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Mount McLoughlin

Climb a volcano for panoramic views of Southern Oregon and Northern California


Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin
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The gorgeous Mount McLoughlin is the highest point in Jackson County, Southern Oregon. A stratovolcano with an elevation of 2,894 m (9,495 ft), belongs to the Cascade Range within the Sky Lakes Wilderness. This scenic area boasts about 200 small and large lakes. It is one of the volcanic peaks in the Cascade Volcanic Arc within the High Cascades sector. It was named in the 19th century for John McLoughlin, a chief factor for the Hudson's Bay Company.

A 14-km (9-mi) trail to the summit is not an easy hike. But unlike some other Cascade peaks, it doesn't require climbing and can be done in one day. When on top, hikers enjoy beautiful views over the peaks like Mount Thielsen and Mount Shasta, admire Crater Lake, and several other lower water reservoirs.

The trailhead can be accessed from Highway 140, north of Lake of the Woods. The route starts easily winding through a picturesque forest and boulder fields. The second half of the trail is much steeper than the first. A steep rocky path to the summit features 381 m (1,250 ft) of elevation gain. The trail can get a lot of snowfall in winter, so it's best to avoid this time of the year. The best time to climb Mt. McLoughlin runs from late May through October, but it is strongly recommended to check weather conditions at any time of the year. Also, on the way to the top, turn back to memorize the trail, as people often get lost on the way back.

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