Marion County High Point Trip Report

unnamed point on north ridge of Mt Jefferson (9,000+ ft)

Date: August 1999
Author: Ken Jones

Spectacular views of the north side of Mt Jefferson, and not as difficult as you might guess from the map. Still, good map and cross-country travel skills are required.

From Detroit head east on SR 22 for 9 to 10 miles to a well-graded road on your left, signed Whitewater Trail. Follow the main road to its end about 7 miles later, at the signed and posted trailhead. Remember your trailhead parking pass! This is a popular trail, and the trailhead is patrolled periodically.

Take the trail to a junction on the ridge and turn right (toward Jefferson Park). Follow the trail along the south face of the Sentinel Hills; just after crossing Whitewater Creek (we used a snow bridge) find the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail. Turn left here, and continue another 1/2 mile to the outskirts of Jefferson Park. We camped here, near the word "PACIFIC" on the 1988 Mt. Jefferson 7-1/2 minute topo.

We headed almost due south, recrossing Whitewater Creek and a fork, to and up the western of the two ridges which join at about 7400' just NE of the toe of the Jefferson Park Glacier. From here we proceeded up about 400', cut left across a shallow gully, and picked up the main north ridge of Mount Jefferson (here beginning to trend NW). Follow the ridge through some class 2 bits (drop left around some minor gendarmes) to a minor saddle at just under 8800'. From here, head south up the ridge stepping on all the highest rocks until you're sure you're above 9000'. One of those rocks was the highest in Marion County.

This route takes you above timberline on a major Cascade volcano. It should not be treated lightly. However, from a technical standpoint, if you have good cross country travel and map reading skills, not much snow on the ground, and good weather, you should be able to do it.