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
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.