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Climbing
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Alpine climbing NCCS rating
Class IV
Elevation Gain
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Distance
9.95 mi (16.01 km)
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The intimidating spire of 9,182-foot Mount Thielsen can be seen as you travel to the trailhead. Yet the peak is not as difficult to climb as it might look. In spite of its appearance, Mount Thielsen is a good choice for beginning climbers and day hikers looking to get on an exposed face.

From the Mount Thielsen Trailhead just off Highway 138 near Diamond Lake, it's a moderate hike to the intersection with the Pacific Crest Trail. The West Ridge Route begins here, and it is a Class II and Class III scramble up scree and slate-like talus to a point called "Chicken Ledge." From this point, it's only 80 feet straight up on Class IV pitch. Many people and teams choose to rope up at this point and use protection. This is not required, but it is a good practice depending on you comfort level. This last 80 feet is on rock that is more solid than in earlier segments, which makes climbing a bit easier.

At the summit you are rewarded with views north all the way to the Three Sisters, south as far as Mount Shasta, and closer views of neighboring Crater Lake and Mount Bailey. 

The mountain is also known as the "lighting rod" of the Cascades because it attracts lighting strikes like mosquitos to sugar water. Due to Mount Thielsen's stormy nature, there are a few portions along the trail where small downbursts (microbursts) from thunderstorms have caused larger areas of downed trees. Be vigilant and always be on watch for changing weather.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass

Pros

Non-technical climb. Great views from the summit, including Crater Lake. Easy trailhead access.

Cons

Weather can change fast. Trail can be crowded in summer months.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

5,439.00 ft (1,657.81 m)

Net Elevation Gain

3,725.00 ft (1,135.38 m)

Address

Co Hwy 245
Crescent, OR 97733
United States

Features

Rock climbing
Big vistas

Typically multi-day

No

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Southern Oregon Cascades, Oregon
East (Avalanche) Bowl + Southeast Ridge
Southern Oregon Cascades, Oregon

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

07/06/2018
Quite a fun little climb with spectacular views!
07/17/2016
Beautiful day on this iconic mountain! Fun fact: the summit of Mt. Thielsen (pronounced TEEL-sun) is the only location you can see the waters of Crater Lake outside of Crater Lake National Park.

The final Class IV scramble is relatively easy to follow, yet might be uncomfortable for those not accustomed to Class V routes due to the exposure.
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