Camping in Mt. Jefferson Wilderness area?
July 9, 2007 3:05 PM   Subscribe

*_/\_Heading to the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness area to camp, any suggestions?

Planning a camping trip with a big group of friends (10). We'll be leaving from Portland and would like to head into the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness area. I'd like to find a primitive spot to camp or make our own site as opposed to staying in a fenced off campground. It may be really hot so an area near water is preferable. Any recommendations for camp spots, swimming spots, or good hikes? Thanks!
posted by apipameme to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have nothing to add except that I know your trip will be awesome given your use of ASCII panoramic photography.
posted by mdonley at 3:42 PM on July 9, 2007

I bet you could get decent advice from these guys.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 3:59 PM on July 9, 2007

I hiked and camped in the Mt. Jefferson wilderness in the summer of 2005. Much of the forest was burnt out from a recent wildfire. It was still a lovely spot, though. I camped at Table Lake, which is about an 8-mile hike from the trailhead. I'm unclear from your question whether you wanted to backpack in to a camping site. Check with the nearest ranger station to determine whether you'll need a permit to be in the Jefferson Wilderness. Also, make sure that you are allowed to camp in a group as large as 10 - some wilderness areas have maximum group size to protect the area from overuse. In that case, you could possibly divide into two groups and camp a few hundred yards apart to minimize your impact.

There are at least half a dozen lakes in the high plateau guarded by Jefferson. I liked Table Lake because it was a big enough lake with a constant supply of water flowing into it, which meant less mosquitos than some of the ponds that I could have camped at.

If you hike in, make sure to leave early in the morning. That area is really hot, especially in August, and you would do yourself a favor to make camp in the early afternoon before the heat is oppressive. I think overall, I prefer the Three Sister's Wilderness area better. It's often hard to see the mountain itself as many views are obscured by ridges. But perhaps that's just the problems with the particular route I took. I've got a photo album of my trip at Some of the photos show the area off alright, though regrettably I didn't take any pictures of Table Lake, which is too bad, because it is ice cold and perfect for swimming or fishing. E-mail is in my profile if you have more questions or want to know what trailhead I started from.
posted by Happydaz at 4:56 PM on July 9, 2007

Wonderful, thanks! I think we'll head towards the 3 sisters area based on your recommendation. I bet a majority of the forests are burning up right now. Anyway, I appreciate all your info.
posted by apipameme at 9:46 AM on July 10, 2007

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