Jackson County High Point Trip Report

Mount McLoughlin (9,495 ft)

Date: July 4, 2003
Author: Dean Molen

Having driven from Grant county the night before, I met Bob Bolton in Klamath Falls. After a nice breakfast at Elmers, we headed up to the trailhead and started our fun soon after driving the bumpy last few miles before the trailhead parking lot.

Mosquitoes were out in abundance and you had to hike fast to keep from providing them with lunch. Unfortunately, even that didn't help as we had to deal with them for the first three miles of relatively wooded trail. Once the trail broke out onto the ridge, the mosquitoes let us be.

Mount McLoughlin is a bigger mountain than most people might suppose. An eleven mile round trip effort is required and factor 4000 feet of elevation gain into the picture and you are going to get a good workout before you are through. If you stay with the ridge going both up and down, you'll pretty much stay out of trouble.

We saw several people who would have been more at home playing golf, but they thought this would be an easy hike. No water nor proper foot wear for this volcanic mountain and Bob and I had a little concern for some of those who were obviously unprepared. It isn't easy for anyone not in condition but it can serve as a great conditioner.

The summit itself is a great place to be. Expansive views in all directions and a high point that leaves no doubt in your mind. We spent much more time on the summit than we intended but we enjoyed every minute. The summit became very social and it seems you meet the nicest people in places like this. Well, we did have to go down as Bob and I intend to climb Mount Thielsen on Saturday.

The time up for us was long because we stopped and talked so much with the friendly throngs but the trip down took us three hours. Don't forget sunscreen, plenty of water and yes, mosquito repellent. This was a great hike. My third in three days but the best of the three.