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Mount Washington Wilderness

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General Information

Description - Mt. Washington rises above 75 square miles of lava-strewn plains. This is a geological wonderland which includes Belknap Crater, a 6,872 foot cinder and ash volcanic cone. This is a rugged retreat, primarily used by hunters, hikers, and mountain climbers. There are 28 lakes in the Wilderness.

Vegetation consists of lodgepole pine and associated species as well as mountain hemlock.

Attractions - The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail extends for 16.6 miles through the Mt. Washington Wilderness. It is the primary trail and extends from the north boundary near Big Lake to where it leaves the wilderness at its southern boundary near the Dee Wright Observatory.

Tenas Lake, Patjens Lakes and Benson Lake. Compared with the adjacent Mt. Jefferson and Three Sisters Wildernesses, recreational use in the Mt. Washington Wilderness is low.

Recreation - This Wilderness Area offers hiking, horseback riding, camping, fishing, picnicking, photography and mountain biking.

Climate - Elevations on the Forest range from about 1,500 feet above sea level to 10,495 feet at the snowcapped top of Mt. Jefferson, Oregon's second highest peak. Climate on the Willamette changes with elevation. The area receives a high amount of precipitation. Much of the precipitation comes from October to April in the form of rain at the low elevations and as wet heavy snow in the higher elevations. Although snow is possible in the lowest elevations, it is infrequent. Late spring, summer and early autumn tend to bring clear, sunny days with moderate temperatures.

Location - From the north take State Hwy. 20 to Forest Road 2690 (Big Lake). Follow to Big West Campground and Patjens Lake Trail #3395. From south take State Hwy. 242 (McKenzie Pass Scenic Byway). Pacific Trail #2000 is to the west of Dee Wright Observatory. Benson Lake Trail #3502 and Hand Lake Trail #3513 are off Scott Lake Road

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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More Information

Contact Information:
McKenzie Ranger Station, 57600 McKenzie Hwy. , McKenzie Bridge, OR, 97413, Phone: 541-822-3381, Fax: 541-822-7254

Additional Information:
McKenzie Ranger District - The Blue River Ranger District is located in the southeastern region of the Willamette National Forest. This Ranger District offers, hiking, mountain biking, viewing wildlife and scenery, picnicking, camping and scenic byways


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