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Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
4.00 mi (6.44 km)
Warming hut
No
Please respect the outdoors and leave no trace. One tip how to dispose of waste properly: Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products. For more information, visit https://lnt.org/learn/7-principles

Tumalo Mountain is an ideal winter excursion for those looking for a moderate climb and top flight views. A close staple for Bend locals, the area gets some pressure in the winter. Sharing routes through the snow has benefits, however; as a backcountry trail, there are few if any trail markers, and there will likely be a good set of tracks to follow so you don't have to break a new trail. Regardless, always be sure to bring your map and compass for reference.

Head west to the far end of the parking lot, where you'll find a restroom and the trailhead up to Tumalo Mountain. You'll start hiking through a forest of mountain hemlock and true fir. In about a mile and a half you'll get views of Tumalo's summit. Here you will notice the trees have become more sparse, and shorter. These wind-blown trees will most likely be covered in a layer of ice, which makes for a great photo opportunity. The last half mile climbs steeply through this frozen forest before reaching the summit.

On a clear day you'll enjoy fantastic views of Oregon's high plateau, Mount Bachelor, The Three Sisters, and Broken Top. The geology of this area results from the incredibly dramatic exchange between volcanism and glaciation, fire and ice. As William Sullivan eloquently notes,

Tumalo Mountain and Mt. Bachelor are cinder cones - gigantic heaps of volcanic shrapnel. Though geologically fresh, they're both old enough to have been bitten by glaciers. Mt. Bachelor is the least damaged; it must have been so smoothly conical before the Ice Age that snow had few places to compact into ice. Tumalo Mountain, on the other hand, probably had a crater that allowed snow to collect. Under the weight of ice, the crater became a glacial cirque, leading to the destruction of the cone's entire northeast quarter.

Be careful not to get too close to the northeast edge of the summit, as an impressive cornice forms in heavy snow years, and it can easily break under a person's weight. Take time to soak in all the beautiful mountain views, and have a safe decent down the mountain.

Note that dogs are prohibited from November 15 through April 20.

 

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Sno-Park Parking Permit (required in OR + WA 11.01 thru 04.30)

Pros

Great mountain views.

Cons

Crowded on weekends. Dogs are prohibited from November 15 through April 30.

Pets allowed

No

Trailhead Elevation

6,350.00 ft (1,935.48 m)

Net Elevation Gain

1,200.00 ft (365.76 m)

Address

Tumalo Mtn Trail
Bend, OR 97701
United States

Features

Big vistas
Cross-country skiing

Location

Field Guide + Map

Comments

02.17.19
Excellent location for a sunrise hike to photograph alpenglow on the Sisters and Bachelor.
02.07.16
With temps in the upper 60's we opted to climb Tumalo instead of paying $80 for a lift ticket. Let's just say the views were still worth a million!
11.26.14
Fun little pre-Thanksgiving calorie burner up Tumalo at dusk. Snow was thin.
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