Bend, OR: Diamond Peak Loop

Save a weekend for this 27.4-mile loop in the Cascades that climbs an extinct shield volcano and tours lake-dotted landscapes in the Diamond Peak Wilderness.
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Save a weekend for this 27.4-mile loop in the Cascades that climbs an extinct shield volcano and tours lake-dotted landscapes in the Diamond Peak Wilderness.

Start at the Trapper Creek Trailhead, and follow the trail 0.2 mile to the first junction. Keep left at the fork for a gradual ascent through open forest, paralleling Trapper Creek, which cascades over rocks and down trees, creating mini waterfalls along the way. After 4.8 miles, skirt the edge of Diamond View Lake, and continue south. One mile later, turn right, heading west toward Diamond Peak and the Pacific Crest Trail—keep your camera ready for picturesque views of Diamond Peak that appear through openings in the trees. At mile 11, the route briefly follows the PCT before joining a climber's trail for the 1.3-mile stretch to the top of Diamond Peak, an extinct shield volcano. Look out onto lake-speckled landscapes from this Cascade summit, then descend back to Waypoint 10 and turn left.
The return route follows the PCT along the foot of Diamond Peak, passing campsites, lakes, and views of open meadows (where you may spot roaming black bears). Leave the PCT at mile 26 and follow a gravel road and the eastbound Whitefish Trail back to Waypoint 2 and the Trapper Creek Trail.
-Mapped by Trung Q. Le

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 44.1

Waypoints

DPL001

Location: 43.5796089, -122.0425034

From the Trapper Creek Trailhead, cross a wide railroad track and pick up the Trapper Creek Trail on the other side (marked with a trail sign).

DPL002

Location: 43.5780106, -122.0455017

Keep left @ Y-intersection on Whitefish Trail. The trail on the right leads to the Mount Yoran Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Ahead, the path parallels Trapper Creek, gradually ascending through open forest. (Trapper Creek can be accessed via an occasional scramble trail.) The creek cascades over rocks and down trees, creating mini waterfalls along the trail.

DPL003

Location: 43.5297394, -122.0725021

Diamond View Lake: There are established campsites along the shoreline (some sites have rock fire rings). This aptly-named lake offers views of Diamond Peak to the west.

DPL004

Location: 43.5245285, -122.0691986

Cross a footbridge next to a small pond. A few primitive campsites are found along the perimeter of the pond.

DPL005

Location: 43.519001, -122.0673981

Turn right @ 4-way intersection, heading west toward the Pacific Crest Trail. Whitefish Creek Trail continues straight to Crescent Lake. The trail on the left leads to Fawn Lake. Next, the trail continues a gradual ascent through open forest.

DPL006

Location: 43.5182495, -122.0982971

Photo op: Picturesque views of Diamond Peak appear through openings in the trees. Travel past several small ponds.

DPL007

Location: 43.5169792, -122.0999985

Continue straight @ 3-way intersection. The Snell Lake Trail enters on the left. Ahead, trail gradually descends toward the PCT.

DPL008

Location: 43.5099411, -122.1177979

Cross a small creek, a rare clean water source along this section of the trail. Head southwest through marshy terrain. In roughly 100 feet, pass a couple of primitive campsites.

DPL009

Location: 43.4933891, -122.1345978

Turn right @ 4-way intersection onto the PCT. Views of rocky outcroppings along Diamond Peak's ridge appear to the west through the trees. Optional: Continue straight to reach Marie Lake (overnight campsites).

DPL010

Location: 43.5044289, -122.1425018

Bear left onto the climber's trail that leads to Diamond Peak's summit. Trees cover views to the east. To the south, Mount Thielsen can be seen behind Summit Lake.

DPL011

Location: 43.5206718, -122.1495972

Diamond Peak (8,744 ft.): Look out onto lake-speckled landscapes from this Cascade peak. Next, begin the descent back to Waypoint 10. Turn left onto the PCT, and hike north along the foot of Diamond Peak. The dirt and pinecone-covered path transitions to a sandy trail.

DPL012

Location: 43.5201111, -122.1334

Cross Mountain Creek, a rare water source on this section of the PCT and the Diamond Peak Loop. This is a good spot to filter water while taking in views of the entire Diamond Peak ridgeline. Although this area is slightly marshy, there are a few flat and sandy areas 200 yards down the creek that could be used as campsites.

