For those coming from I-5, drive to Oakridge, get a bite to eat and fill up your tank. and continue east on Oregon Highway 58 for 21 miles towards the Willamette Pass Ski area. Before you get to the pass, look for a Sno Park area on the right side of the road and a sign for Gold Lake on the left. A dirt road takes off uphill and in about 2 miles you will find a small parking area off of the road that serves as the trailhead for Maiden Peak. Park here.
The TH is located just off the Gold Lake road at an elevation of 4940. The trail then climbs south and hits a ridge after a bit where it switches back to the northeast. The trail is totally in forest and continues up to a crossing of the old PCT (now abandoned) at Skyline Creek (1.7 miles) The trail continuesanother mile to a crossing to the present day PCT. Continue on past the PCT and you are now on the official Maiden Peak trail, Some trees sport blue diamonds which aided us when we lost the trail under the snow and these diamonds were pretty regular for the rest of the way. From the PCT to the summit it is a nice steady grade to the summit rocks and a benchmark. No register was found but then we had a fair amount of snow at the summit and may have missed it. Enjoy the great view that we didn't get so try to do this one on a sunny day.
In Bruce Grubb's guidebook "Hiking Oregon's Three Sisters Country", he mentions that another trail comes in from the east but with all the snow we had to contend with, it wasn't evident. He also mentions that on the summit where the rocks are, that a lookout once stood.
He mentions pieces of a cast iron stove being present and scattered glass everywhere. He also makes mention that further down the trail that there are pieces of the old single wire phone line that was used to connect the lookout with the outer world but again, the snow covered up this bit of history. I will most likely return to Maiden Peak and hike it from the eastern side and post a route report for that way.
Roundtrip: 11.2 miles
Elevation gain 2880 feet
Water, sunscreen and good footgear for summer type hiking.
Winter. Snowshoes would be great to have with you.
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