Hike to mt Jefferson park and PCT - Part 1
To get to the trailhead for Mt. Jefferson - Jefferson park and PCT trail to Russell Lake in central Oregon, take exit 253 from interstate 5 near Salem, Oregon, drive 61 miles east on North Santiam Highway 22. Between milepost 60 and 61, which is around 10 miles past Detroit, turn left on forest road 2243, posted as whitewater road. Follow this rock road for about 7.5 miles where it deadends in a large trailhead parking area. The trail winds back and forth on a couple of long switchbacks through a dense forest of Hemlocks and old growth douglas Fir until you reach a ridge, which you follow for several miles and then the trail drops down into the canyon, and continues up toward the lakes. When it drops into the canyon you're about a mile from the lakes. The trail goes along a stream that's over a hill from the lakes, and eventually climbs over the hill and you can see the lakes, and nice views of Mt. jefferson.
It was a beautiful cloudy day when I hiked on this trail. The temperature was in the low 70's and with a light breeze blowing and it was a perfect day for hiking. This is a nice trail, but it will wear you down just as you reach the area with the lakes. You just have to persist. It's worth the effort.
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Last Update: January 17, 2015
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