Mt Jefferson Wilderness, Oregon

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Mt Jefferson Wilderness

Located just over 40 miles northwest of Bend, the stunning scenery of the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area attracts thousands of visitors every year.

  • Nearly 75 alpine lakes stocked with trout.
  • Climbers enjoy the difficult challenge of summiting 10,497-foot Mt. Jefferson.
  • Beautiful alpine meadows and forests attracts thousands of visitors.
  • Over 190 trails, including the Pacific Crest Trail, wind through the area.


Covering over 111,000 acres northwest of Bend is the breathtaking Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area. Established in 1968, this beautiful protected area contains two of the Cascade’s prominent volcanoes – Mt. Jefferson and Three Fingered Jack. The Wilderness encompasses a variety of terrain including picturesque alpine meadows, steep rocky slopes, and heavily forested areas with pine, fir, cedar, and mountain hemlock. A variety of colorful wildflowers abound in the late spring and summer.

Location and Information

The Mount Jefferson Wilderness is located just over 40 miles northwest of Bend. It is just north of Hwy 20 at Santiam Pass.

Contact Information

Deschutes National Forest, 1001 SW Emkay Drive, Bend, OR 97702. Phone: 541-383-5300.


  • Hiking and Backpacking – Almost 40 miles of the beautiful Pacific Crest Trail stretch through the area, along with another 150 miles of scenic backcountry trails.
  • Fishing – With an abundance of small lakes stocked with trout, avid anglers have plenty of options for a scenic place to fish. Marion Lake, one of the larger alpine lakes, offers spectacular views of Mt. Jefferson and Three Fingered Jack along with an abundance of good-sized rainbow, brook, and cutthroat trout.
  • Mountain Climbing Avid mountain climbers can enjoy the challenge of climbing Three Fingered Jack and Mount Jefferson.

Fun Facts

  • Of all the wilderness areas in Oregon, only the Three Sisters Wilderness attracts more visitors than the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness.
  • Mt. Jefferson is the second highest peak in Oregon, with an elevation of 10,497 feet. It is also one of the most difficult mountains in Oregon to summit.
  • Three national forests – Deschutes, Mt. Hood, and Willamette – are found within the boundaries of Mt. Jefferson Wilderness Area.
  • Mt. Jefferson is a stratovolcano with 5 glaciers - Jefferson Park, Whitewater, Milk Creek, Waldo, and Russell.
  • A variety of amphibians, including the Rough-skinned Newt, are bred in Marion Lake.