Another interesting Oregon Peak that is worth a look for a couple of reasons. Number one, it is one of Oregon's 73 Prominence Peaks
, coming in at #71 with 2035 feet of prominence. Now, that is a low number but this is one of those peaks that is fairly hard to get to. It is definitely out of the way and requires a ten mile hike (round trip) to get. You can also combine it with Chucksney Mtn but that will be described in more detail in the route section later on.
This is another mountain that you cannot see from the road. A forested area that helps to hide its mountains very nicely, you also find that there isn't much of a view from the summit which is a shame as there would be terrific views of the Sisters and other Oregon mountains were it otherwise. You can get a few narrow glimpses of these peaks through the trees but the views are limited.
Best to visit in late spring to the middle of fall. Snow will be plentiful in early spring and unless you are into snowshoeing, you will enjoy this one most when the trail is accessible.
Most people would approach this from I-5 via Highway 58 and connect with Oregon highway 19. Oakridge is a good place to get gas and supplies or to grab a bite to eat before heading north on highway 19. Be sure and stop to check out one of the finest covered bridges in all of Oregon at the small wide spot in the road known as Westfir.
If you are coming from Oakridge on Highway 58, it is 31 miles
from to the Box Canyon Campground and Guard Station. Don't be in a hurry, this is a slow road, paved all the way but windy and few places to pass
If you are coming in from the north via Highway 126, watch for signs indicating the Cougar Reservoir and turn south on Oregon highway 19 . If coming from Eugene on 126, it is located 4 miles east of Blue River (between mileposts 45/46). Highway 19 twists and turns its way for 30 miles
to Box Canyon Campground and Guard Station. Like the southern part described from Oakridge, this is a slow road
if you get behind a motor home or trailer since there are few places to pass. At least it is paved all the way.
Another view of the Westfir covered bridge
Administered by the Willamette National Forest
Willamette National Forest
211 E. 7th Avenue
Eugene, OR 97401
Northwest Forest Pass needed? NO
Wilderness: Self issue permit needed? NO
Wilderness: Limited Entry permit needed? NO
Information on the Box Canyon Guard station
(it is for rent)
Campgrounds are plentiful in the area and the trail takes off from the Box Canyon campground, a campground oriented to the horsey set (for those with horses of courses) When you arrive at the Box Canyon Campground, you will note it is designated as a horse campground but most likely you will find that there are plenty of spaces to camp even if you don't have a horse. We were the only ones camped at the campground the night we stayed there.
Box Canyon Horse Camp
Across from the campground entrance is the historic Box Canyon Guard station cabin, restored to allow for renting by interested people and sleeps 4-6. It rents for 25 dollars a day and you can get rental information by calling the Blue River Ranger station at 541-822-3317. When Bob and I were at the campground, we noticed that a couple had rented the cabin and were in the process of getting some firewood into the cabin. Looks like a good option to camping if you are so inclined.
A trail takes off from near the campground at the far end. A parking area is provided for hikers and there is plenty of room to park several vehicles. Take the Grasshopper trail that forks to the left after 3/10ths of a mile Trail and begins at 3728 ft. You could go right and that would lead you first to Chucksney Mountain
, which is lower than the mountain you are striving to summit by about 30 feet and you could make a loop out of this hike. I'm not recommending that, although I would recommend finishing up on Chucksney Mtn to get the views. However, for the purpose of picking up the prominence peak, I'd suggest staying on the Grasshopper trail that heads west as shown HERE
on the map. Stay on the trail as it makes a long switchback and then works its way up box canyon to this trail junction HERE
Head north from this junction to a point
along the trail where you can start to go cross country to Pt. 5795, which is So. Chucksney Mountain. Do not confuse the marked Chucksney Mtn with Pt 5795 as while this mountain is worth a visit, it is about thirty feet lower than Pt. 5795 (So. Chuksney Mtn). I hope that is clear. After crashing through the bushes for a bit, you will come to a clearing that has a some rocks that serve as the high point. Look for a register left in 2006 by John Vitz. No benchmark was located. Views were minimal due to the height of the trees in the area but we did capture glimpses of the three Sisters to the east.
The hike: Yes, this one has a nice hike to it. It is ten miles
round trip to the summit area with 2200 feet
of elevation gain. Allow for about 4 1/2 to 5 hours for the round trip, a bit more if you decide to add Chucksney Mtn to the mix. William Sullivan has a trail description to Chucksney Mtn in his book, "100 Hikes in Central Oregon Cascades"
but he isn't aware of the status of the higher mountain just south of Chucksney Mountain.
Sullivan describes the hike as a loop and his description provides good supplemental information to this page. No mention of course is made of the summit of So. Chucksney Peak and it is probable that he was unaware of it. although he most likely noticed the "5795" on the topographic map.
For more details on this prominence peak, click HERE
Note: John Vitz found my business card under one of the summit rocks and placed it in a register that he left. Would some future visitor note the date of June 19, 2005 on the card or on the register for Bob and I ?
Nearby Chucksney Mountain
The views are from this mountain and it is worth the extra effort to go visit the summit.
L.A. Price has a couple of nice pics taken from the top of Chucksney Mountain that gives a feel for this one as a viewpoint.
A trip report
about a hike up to Chucksney Mountain.
of Chucksney Mountain