Gearhart Mountain

Bly, Oregon 97622

Gearhart Mountain

Gearhart Mountain Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"Most Oregonians have never heard of Gearhart Mountain, an ancient shield volcano that rises in a long, sloping curve above the rolling pine forests of south-central Oregon. This is a shame, because the small wilderness here hides a wealth of interesting sights.

Marshy meadows are home to thousands of croaking frogs, a small lake is filled with hungry trout, and a hillside hosts an army of oddly shaped rock pinnacles. But the main attraction is Gearhart Mountain, especially the towering cliffs on the mountain’s east face. This hike takes you to the base of those cliffs and along the way visits many of the wilderness’ best features."

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Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

75 Scrambles in Oregon: Best Non-Technical Ascents (The Mountaineers Books)
Barbara I. Bond
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"Gearhart Mountain is in the Eastern Cascades’ Gearhart Mountain Wilderness. Surrounded by the rich old-growth pines of the Fremont National Forest, Gearhart is a unique wilderness that receives few visitors. The forest provides habitat for deer, elk, cougar, and coyotes. Wildflowers are scattered throughout the meadows and are particularly stunning in contrast to the melting snow in early season; snow may remain on higher-elevation trails until July. Although mostly heavily forested, the Gearhart Wilderness’s few mountains and rocky outcrops offer plenty of scrambling opportunities. Special considerations: The Gearhart Mountain Wilderness map covers both USGS maps and has 20-foot contours."
Hiking Oregon (State Hiking Guides Series) (Falcon Guides)
Lizann Dunegan
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"If you truly want to experience the beauty and solitude of pristine wilderness, this hike is for you. Old-growth ponderosa, lodgepole, and whitebark pines fill the Gearhart Mountain Wilderness with their stately beauty. This hike also takes you through the Palisades, a unique area of oddly shaped rock formations, and ends at a high pass with magnificent views of Steens Mountain to the east, the Three Sisters Mountains to the west, and California’s Mount Lassen. Backpackers have the option of continuing another 3.4 miles to Blue Lake, a high alpine lake stocked with rainbow trout."
Hiking Southern Oregon (Falcon Guides)
Art Bernstein and Zach Urness
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"Bizarre and beautiful pearl-white lava formations. A short hike to the Palisades or a longer trek to a cliff-walled meadow. Oddball geology, high-desert features, and a truly stunning cliff-walled meadow make this trail into the heart of Gearhart Mountain Wilderness one of Oregon’s true hidden treasures. This area is popular among hunters from September through November. Mosquitoes are thick until the end of July."

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Trail Information

Nearby City
Trail Type
Skill Level
6 hours (day hike or backpack)
Late June to October
USFS Gearhart Mountain Wilderness
Local Maps