Lolo Pass -PCT

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 45.49890°N / 121.8586°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hike
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Walk up
Sign the Climber's Log


See the "getting there" section for how to get to the TH. The TH is at a point where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses the Lolo Pass. Take the trail on the north side of the road and start walking.

Route Description

The trail wasn't marked when I was there but it is obvious on both the south and north side of the road where a small parking area can be found. NW Forest Pass required and that is almost a joke since the TH parking area is minimal and no amenities are provided, not even a sign indicating that the Pacific Crest Trail exists. Hopefully, this has improved since 2003.

The first part of the trail is kinda weird as the path is eroded on both sides for the first couple hundred yards an effort to prevent further erosion had been obviously made by the FS. The trail passes under the power lines (move quickly here) and the only water I saw all day was a scant 1/3rd mile away from the pass. The trail climbs earnestly for a bit and soon you have a great view of Mt. Hood as you cross an open slope before entering back into the woods.

The trail skirts around a few hills here and there and basically follows the crest of the ridge line through trees that keep things nice and shady. The trail is well graded and has a lot of ups and downs with mostly ups. Soon you'll start seeing No Trespassing signs posted as you enter the Bull Run Watershed, water source for Portlanders.

A junction with a signed spur trail that dropped down to Lost Lake a couple of miles down is passed about the 4 and a half mile mark (guestimate). Stay on the PCT until you reach a signed junction for Buck Peak at around mile 7. Go right, following the lesser trail to the summit which was reached 1/3 of a mile later. The trail is in deteriorating condition but not difficult to figure out in spite of the encroaching brush and downed trees. Before long the trail deposits you right on the summit rock with open views to the east and down towards Mount Hood. A couple of summit signs mentioning Buck Peak and its elevation are there was well. One sign is new and the other old, why the old was left is anybody's guess.

One way to Buck Peak: 7.5 miles
Elevation gain (due to ups and downs) 2200 feet)
Time needed for round trip 4 hours or more depending on your pace.

Essential Gear

Nothing technical here. Just good hiking boots, plenty of water in the late summer and mosquito repellent.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.


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