See the description in "Getting There" to get to the trailhead.
The Mt. McLoughlin Trail starts out pretty flat in a fir forest. After a mile you veer right and join the PCT for about 1/4 of a mile. Then it forks left off the PCT and runs for a mile or two through hemlock forests. It then launches upward and the forest thins to gnarled pines and manzanita. You reach a sandy saddle and start climbing a rock ridge to the summit. Stick to the trail on the way down as some have tried what appears to be an easier descent down the scree field to the south but apparently, nearly every year, search parties are called to find them.
The climb is about 5.5 miles up and gains almost 4000 feet.
Plenty of water in summer. For a winter climb, bring ice axe, crampons/snowshoes. Beware of cornices on the ridge. If you have a GPS, it might be helpful as you never know how far up the road to the trailhead you can get.
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