While it is best known for its awesome skiing, Mount Bachelor is one of the higher Oregon peaks with some excellent views at the summit. It can easily be done in an afternoon or so, the only problem being that there is only one main road to it. The upside of this is that the road goes right to the mountain and there is no approach. I do not know how many people climb this volcano, I saw only two others the day I summitted which is puzzling as it is not a difficult climb. I found it rewarding to seem to have the whole mountain to myself. Still, be careful as bad things still happen on easy mountains.
There are two main trails to the summit. One starts off the main highway near the Sunrise Lodge and switchbacks up to the summit. The trail is supposed to be across the highway from the "Dutchman's Flat" sign. I chose a different route that ascends directly from the ski area. This way is not so evident. If you chose this way to make it more of a challenge, you can go straight up in the scree or pick and chose some of the service roads when able to
From Bend, OR, take 372 west (Cascades Lakes Highway
) to Mt. Bachelor (a little bit over 20 miles). I found it difficult to find a road designation but there are plenty of signs in Bend pointing the way to Mt. Bachelor. Note that 14th Street in Bend turns in to Cascade Lakes Highway if you take it west. Pull in the main ski area to ascend via that way or, park at the Sunrise Lodge to take the trail up.
A Trail Parks Pass
is required to park at or near the trailhead. I parked at the main ski lot and there was no fee.
Please note that it is not encouraged (and I do not know about the regulations/laws) to park in the lot overnight at least during the winter months. One person was killed
while sleeping in the lot and even though this was while camping outside his car, you never know if a snowplow might clip a car while you are in it as well.
When To Climb
As stated before, you really can not climb during ski season. It makes for a nice summer hike/summit though. Best months would be July through September.
There are three self-serve style campsites just a few miles west of Mt. Bachelor on Cascade Lakes Highway. From east to west they are at Todd Lake
(at the base of Broken Top), Sparks Lake
and Devils Lake
. There are also numerous hotels and resorts starting just a few miles east on Cascade Lakes Highway and continuing into Bend about 20 miles from Mt. Bachelor.
Another nearby campsite is Hosmer Lake
If you want info about skiing Mt. Bachelor, click here
For a current webcam picture of the mountain as well as weather conditions and a trail map, go here
Click here for some geological background info on Bachelor.