Not alot of people have heard of Tipsoo Peak even though it is an 8000 foot Cascade Peak (comes in about # 38). It is located between Diamond Peak and Mt. Thielsen with great views from Thielsen to the Three Sisters. Tipsoo is the Chinook word for "grass" or "hair". It's unique in that treeline is usually 6000 to 7000 feet in the Cascades but this one is treed up to within a few feet of its red cindery summit. It's also unique in that there is a nicely graded trail on a pretty short hike to an 8000 foot peak.
The trail goes through forest to an area with pumice-filled meadows with short stunted trees and wildflowers just below the summit crag. This pumice meadow is from the eruption of Mt. Mazama (now Crater Lake 7700 years ago). It doesn't appear a lot of people hike up Tipsoo as we had the mountain to ourselves on an August weekend but the trail is in great shape and you can enjoy the views in under two hours from your car.
For a nice site with some pictures, click here.
From the west (I-5 in Oregon), take the Highway 138 exit in Roseburg and travel east 75 miles (in between mileposts 75 and 76) to Cinnamon Butte Road 4793. Take this straight (avoiding turnoffs as there are many) for 5.0 miles to a brown sign that says Tipsoo Trail #1472. Cinnamon Butte Road is gravel for the first 4 and a half miles with the last half mile being dirt and bumpy. Might scrape on the bottom of some cars. There was also (in August of 2003) a small tree across the road that you probably need a high clearance vehicle to get over until the managin agency decides to clear it.
No permits or fees!!
When To Climb
late July to October (outside of this time the road is usually snowed over as this area gets about 8 feet of snow in the winter)
This is a short hike so no need to camp on the mountain (and it would probably be best to avoid trampling on the meadows) but there are ample spots if you wanted to.
Also, within a few minutes of Tipsoo Peak are several developed campgrounds around Diamond Lake.
Thielsen View Campground
Broken Arrow Campground
Diamond Lake Campground
While these are great campgrounds, please be aware of the current problem within the lake with toxic algae. Swimming is prohibited and they are even talking about draining the lake. Click here
for more information.
If you don't want to worry about possible toxic algae in your water, Lemolo Lake Resort
or Poole Creek Campground
on Lemolo Lake are close too.
Mountain ConditionsDiamond Lake Ranger District