Cowhorn Mountain

Pacific Crest Trail

Southern Oregon Cascades, Oregon

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Cowhorn Mountain

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  • 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
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views. Walking on the red-cinder ridge of a stratovolcano.
Cons: 
Steep and loose volcanic rock.
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Alerts: 
Region:
Southern Oregon Cascades, OR
Congestion: 
Moderate
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
NW Forest Pass
Total Distance: 
9.40 mi (15.13 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
5,821 ft (1,774 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
1,840 ft (561 m)
Trail Uses:
Hiking
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Dogs allowed: 
Yes
Current Local Weather:
Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Clear throughout the day.
76°F
46°

Tue

Partly cloudy overnight.
74°F
50°

Wed

Partly cloudy overnight.
67°F
49°

Thu

Partly cloudy in the morning.
65°F
43°

Fri

Clear throughout the day.
73°F
39°

Sat

Clear throughout the day.
79°F
43°

Sun

Clear throughout the day.
82°F
48°
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

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.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(32 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(49 within a 30 mile radius)

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
5 Members
Who's Done It
2 Members
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5 Adventures Explored
3 Adventures Published

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