Mount Washington can be seen rising above the Mount Washington Wilderness area, which is seventy-five square miles of plains covered by hardened lava. Included in this unique wilderness area is Belknap Crater, a 6,872 foot cinder and ash volcanic cone. There are 28 lakes in the Wilderness and a dense forest of lodge pole pine and mountain hemlock covers much of the area.
Mount Washington Wilderness is a rough and rugged area, frequented by hikers, mountain climbers and hunters. To the south, the border of this wilderness area lies directly next to The Three Sisters Wilderness area. The principle trail through the area is 16.6 miles of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. The Trail begins in the south at McKenzie Pass and then traverses the Wilderness area – skirting the Belknap Crater and then climbing the western side of Mount Washington. Before exiting the Wilderness area, the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, passes through a region of high lakes.
Other frequented areas in Mount Washington Wilderness area in Central Oregon, is Tenas Lake and Benson Lake in the southwest corner and Patjens Lake in the north. All three lakes are accessible via short trails.