Hardesty Mountain resides in a “roadless area” to the east of Eugene, OR. This is an
undesignated wilderness that offers the locals the chance to get out and hike among the Western Cascades only a short distance from their home. Hardesty also serves as a great training hike where one can gain over 4000 feet in elevation very early in the season. The summit once served as a lookout but has long since been abandoned and destroyed. The surrounding area has grown up where trees block most of the view.
The roadless area holds a series of criss-crossing trails and as such there are no less than three hiking routes to the summit. From Route 58, the Hardesty Trail and Eula Ridge Trail rise. You can also get there from the Sawtooth Trail connecting Hardesty Mountain and Mount June. The later trail will get you about 9 and a half miles over 2100 feet of gain. Between Hardesty and June lie a couple of rock pinnacles with shallow caves at their base. There is an unnamed one at the eastern edge of a meadow on a ridge the trail traverses one can scramble up along the west side (the east side is about a 50 foot wall). The other is Sawtooth Rock, also about 50 feet high, just a short distance into the woods to the east. This one has a cave on the south side at the base and can also be bushwhacked and scrambled up the north side.
Bears are seen in the meadow between Hardesty and June and deer are plentiful as well. The ridge between these two peaks is a series of up and downs through rhodies, ferns, beargrass and fir and make for a great way to spend some time in the mountains.
The Hardesty and Eula Ridge Trails start from Highway 58 east of Eugene, Oregon. To get to the trailhead for the Sawtooth Trail route, take I-5 south of Eugene, OR to Oakridge Exit 188A. Then follow Highway 58 east for 11.2 miles to Dexter Dam and turn right at the sign for Lost Creek. Go 3.5 miles to Eagles Crest Road and turn left over a small bridge. Take Eagles Crest Road 7.6 miles toa fork and veer left following the brown hikers sign. This is Road 20-1-14 and you will take this 2.6 miles to where the pavement ends and continue on on this road another 3.5 miles of gravel. You will then come to a small triangle of roads on the left. Take either left, the first or second one, they meet up in a few short yards. This is Road 1721 and you are only on this for .1 miles to Road 941 on the left. This road is somewhat steep and rutted and may not be the best for low-clearance cars. Take this road .4 miles to the trailhead sign on the right.