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Bend, OR: Mount Thielsen

This volcano has lured explorers for decades. Good reason too: The 8.8-miler mixes trails, routefinding, and hand-over-hand scrambling.

Rating

Mt. Thielsen is a stratovolcano like many other Cascade peaks, but unlike most, Thielsen’s 9,184-foot summit has been fractured and eroded into a pointy horn of rock–with no crater–that makes for an exciting class 3-4 climb. It’s only 8.8 miles round-trip, but start early: You’ll climb 3,700 feet, and the peak’s not nicknamed “the lightning rod of the Cascades” for nothing. You’ll also do a bit of routefinding on the way to the summit: The Mt. Thielsen Trail fades after you cross the Pacific Crest Trail and you’ll pick your way up a talus slope by linking cairns. The last 100-plus feet is a non-technical scramble, but the most cautious hikers pack slings and climbing rope. On top, enjoy views of Diamond Lake, Mt. Bailey, and Mt. Mazama.

-Mapped by Trung Q. Le

To Trailhead

US 97 S to OR 138 W. Go 19.2 miles to parking on right (follow signs to Mt. Thielsen Trailhead).

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