Follow link for more detailed route information.
--Rooster Rock Trail
Rooster Rock Trail starts from just east of the Fernview Campground and takes a shorter, more direct, steeper path to the junction of the two trails (approx. 1 mile). From there it continues right for approximately a half mile to the base of rooster rock and another tenth of a mile to an overlook.
NOTE: The guide book says it "climbs slowly for .9 miles and then rises steeply to rooster rock", from my experience I would say it climbs moderately the entire way with no huge difference in pitch over the length of the trail.
From the end of Rooster Rock trail there is a climbers trail which leads off towards the other pinnacles. Be aware that this trail is not always well defined and it is easy to get off of it and become disoriented. This trail ultimately goes to the other access point of the wilderness (accessible by a long drive on logging roads which I have never attempted). This access point is where many climbers start if they are looking to climb any pinnacle other than Rooster Rock. There are numerous small unmarked trails from this area, I would not use them unless you have an idea of the area or a lot of time to kill trying to get un-lost.
NOTE: Please be aware that the area around the majority of the pinnacles (not including the immediate Rooster Rock area) and the northern trailhead is closed from January 15th through July 31st. This is to protect nesting birds in the area.
Getting ThereThe Trout Creek Trail and Rooster Rock Trail can be accessed from the Santiam Highway (Rt 20). The Trout Creek trailhead is across the highway from the Trout Creek Campground and is signed from the road. The Rooster Rock trailhead is across the highway and east about .1 miles from the Fernview Campground. Both of these trailheads are roughly 20 miles East from Sweet Home.
Alternatively there is another possible access point please refer to "Getting There" from the Rabbit Ears page for more information on that as I am unqualified to describe it.
Red TapeYou are required to have the Northwest Forest Pass to park at Trout Creek trailhead. A day pass costs $5 or a yearly pass costs $30. No pass is required at the Rooster Rock trailhead.
You are also supposed to/required to fill out a self issue permit upon starting your trip. There are permits available at the trailheads and they take 10 seconds to fill out.
CampingThere are campgrounds at the base of the Trout Creek Trail and the Rooster Rock Trail, Trout Creek Campground and Fernview Campground respectively. Both of these campgrounds are car camping at its finest and cost $10 per night per campground.
I do not believe camping is permitted in the wilderness itself, however check with the Sweet Home ranger station if you would like to camp to verify this claim.