The Diamond Peak Wilderness sits in the Cascade Range encompassing the Diamond Peak Volcano. The wilderness sits within two National Forests; the Willamette National Forest on the west side and the Deschutes National Forest on the east. The Diamond Peak Wilderness spans 36,636 acres and was created back in 1964. There are 6 named mountains in Diamond Peak Wilderness. The highest and the most prominent mountain is Diamond Peak, sitting at 8,744 feet. The next highest peak is Mount Yoran at 7,100 feet and Lakeview Mountain at 7,065 feet. Diamond Peak was carved by glaciers that have since receded. What is left of them is reflected in the snow fields and numerous surrounding lakes.
Located in central Oregon, the scenic Pacific Crest Trail passes through the wilderness for 14 miles. The region also has an additional 38 miles of trails which includes the Diamond Peak Trail. Nearly the entire wilderness is covered in mountain hemlocks, pine trees and firs. The region is home to deer, elk, black bears, and other small mammals year-round.
As the tallest peak in the entire wilderness, Diamond Peak offers incredible views of the surrounding area. This trail is 11-miles roundtrip with 3,766 feet of elevation gain. Reaching the top is a classic scramble, more difficult than most hikes but does not require mountaineering skills. The two main trailheads for reaching the summit are at Rockpile and Summit Lake. The hike takes you up the along the south ridge before reaching the summit. The top of the mountain is characterized by many ridges making the true summit difficult to identify. On a clear day Mount Hood can be seen located to the north. The climb up Mount Yoran is similar, with a fair amount of scrambling to reach the summit.
This 4-mile loop is one of the most popular within the entire wilderness. The route takes you through numerous sets of falls, Salt Creek Falls, Lower Diamond Creek Falls, and then Upper Diamond Creek Falls. This trail also offers views of lakes and small canyons intermittently making for an incredibly scenic hike.
Rosary Lake- Lower, Middle, and Upper: With three separate lakes, this 7-mile out and back trail is very popular for the region. The trail climbs steadily from the parking lot before eventually reaching the first, and largest lake. This pristine mountain lakes and reminiscent of the glaciers that formed the nearby Diamond Peak. Stop at any three of the lakes for gorgeous view or take a dip to cool off from hiking.
Known as “Track Town, USA”, Eugene is a runner’s paradise. With a population of nearly 200,000, the city is the largest within central Oregon. The city is located two hours south of Portland, and just one hour south of Salem, Oregon’s state capitol. The town is known for its focus on environmentalism and abundance of recreation activities including biking, hiking, rafting, and of course, running. Eugene is also where the Nike corporation began. Be sure to check out the Lane County Farmers’ Market or grab a bite to eat at one of the many local restaurants.
Bend is the largest city located in eastern Oregon with a population of nearly 100,000. The city is located on the Deschutes River and is known for being an outdoor paradise. To the west lies the lake and peaks of the Cascade Mountains, along with Mount Bachelor Ski Resort, while a trail in the city leads to the top of Pilot Butte. To the south lies the High Desert Museum and Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Just north of town is one of the state’s most iconic rock-climbing locations, Smith Rock State Park. As a whole, the city is a mecca for trail running, skiing, mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, and even surfing in the river. Besides the abundance of outdoor activities, Bend is known for its numerous breweries and restaurants.