Cowhorn Mountain

Pacific Crest Trail

Southern Oregon Cascades, Oregon

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Cowhorn Mountain


  • First viewpoint of Windigo Lake.- Cowhorn Mountain
  • Viewpoint of Windigo Lake.- Cowhorn Mountain
  • First viewpoint of Cowhorn Mountain.- Cowhorn Mountain
  • Cowhorn Mountain.- Cowhorn Mountain
  • Great lunch spot with awesome vistas.- Cowhorn Mountain
  • Last stretch up to the summit.- Cowhorn Mountain
  • Viewpoint from the summit.- Cowhorn Mountain
  • Vistas from the summit of Cowhorn Mountain.- Cowhorn Mountain
  • - Cowhorn Mountain
Overview + Weather
Great views. Walking on the red-cinder ridge of a stratovolcano.
Steep and loose volcanic rock.
Southern Oregon Cascades, OR
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,840.00 ft (560.83 m)
Parking Pass: 
NW Forest Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
9.40 mi (15.13 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
5,821.00 ft (1,774.24 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


Located within the Willamette National Forest, the Cowhorn Butte roadless area has something for every kind of nature lover! For those looking for a big climb, Cowhorn Mountain, the halfway point between Diamond Peak and Mount Thielsen, stands at 7,664 feet and is located within this region. 

This mountain, unknown to many, has a unique story of its own. The region originally had Little and Big Cowhorn Mountains, but the cowhorn-shaped spire fell from Little Cowhorn during a 1911 storm that hit the area, and these mountains were renamed. Big Cowhorn was renamed Mount Thielsen, and Little Cowhorn was changed to Cowhorn Mountain.

The red-cinder ridge leading to the summit is a Class 2 to Class 3 scramble after a mostly gentle hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, but it is well worth it. The summit rises above the tree line and offers beautiful views of the surrounding areas, including Mount Thielsen, Diamond Peak, Three Sisters, and Mount Bailey. A storm that hit the area in 1911 significantly eroded the trail, creating varying colors of red and black along most of the way. 

This area also has attractions for long distance hikers, as the Pacific Crest Trail runs straight through it.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(32 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(49 within a 30 mile radius)

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Adventure Community

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5 Adventures Explored
3 Adventures Published

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