DPL013

Location: 43.5420914, -122.1339035

Stop and look behind you to the south for views of Mount Thielsen, Summit Lake and Crescent Lake. Scan the open meadows below and to the east (black bears have been seen roaming this area). Diamond Peak continues to dominate the scenery to the west. Pass a series of small ponds ahead.

DPL014

Location: 43.5532188, -122.1317978

Continue straight on the PCT @ 3-way intersection. The Mount Yoran Trail forks to the left. Next, the trail continues its gradual descent through thick forest. Pine needles cover the trail.

DPL015

Location: 43.5585899, -122.120697

Stay left on the PCT @ 3-way intersection. To the right is a small scramble trail leading to a viewpoint of Diamond Peak.

DPL016

Location: 43.5627594, -122.1091003

Keep straight @ 3-way intersection. A small path on the right leads to Lils Lake. Continue gradual descent past numerous lakes (all offer good campsites).

DPL017

Location: 43.5674095, -122.1023026

Keep straight @ 3-way intersection. The small path to Hidden Lake enters on the right. Continue beneath dense tree canopy that reveals few views. Although Hidden Lake can be seen through gaps in the trees, take the side trail down to the lake for up-close views.

DPL018

Location: 43.5706902, -122.0970993

Stay right @ Y-intersection to continue on the PCT. Deer Creak Trail #3692 enters on the left.

DPL019

Location: 43.5841408, -122.0748978

Continue straight on the PCT @ 3-way intersection. To the southwest, Diamond Peak rises above treeline. Campsites: Turn right @ 3-way onto the small trail to reach Midnight Lake. You'll find several established campsites with fire rings. (You may also see anglers fishing the lake on rafts.)

DPL020

Location: 43.5862694, -122.0731964

Continue straight @ 3-way intersection on the PCT. The trail on the left leads to Bechtel Shelter, a functioning shelter that's used mainly in winter by Nordic skiers.

DPL021

Location: 43.5910988, -122.0577011

Turn right @ Y-intersection onto a gravel road. The PCT veers to the left toward Willamette Pass. Note: This is the trailhead for Bechtel Shelter and the numerous lake hikes located along this section of the PCT. In 50 feet, bear left to continue on the road (the trail on the right leads to the trailhead parking area). Hike past the westbound Whitefish Trail on the right.

DPL022

Location: 43.5878105, -122.0531998

Turn right @ Y-intersection on the eastbound Whitefish Trail. The road continues to the left and ends in a few hundred yards. Begin a gradual climb under the thick covering the trees.

DPL023

Location: 43.5822296, -122.0534973

Cross a creek on a footbridge.

DPL024

Location: 43.5814514, -122.0522003

Cross the footbridge over West Bay Creek.

DPL025

Location: 43.5810509, -122.0512009

Keep straight on the Whitefish Trail @ the junction with Yoran Lake Trail.

DPL026

Location: 43.5778084, -122.046402

Cross a footbridge over Trapper Creek. Roughly 50 feet upstream is a structure that looks like an old dam. Follow the trail to Waypoint 2, then turn left to return to the trailhead.

Trapper Creek

Location: 43.5753517, -122.0506897

© Trung Q. Le

Diamond Peak

Location: 43.5183691, -122.0980167

© Trung Q. Le

Open Meadows

Location: 43.5166397, -122.1006012

© Trung Q. Le

Marie Lake

Location: 43.4938413, -122.1451378

© Trung Q. Le

View of Summit Lake

Location: 43.5006256, -122.1348953

© Trung Q. Le

Mount Thielsen and Summit Lake

Location: 43.5044937, -122.1425018

© Trung Q. Le

Diamond Peak

Location: 43.5297165, -122.1215515

© Trung Q. Le

Diamond Peak Ridgeline

Location: 43.5367889, -122.1239548

© Trung Q. Le

Mount Thielsen and Summit Lake

Location: 43.5397224, -122.1307602

© Trung Q. Le

Crescent Lake

Location: 43.547596, -122.1335602

© Trung Q. Le

Mount Yoran

Location: 43.5538673, -122.1306229

© Trung Q. Le

Lils Lake

Location: 43.5629425, -122.1075363

© Trung Q. Le

Mossy Trees

Location: 43.5773544, -122.0821838

© Trung Q. Le

Footbridge

Location: 43.5804253, -122.0504227

© Trung Q. Le