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Breitenbush Lake to Jefferson Park via Park Ridge

or

Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 10.6 miles


Breitenbush Lake - Jefferson Park. 7.5 mile RT to the Ridge, 11 to Russell Lake.
  • Pyramid Butte
  • Trail
  • Trail Maintenance
  • First View of Jefferson
  • Pond
  • Campsite
  • Cairn Trail
  • Snow Crossing
  • Park Ridge South Approach
  • Mt Hood
  • Alpine lake at Mt Jeff
  • Descending into Jeff Park
  • Wildflowers
  • Russell Lake

Winding through a Cascade forest, this North approach to Park Ridge is less popular than other trails (thanks to the daunting road in to Breitenbush lake); but you should still expect to run into others day hikers, backpackers, and PCT through hikers.

Starting at a mudpuddle pond just West of the Lake itself, you quickly disappear into the woods.   The trees, typical of many Cascades forests, don't provide much shade though - be sure to bring sunscreen and plenty of water, or a filter - there are a few small creeks offering refill.    Along the way you catch beautiful views ranging from Jefferson itself to Mount Hood.   Even in August (thanks to a late, cold spring?) the wildflowers were in abundance.   So were the mosquitos.   Huckleberries were not out yet, but are a possibility along the way.

The trail up to Park Ridge is a good workout, but a gentle gradient along the way.  If you choose to descend into the park itself, you lose (and then gain on the way back) 2000 feet in 2 miles.   This being on the PCT, the grade is never steep - but it can be challenging for those not used to long climbs.

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