Rooster Rock is located in the Menagerie Wilderness in the central Oregon Cascades. This area is known for it's bizarre crags jutting up from the sides of the mountains. They are plugs from ancient volcanoes. Rooster Rock is named for the dominant plug/crag on it's eastern side resembling the head of that bird.
While not a high mountain, there are two trails that meet up about a half mile from it's summit. The Rooster Rock Trail is shorter (1.6 miles to the junction) and steeper while the Trout Creek Trail is 2.8 miles to the junction of the two trails and winds through ridges at a less steep pace. Both have neat views of the crags that seem to be mostly named for animals (Rabbit Ears, Turkey Monster, Chicken Rock). By the way, some of the crags are great for climbing. Check out the list of pinnacles on the left side of this page for links to some of them. Click here for a related site on these as well. The trail though to the summit of Rooster Rock does not require any techincal climbing.
There is an old abandoned lookout at the summit although nothing really remains of it.
Both trails start on Highway 20 which runs from Albany, OR in the I-5 corridor to Bend in central Oregon.
From the west (Albany and I-5), take Highway 20 east to Sweet Home, OR. Continue on 20 east for about 21 miles to the Trout Creek Campground entrance (about milepost 49) and a few hundred yards past that is the trailhead on the left side of the road. Take the trail that is on the right end of the parking area. The other is a short interpretive trail to a farm with some elk.
If you are going to take the Rooster Rock Trail, all you do is go 2.6 miles further east on Highway 20 to that trailhead.
From Bend (the east), take Highway 20 west to the same spots. You'll go through the Santiam Pass between Three Fingered Jack and Mt. Washington and then take the left fork at the "Y" junction of Highways 20 and 22. From there you'll continue on 20 to the trailheads.
Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at the trailheads.
When To Climb
Normally climbed April through November. If the roads are open in the winter, it could be climbed year-round.
While I was there I tried to find a spot on the trail to camp but could not find a nice level area. The summit is small and rocky and not suitable for anything other than a bivy.
There are 3 campgrounds in the area. One at either trailhead on Highway 20 named for their respective trails and one in between called the Yukwah campground. Info for them can be accessed here.
Sweet Home Ranger District
3225 Highway 20
Sweet Home, OR 97386