I made the summit in mid August 2020. The trail is very well established until the final mile. Lots of rock walls, painted arrows, cairns. Bridge is still out at trailhead but easy to cross.
Here is a video I did showing the summit:
A few people going up this day and good weather for it. The last few hundred feet elevation gain are a bit of a slog in the soft stuff. I got off-track on the downhill, which the signs warn you about. Even though I was offtrack for a while, I was seeing shoeprints of other hikers here and there the whole time. My GPS watch got me back on track thankfully.
Hiked this while on a family camping vacation. Nice outing on a sunny day
I ran up from the car park, which was an enjoyable mix of forests and rocky ground, eventually opening up to great views of the broken east side of the mountain and a rewarding panorama from the summit.
The Calvin Expedition successfully summited at about 11:30 AM. Beautiful day.
Bryant Wright, my high school cross country and track coach in 1993-1995, came out for a visit and we attempted a summit of McLoughlin.
Lots of snow but we left the trail and stayed on the mostly snow-free ridge the mail trail more or less follows. Made it about 100m from the summit before encountering a significant snow field. Our ascent ended there as we had no ice axes or traction.
Beautiful clear day with great views!
My intention was to do Mt. Shasta, but through the night at Bunny Flat, snowmobilers tore through past all hours. At 2 a.m. I realized I would not be able to climb responsibly and got a few more hours' sleep before heading back north.
This was a suitable alternative on the way home! Snow was quite punchy so care was required to avoid postholing. Additionally, once it was consistently snow with no breaks, the trail was more difficult to identify, so for much of it I just estimated the route and headed straight uphill. (Identifying the return route was not difficult as I merely followed my ogre-sized bootprints. In any case I had map and compass for backup and Gaia for backup to that.)
Once out of the trees I more frequently opted for scrambling the boulders on the ridgeline in order to avoid postholing on punchy snow around unseen rocks. (Not to mention I had neither ice axe nor crampons and thus was unequipped for the need to self-arrest, however unlikely). In many spots I identified thin snowpack with as much as 4-5 feet of melted-out space underneath, so if you choose to stay on the snow, watch it up there.
The final 200 vertical feet required kicking steps into the snow at any rate, and the going was pretty easy given the soft snow.
Because I had come from Shasta and took a diversion through Lava Beds, it was a late start from which I was able to watch the sunset begin from the summit. I'd come prepared to finish in the dark, though I did aim to make it back down to the trees by dark. I still managed to get back to the vehicle and over to Medford in plenty of time for some post-scramble In-n-Out at any rate.
My 2nd solo trip up McLoughlin, a great hike. Beautiful summit with fantastic views.
Hiked it with some of my Southern Oregon Masters Aquatics swim friends on a beautiful and warm fall day.
Run from the base to the summit with two friends. Not a terrible climb, first few miles are mild and runnable until nearly treeline, then a scramble the rest of the way with some bouldering and scree at a pretty consistent pitch. Summit has excellent views of all surrounding mountains, including the Mountain Lakes and Sky Lakes wilderness. Early October can be hit or miss as far as the first snowfall goes, so we were fortunate that it was clear on the day we climbed.
Way less snow than this time last year. Made navigating easier. The north bowls were still in, but too steep for me, but I still got about 500' of turns on the south side of the ridge.
Camped in the parking lot dirtbag style, i don't believe that even a rec pass is required util June, started at 5am and made summit before 8:30am. Snow is very scarce, there are wet and sloshy patches before exiting the tree line but aim for the south east ridge and you'll be ok where you cant see the trail. Windy up top and snow was slushy with warm temperatures. Save for some post holing as you exit the tree line, conditions are pretty good for a hike or a run.
South Slope Route 3-10-17
There was bad weather for weeks in WA so Heather and I drove through OR, CA, NV, UT, and ID. We climbed 37 peaks in 19 days. I soloed McLoughlin on the second morning and we hiked up Mount Eddy later that afternoon. Some snow on the route required the use of micro-spikes. trip report
Rico and I went up the normal route ... his second ascent and my fourth. We were well coated in DEET and sunscreen, neither of which worked well enough for the conditions.
There was snow starting around 6000 feet and we lasted real quickly. Navigated by combination of seeing the mountain through the trees and staying on the ridge as much as possible, and a couple of cell phones with enough battery. We were prepared for a strenuous hike but not a snow climber climb it to turned out to be. We kept moving forward testing out the terrain and eventually after a long six hours made it to the top. The top was a bit of a knife edged ridge this year. Was a much more strenuous but also more satisfying hike than anticipated. :-)
Fun hike & light scramble up top. A handful of other folks out there, including some sort of youth mountaineer group.
Really enjoyable hike. Had good views of Shasta, but all the volcanoes North were in the clouds.
It was the first mountain I hit on my trip and by far the toughest on the trip. Very hot day. I went through 5 liters of water and Gatorade.
It's a very steep trail, especially the last 0.7 miles which gains over 1,200 feet along a knife-edge ridge. The route I chose along the north side of the ridge was extremely loose. I suppose you might avoid the loose trail by hopping from boulder to boulder along the top of the ridge, but I'm not sure if that would be better/faster/safer.