ApproachFrom the west take I-5 to Highway 58 in Goshen, OR. (From the east you'd have to take Highway 97 to Highway 58) From Goshen, take Highway 58 35 miles east to the town of Oakridge. Just outside the the east edge of Oakridge, you'll take a right onto Road 23, only problem is that it's not marked so you have to look for a large green sign that says "Kitson Spgs Rd/Hills Creek Dam/Middle Fork Willamette". Turn right at that sign and go .5 miles to Road 21 (also not marked - look for the sign that says "Diamond Drive"). Turn right onto Road 21 (also known as Rigdon Road) and go about 28 miles to Road 2149. Go north on Road 2149 about 4.5 miles on easy good gravel road to Road 2160. Turn left onto Road 2160 and go 2.5 miles to the trailhead. There is a brown hiker sign and the trail is marked Trail 3632.
Route DescriptionThe first 3 miles goes mostly east along a ridge called Diamond Rockpile. Bring lots of Deet for this section as the bugs are bad. (At the 1.6 mile point of this ridge you'll cross the Pioneer Gulch trail. Another 1.4 miles later, you'll come to the edge of the ridge and Rockpile Lake on your right. There is a sign here and take the trail to the left to Marie Lake. It's only a few hundred yards long. Go around the north side of the lake to about the halfway point of it and then turn right and head north. The next mile or so is bushwhacking through forest. If you head straight north (bring a compass for sure) you will come to a small unnamed pond. Pick up one of the lava ridges to get a better viewpoint. You'll probably have to go about 2 ridges over to the west to pick up the main one that goes up the south side of the mountain. Once you attain this main ridge, you might also be able to pick up some faint climber's trails with cairns and some bright tape.
Once you pick up the main south ridge, head up to what looks to be a cindery summit. Once you are there though, you'll realize it's the false summit but you will see the knife edge over to the main summit. There are several small gendarmes or rock pinnacles. I passed them in the following order: right, right, left, right, right, left, right, over the middle. Along this ridge though the climbers trail is evident and you can tell which way to go. Follow the ridge to the summit. Descend the same way. The route is probably 10-12 miles round trip. On the descent, once you come back down to treeline, head due south for Marie Lake to pick up the trail back. If you go too far to the left (east), you'll eventually hit the Pacific Crest Trail and can take it to the right to get back. If you go too far west, you can get lost but as long as you head pretty much south, you'll come back to the trail over Diamond Rockpile. Pay attention to the ridges and peaks around you to help guide you back (if it's nice weather).
Essential GearWater, map, compass for summer climbs.
Ice axe, crampons, etc for winter climbs.